As shared-risk pools strive to provide better service and increase the value for their members, the importance of streamlining insurance operations is critical. Not only do pools need to provide the level of services that members demand, but they need to do it in a sustainable way that allows staff resources to maximize the time they spend providing high-value services. As Forrester Research recently published, today’s organizations must apply “digital thinking across everything you do — how you win, serve, and retain customers”.
Improving Data Collection
Members are also looking for ways to streamline their own operations. Processes that require collecting data from members can be resource draining for both their organization and the pool. By reducing the administrative work they have to do, you can help their organization succeed. While there are many areas that could be targeted, two of the best candidates for improvement are values collection and claims management/incident reporting.
Given how much time and effort compiling exposure value can take, particularly when members have assets spread across many locations or a wide variety of assets to track, values collection can be a burden for pools as well as members. This potential major resource drain for members and staff alike makes it a prime target for automation.
“WSRMP’s annual values collection process historically required more than two months to complete. With Origami, the pool was able to collect all values from all 92 members participating in its property program in less than two weeks” — Washington Schools Risk Management Pools case study
Smart automation reduces the lengthy back-and-forth involved with collecting exposure values and following up on missing data. This shortens the process, improving the timeliness of the data.
Claims Management/Incident Reporting
According to a McKinsey study “Automation can reduce the cost of a claims journey by as much as 30%.” Because the duration of a claim is directly related to the ultimate cost, streamlining the process not only saves time, it also saves money. Online portals and links to anonymous forms get data into the system faster and enable adjusters to prioritize claims with the greatest potential for escalating costs early in the cycle.
Improving efficiency in member organizations does more than boost their bottom lines, it also allows pools to stretch their own resources further. With less time spent responding to calls, following up with requests for missing data, and generally managing the administrative side of these processes, your organization can dedicate more time to providing the types of services that build stronger member relationships.
Streamlining Pool Operations
Reducing the administrative burden caused by data collection is a great start, but it isn’t enough by itself. Automating underwriting, billing and renewals are best ways to become what Forrester Research described as a “digital business”. A PwC study supports this strategy: “Underwriting, claims and finance are littered with low-value transactional processes and wasted costs (in underwriting, for example, up to 80% of the sales time can be spent on administration). These processes often rely on heavy manual workarounds, including re-inputting of information onto multiple systems.”
Extending the online portal approach to underwriting eliminates much of the administration overhead PwC cites. An Origami Risk case study illustrates how one pool, the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA), used portals to allow members to complete annual coverage applications and renewal forms online, inputting as many as 30 different variables associated with the various coverage lines they procure from CIRSA.
Integrating billing tightly with rating and formula tools allows organizations to automatically create accurate invoices, track payments and generate cross-policy financial analytics. Origami Risk enhances this capability with dynamic recalculation and virtually endless options for customized formatting.
Proposals and Binding
The entire process – proposals, changes, binding, and securing e-signatures – can be automated in Origami Risk. On-screen tools allow you to deliver multiple proposal options, automatically communicate the impact of changes, and easily accept or deny coverage change requests. Streamlining this process not only improves operations, but signals to prospective clients that they can expect higher levels of service with your organization.
Think Big (more than “just” streamlining operations)
While streamlined operations help position your pool as a technologically savvy organization, expanding the benefits of automation to other areas can yield even bigger results. Streamlining member communication, as the Montana School Group Insurance Authority did by setting up pre-written letters to be automatically issued to members whenever deductible levels or reinsurance thresholds are reached, ensures that time-sensitive information doesn’t get overlooked.
Additional targets for improvements include integrating data feeds between systems to reduce rekeying and clerical overhead, and employing CRM type functionality to allow a 360-degree view of member activity across your organization. With the right tools in place, you can free up staff, eliminate administrative burdens for your organization and its members, and improve communication at all levels.