Our blog covers a wide range of topics, and today's focuses on a specific product area that is extremely hot right now - downloading documents in a standardized e-docs solution, from insurance carrier to broker. iter8 has developed a solution called communic8 e-docs.
Insurance carriers will be able to meet their broker’s demands for an e-docs solution as a standard download for Broker Management Systems (BMS).
We're using two of the CSIO e-doc standards.
(1) real-time XML Activity Note Messages - this standard specifies that each message can contain only a single pdf and is sent individually.
(2) EDI/AL3 standard that produces one daily document download file containing all of the pdf's for that day, typically sent the following morning. It is a separate file that is separately created from the typical daily AL3 policy download file.
Each of the carriers determines which documents and how many pages they are capable of creating and making available within the pdf, although all of the carriers are including Policy Declaration pages from the outset.
Delivering documents through this real-time or batch download infrastructure remains flexible and can be leveraged for future expansion because additional client documents can subsequently be inserted into the pdf that is created by the carrier, as either their capability and/or need to do so increases. In other words, the content of the pdf's can be changed (such as adding Billing Notices for Direct Bill clients) without necessarily needing to change the mechanism that delivers and digests the pdf's at the brokerage.
Both of these formats support the automatic updating of the client records in the BMS - delivering a big productivity benefit to brokers on day-one of the roll-out! This benefit also improves both customer service levels and E&O assessments for the brokerage - the ultimate goal achieved when the standardized e-docs workflow and procedures are enabled and supported by all of the carriers within any given brokerage.
After the initial productivity benefit is delivered to the brokerage, carriers want the standard workflow and processes to be audited, trusted, and secure so that brokers are able and willing to grant approval for the carriers to cease printing expensive paper documents.
That's the win-win part that characterizes the best solutions because it can drive a broad adoption by all of the stakeholders to their mutual advantage.
To learn who is implementing e-docs solutions with iter8, through communic8 e-docs, and what benefits they’ll achieve, contact us and ask for a free consultation.
Since it is award season in Hollywood we thought we’d announce our award as a finalist in the ICTC awards. iter8, along with Keal Technology and Unica Insurance submitted an entry for the ICTC awards, based upon their live, real-time policy change solution for personal lines auto and property.
iter8 has been working on a real-time policy change solution for many months, responding to the needs of independent agents and brokers for the capability to change insurance carrier policies from within their broker management or agency management systems. We’ve taken it live at two insurers, and have begun work with a third.
The process is complex, but iter8 is able to make it straight-forward and simple. The agent/broker works within their own systems, makes a change to the policy records, submits it, and receives the updated information in real-time. Whether this change is straightforward or involved, the iter8 real-time solution can smoothly, quickly and easily make the policy change and deliver the results in real-time.
This needs tight cooperation between the multiple systems involved. In particular the broker or agency management system must be able to retrieve and upload the information, and then receive and update the adjusted data after the change is made. To-date iter8 has been working closely with Keal Technology, the developers of sigXP (although the system can accommodate any agency or broker management system). The solution also needs full data exchange and integration at the carrier, as well as integration with core back-end systems.
And the solution has been selected as an award winner, one of three finalists for the Insurance Canada Technology Conference. Final results will be announced at the conference in March. The competition is fierce and the solutions of the three finalists are innovative and deliver numerous benefits. In this case the adage “to be nominated is reward enough” really does apply. iter8 has been recognized for technology leadership and innovation.
But the real winner is real-time policy change, which saves agents and brokers time, money and effort, and enables insurers to improve service levels and the scalability of their online service capability, and positively impact their distribution channel to improve competitiveness and save money.
Learn more about the award and the iter8, Keal and Unica solution.
iter8 has sponsored a major research study led by Strategy Meets Action. The study collected information from both insurance carriers and independent agents and brokers and examined the key opportunities for agents and insurers seeking to capitalize on improved linkages and connectivity.
The research was completed in 2012, and was followed by a webinar in December to present the findings. A white paper was published year-end 2012 to provide additional insights on the results.
View an archive of the webinar click here.
As indicated in the white paper, “real-time connectivity between the agent and insurer must go beyond interaction and provide the ability to complete the transaction. Agent portals need to do more than handle data capture and quoting – they need to be the platform for all information, as well as the support for collaboration.”
Add to this the relationship between consumer, agent and insurer and the needs for full 360 trip of information sharing becomes even more critical.
The white paper explores these areas. Learn more, read a copy of the free white paper.
regul8 is designed to improve statistical reporting for insurance carriers. Statistical reporting activity to National, State or Provincial regulators and Insurance Associations needs to be done effectively, in a timely manner, and cost-effectively, and our efforts have focussed on ensuring regul8 can help insurance carriers meet these goals.
But, we’ve now extended regul8, to help carriers in improving profitability through their Risk Sharing Pool (RSP) submissions.
After consultation with our customers and with other insurers, we’ve recently added key functionality to our Risk Sharing Pool submission solution, regul8 RSP.
We added rules capabilities and algorithm development abilities to regul8, so that insurers putting policies into the risk sharing pool now have evaluation tools to enhance the process. No longer do carriers have to worry they have put lower risk policies into the pool than their competitors. They also can be confident they are not keeping too many policies they should be ceding.
Such advanced functionality may make the RSP playing field no longer level. Insurers that do not have regul8 RSP will be operating at a disadvantage. Therefore we are able to offer the solution to all insurers that cede policies to the RSP.
I suggest you contact us to learn more. We will complete an operational review to make sure we understand the problems you are facing, and we’ll also be able to explain how the rules and algorithms can work to help you optimize what you place in the pool.
regul8 for RSP can also come with an enhanced user interface to facilitate user evaluation and testing, further tilting the field towards those that use regul8.
Last week Debbie Olsen, VP of Product Innovations at iter8 attended the Applied Systems and ASCNet meetings (TENCON) in Nashville, and passed on her feedback....
The meetings were packed full of information, with representatives from across the P&C Insurance business in attendance. This included many of the contacts iter8 has formed with insurance carriers and independent agents. There was lots of catching up to be done, plus time to attend the many sessions.
iter8 integrates with The Agency Manager (TAM) in many ways, from simple upload to full data bridging to download. For the non-technical folks, data-bridging is where TAM sends an XML request to the Carrier when the user clicks on the Real-time Blue Butterfly in TAM, but the Carrier cannot fully and reliably respond inside the maximum 30-second window allowed by TAM for Real-time responses – so the Carrier sends a ‘link’ to TAM instead. This ‘link’ can be clicked in TAM to navigate the user to a secure and unique web page with the Real-time response. This method can be used regardless of whether the response link builds a pdf, a message screen or even a Carrier portal. The Carrier can easily specify a secure and unique link to send to TAM inside of the maximum 30 second window. While this data-bridging solution approaches a Real-time response in the practical sense of providing instant response information, it does not meet the real-time objective of starting and ending in the AMS.
Much of the discussion focussed on the new Epic system from Applied. Epic represents the next generation Agency Management System with new architecture and technology to support real-time, multiple lines and devices – all in a single system platform and database. It’s been live in the U.S. for over 3 years now and many bugs have been worked out, with plans to undertake a general Canadian roll-out in Q2 of 2013. Epic incorporates real-time rating inside the AMS, a requirement that drove the acquisition of Compu-quote in Canada. Since iter8 can fully and completely support done-in-one real-time transaction capability, we look forward with enthusiasm to working with the new Epic Canada product in early 2013.
To Applied and ASCNet I say – thank you for a great conference. Professional, informative and interesting – it doesn’t get any better.
The summer is flying past us. Already mid-August, and back-to-school commercials have been running for several weeks.
We’ve not blogged in the past two months, but have a stockpile of news to pass on.
The first piece of big news is our recently announced partnership with Appulate.
Appulate is a leading provider of forms parsing and data bridging technology, and the partnership allows iter8 to offer Appulate Uplink™ as an integrated part of iter8 product and service solutions. This ensures that the flow of data from agency management system to carrier policy administration system is smooth, easy to use and effective, and represents another way iter8 is working to offer choice to carriers, and independent agents/brokers, to use technology to effectively compete and grow.
At present Uplink can be used to bridge ACORD forms directly out of an agent’s management system or it can be used as a back-office tool to extract data from pdf forms. Insurance carriers can then use communic8™, to integrate the information with core systems, or apply business logic to validate, update or qualify the information. The solution aligns with both ACT and ACORD standards and needs, and represents a big step in improving the operating effectiveness of independnet agents and the carriers with which they work.
The partnership is in place for the US market, and the two companies are examining how to operationalize this in the Canadian market.
So Canadian carriers – let us know if this makes sense for you --- having independent brokers upload information from the BMS or via a pdf file, and have it captured and processed in a once and done manner.
Sounds pretty good to me!
The 12 ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum is now in the rear view mirror, and another successful conference is complete.
As in past years iter8 was an exhibitor and participant at the ACORD Forum and at the pre-show ACT and AUGIE meetings.
The pre-show ACT meetings included an update and discussion pertaining to the 4 key trends and industry “must-do” items identified by ACT earlier in 2012.They are:
i) Social Web
ii) Demographic/Diversity Transformation
iii) Mobile and Mobility
iv) Connected Consumer
In four bullets ACT has identified trends that will dictate technology investments for both independent agents and brokers and insurance carriers.
For example, Jeff Yates of ACT elaborated on the connected consumer, “...this consumer is empowered through technology to interact with the world around them and thereby shape how business responds. They find, share and communicate differently than a traditional consumer. They live on smart phones and tablets and network with friends and businesses through social and mobile technologies......they make buying decisions differently, and broadcast those decisions to their networked community....”
iter8, as a key technology provider to insurance carriers needs to lead the effort to develop new technology solutions, so that the connected customer has options to deal with multiple insurers.
And, we are.
Our new consumer portal launched at this year’s ACORD LOMA Conference, is designed to meet the needs of a connected consumer.
Built upon the same engine as the agent or broker portal the consumer portal enables not just billing and policy inquiry, but also policy change and new business quote capabilities. iter8 strongly believes portal solutions are not “just a pretty face”, and that the portal architecture is as important as the user interface.
Contact one of our portal experts to learn how the iter8 consumer portal can help you in dealing with these four key trends.
iter8 is an expert in the P&C software arena. And, once again we have been recognized as an award recipient.
Unica Insurance, Keal Technology and iter8 were recognized at the Insurance Canada Conference as a Technology Award Finalist.
The award was given for the Keal Connect solution that links Keal’s Broker or Agency Management System (sigXP) directly to the carrier (Unica) without any middleware of third-party software required by the broker. Keal Connect sends XML data in real-time directly to the carrier so that agents/brokers can perform Inquiry, New Business Upload and Manual Endorsement transactions.
Independent agents and brokers want seamless integrations that start and end in their AMS which this satisfies. This integration was delivered to the marketplace in less than 60 days due to iter8’s proven configurable software, Unica’s motivation to benefit their brokers, and sigXP’s modern architecture. Each of the transactions begins, and ends, in sigXP, with the inquiry transactions requiring no engagement with the Unica portal, allowing the Broker to work in the environment they are most comfortable with.
The next step for Keal Connect is the development of policy change transactions
Katherine Evans, CFO at Unica Insurance, Dave Patrick, VP at iter8 and Renee Durepos VP at Keal Technology were on hand to pick up the award.
The iter8 team of Phil Henville, Dave Patrick and Steve Gugler celebrate the iter8 award.
iter8 has just completed a study to examine the top reasons P&C insurance carriers add a modern, configurable rules engine (or configurator which is the term we use) to their legacy systems, or to their new core systems, to better evaluate new consumer and agent interactions.
4 top benefits to such efforts emerged.
1) Integrate Predictive Analytics results into underwriting production systems
2) Make better underwriting decisions 3) Expand underwriting capabilities
4) Push underwriting system management to business users
Click here for a more complete description.
Modern solutions, such as simul8 offered by iter8 are able to integrate with legacy or modern policy administration solutions, and provide portals and web interfaces with rules and business logic to evaluate new business, renewals and policy changes.
Whether you have instances of Full touch underwriting, Light touch underwriting or No touch underwriting, a rules configurator enables fast, easy to use rules application to streamline workflow, ensure consistency, and better assess risk.
iter8 recently participated in the NAMIC Commercial Lines Seminar, and the Insurance Canada Technology Conference.
In both sessions there was a strong sense of the need to enhance agent or broker collaboration with the insurance carrier. In past years independent agents and carriers squabbled about technology details. Arguments such as “I want fewer keystrokes....or ....that’s your job, I don’t want to do your job....or ....we want more share of your business.....or....we built this technology, you’d better use it” often overrode more strategic issues. They were and are important, but don’t build the long term market.
Yet this year I sensed a greater need to work together to address strategic issues such as: How can we develop more user-friendly on line applications? How can we integrate agency management systems with carrier systems? How can we meet policy holder needs to deliver better service? How can we automate commercial lines tasks?
You may ask, is this just short term, or are carriers and agents and brokers working more collaboratively?
My observation, this is not short term, and it represents a strong will to work collaboratively. Each group is looking at ways to address the continued loss of market share to direct writers.
In the commercial market, where agents have often felt secure, the direct writers are automating tasks to write smaller packages, creating specialized offers, and building their marketing plans and supporting technology.
Broker and Agent driven companies need to do the same. What technology is necessary to connect agents and carriers to address commercial packages, BOP and mid-market accounts? How is collaboration to be obtained? How are tasks to be automated, workflows managed, and underwriters provided with tools to effectively manage larger commercial accounts?
iter8 has answers and solutions. You can learn more about them at several upcoming conferences and industry events where we are participating.
Carriers need to start acting now so that technology is put in place to automate commercial lines quoting, new business submission and provide policy holder and agent self service, so they will be able to compete with direct writers that are planning their next round of technology innovation.