30/09/15

The Time for Underwriting Business Rule Automation Is Now

Underwriting automationThink back seven or eight years ago to when the onslaught of mobile devices brought customer demands for digitization, speed, and online browsing choices to the doorstep, but not quite in the door. These factors are now not only well inside the door, they are sitting at the table, and customers are demanding options that serve up accessibility, choice, and near real-time satisfaction. Shoppers for life insurance in today’s digitized market-place expect no less. Insurers need to begin addressing how to meet the needs of their markets, or be left in the dust, and one of the ways that this can be achieved is through automating underwriting business process rules.

When the life insurance industry first started talking about the automation of underwriting business process rules, insurers were skeptical and slow to adopt. For years and years, it was believed underwriters had to look at every insurance application and evaluate the associated risk to create and maintain a profitable book of business. Well, that mindset is out of date because such scrutiny can be accomplished through automation. As just one example, life insurance providers can filter web applicant interview responses against online medical records to significantly reduce processing times and manual resource intervention.

Now is the time for insurance providers to embrace the changing marketplace’s mindset. While resistance to automation of underwriting and risk-associated decisions has been strong, it has been waning recently. In fact, some are now favoring automation of lower risk application determinations and associated processing so that the focus of the underwriting staff knowledge and expertise is applied where it’s most needed – on the higher tiered risk applications.

As if meeting marketplace demands wasn’t a big enough incentive, insurers stand to realize additional benefits through automation, including:

A streamlined, consistent and unobtrusive application and decision making process to prospective clients

Reliable adherence to audit and regulatory compliance through built-in checks and balances

Reduced overall application/contract cycle time

Straight-through-processing

Data-source provision for predictive modeling

In adopting this new mindset, some insurance providers are going whole hog by even introducing brand new shiny products, but just as many, if not more, providers are automating business rules to go with their existing product suite.

Either way, both insurance providers and clients win. Customers who demand more coverage choices and a non-invasive application process, along with equivalent or lower premiums, can be more confident that they will get what they want. Likewise, insurance providers can cut down on application processing people-hours and see an increase in processing speed and accuracy. Who would have ever thought that insurance underwriting would embrace and even exploit the digital age?

Keep Finding More On Automation

Automating underwriting business rules is necessary to be competitive in today’s marketplace. To keep reading on automating processes, download the whitepaper BPM… To Automate or Not to Automate – Is that the Question?