One of the most crucial and visible processes in the specialty P&C space is also one of the slowest to adopt modern tech: data collection and management. In other words, getting applications from agents and making sure they convert to bound policies.
This means frustrated applicants, dated customer experiences, and a ton of lost opportunities for insurers. Most data collection and management remains manual despite many valiant efforts to optimize. This can be due to reluctance to change standard business processes or simply new tools that are not up to the task.
In a study conducted by consulting giant McKinsey, nine out of ten insurers recognize they are “struggling to develop the technology infrastructure they need to support digitization.” A barrier to their development is the size and complexity of insurers’ IT systems, many of which are based on dated legacy platforms.
At Surefyre, that’s precisely what we solve for. As a nimble and modern platform dedicated to automating the rate-quote-bind-issue process, we’ve built an answer to legacy tech and the growing negative business impact that results.
Today, we’re zooming in on the current application submission stage of the insurance sales cycle. As long as paper or manually-entered PDFs remain a significant part of the submission process challenges of poor data quality and lagging sales will remain.
Why submissions are lost
In the current process, underwriters spend countless hours checking, following up, and manually reconfirming submission data. This is usually done through a convoluted chain of phone calls, emails, and third party systems.
These are unnecessary distractions from core underwriting activities and closing new business. The result is teams working with one hand tied behind their back, making productivity a fraction of what it should be.
In our research, we found that the most common pitfalls include:
- Not following up on incomplete submissions
- Low quality data adding time to the sales cycle
How to fix it with automation
The solution is leveraging automation to accomplish two things:
Consistent Communication – Some communication requires a personal touch, others should be automated. Not following up on incomplete applications or unsigned quotes is leaving a lot of business on the table. Automation is the solution here too. Workflow automation should be used to automatically ping applicants when they have pending submissions. Many insurers attempt to do this manually. Even in cases where they are consistent, their time should be spent processing new business instead.
Higher Quality Data – Modern platforms like Surefyre can automatically validate data as it’s entered. Whether it’s confirming that all exposures add up or pre-filling property information from a third party database, this type of automation is better for everyone. It means less need for back and forth between agent and underwriter, faster quotes, and more binds. Agents get a streamlined experience and insurers operate more efficiently.
Surefyre ensures submissions are never lost or stagnant by notifying the responsible party when work is in their court. From simple submission notifications to time-based renewal notifications, automation, setting simple and repeatable communication to autopilot is a game changer.
Clear Communication Saves More Than Just Time
What’s more, Harvard Business Review found back in 2014 that “the simple digitization of existing insurance processes (allowing quotes to go straight through processing, for example, and rapid product configuration) could yield strong improvement to operating profit margins.”
And that’s the key. Automation is not just solving for a nuisance, it’s providing a great agent experience and measurably improving insurer sales by reducing the resources needed to bind policies.