Have you ever wanted to throw your hands up in frustration at how your current insurance software system functions? Do you have umpteen workarounds to try to do one process…like prior term endorsements? Do you have to manually adapt premiums via debits/surcharges/credits to get a premium where it needs to be rated? Does your system slow down at certain times of the day or month when other departments are running reports? There was never sufficient training on the new insurance software system. Most of what was learned was by trial and error….and follow up? Not much. These are just a few of the more painful points I have experienced in my prior life as an Underwriter in the medical malpractice industry.
In a day and age when companies are trying to go “Lean”, it seems incredulous to me they are willing to settle for insurance software that does not meet the needs of their staff. I recently read an article that defined “Lean” as “the practice of eliminating waste in products or processes. In so doing, you are not only making the product or service better, you are helping the organization save time and money…and therefore are also helping to better meet your customer’s needs.” Is that not the ultimate goal of most companies? To give their customer better customer service and meet their needs more quickly and efficiently, while in the process rescuing their staff from, well, read the first paragraph.
Here are some thoughts I’ve had over the years on what I would want to see. First, I’d want to make sure that there is support from Senior Management for not just getting the latest technology to policyholders, but for also getting the latest technology to staff so they can then support the policyholders. This is a checklist with my top eight factors for what an insurance system should be able to perform with ease and efficiency:
- It should be web-based software that is available 24/7.
- It should actually do Policy Administration, which includes all elements of underwriting and rating, with document management integrated into the core functionality.
- It should offer Claims and Litigation Management functionality that supports statutory reporting while simplifying case management processes.
- It should offer a Communication Management component that manages the entire client relationship by consolidating all communications, notes, calendars and documents into one easy window.
- It should allow underwriters to work on many policies at the same time.
- It should allow contacts to have may roles within the system to have many roles and have those roles accessible in context.
- It should have clean, intuitive navigation.
- And, it should have a comprehensive and ongoing training process.
If the prior system I worked on had offered these features, my life as an Underwriter would have been far simpler. I wouldn’t have spent hours and hours trying to find ways to fit my policies into the framework I was required to work in. In other words, I would have been much more productive, my agents and customers would have been more satisfied, and I would have been a lot happier! Those seem like three easy wins to me: happy management, happy clients, and happy teams!
Of course, picking the software is only the first step. I found that, from a user standpoint, the most pressing factor comes after the software is ready to implement- training! Training of Senior Management on the high-level attributes of the new system and what it will provide both them and staff is key, followed by thorough and complete staff training; and, probably not least, continued follow up and troubleshooting by everyone involved in the implementation, a process that can take months. Every individual who uses the system should be supported through every step of the implementation process and well past the point of stable production.
I am glad I made the transition from my prior life to Megalodon Insurance Systems. I found in our insurance software system and training process, a system and process that resolves my prior life pain points. Consider my ideas, of course, but make sure you’re clear on what your pain points are that need to be met?! What is your criteria for resolving those issues?! Whatever insurance software system you consider, it should resolve as many of your pain points as possible.
– Kara Aeschlimann, Account Representative, is a Certified Change Management Professional with 24 years of Underwriting experience in the property and casualty insurance arena. To talk to Kara directly about your options, please call: (608)709-2154.