In recent months rapidMATION has been working with a wide range of insurance brokers who are all looking to transform the way they do business.
Their goals have all been the same, they need to:
- Improve customer engagement across the customer lifecycle
- Reduce costs and simplify their business
- Meet their compliance requirements
- Maintain cashflow and
- Have a foundation for growth and acceleration
The impact of COVID-19 and the accompanying social and economic lockdown have only served to accelerate the need for this transformation.
Improved customer engagement
Insurance broking is a relationship business. Customers are looking for a trusted advisor to guide them through, what is for most people, a complicated purchasing decision. Beyond the selection of the right policy, customers are looking for a “real” person to talk to when they need it most, which is when they need to claim on their insurance.
From the conversations that we have had, the biggest impediment to improving customer engagement is releasing brokers from repetitive, time-consuming tasks.
As an example, a General Manager at an insurance broker recently told us that it takes their brokers between an hour and an hour and a half to produce a quote after speaking to the customer.
Platforms like Steadfast’s Insight and Virtual Underwriter and Ebix’s Sunrise simplify the interaction between brokers and underwriters but the common complaint that we hear is that brokers end up spending up to three-quarters of their day re-keying information between emails, spreadsheets and these and other systems in order to produce a quote or renewal.
The leadership teams at insurance brokers are looking for ways to release their brokers from these repetitive, low-value tasks so they can spend more time engaging directly with their customers and talking to prospects to drive new business.
Brokers end up spending up to three-quarters of their day re-keying
information between emails, spreadsheets, and other systems.
Reducing costs and simplifying their business
The administrative burden that is placed on the brokers is then reflected across the rest of the business. Whether it is processing claims – or accounts teams chasing invoices – the large volume of administrative, repetitive tasks have seen brokers utilising offshore teams to tackle this challenge.
Before COVID-19 the use of offshore teams was necessary in order to scale, but there was a general dissatisfaction in both the cost-to-outcome ratio provided by these teams and the feeling that their use only served to highlight the need to transform the business rather than be the answer to it.
With COVID-19 disrupting offshore teams as much, if not more so, than local teams the need to onshore the functions they provide is now a matter of urgency as it is seen as a key part to their business continuity plans. But it is not as simple as that.
Aspirationally all the businesses that we have dealt with would prefer to hire locally but the economics of it cannot be ignored. The ideal scenario for these businesses is to reduce the human capital expenditure that is required to address these administrative, low-value tasks so they can reinvest it in recruiting more locally based brokers.
Meeting compliance requirements
As a heavily regulated industry, the need for brokers to meet their compliance requirements is not new. The challenge for many is that the workload burden for meeting those compliance requirements lands heavily on individual brokers.
Well defined standard operating procedures can set out a clear roadmap for what is required of each role in the business but there is an absence of end-to-end tools to simplify the compliance requirements.
Management is obviously concerned with this. They see their prime revenue drivers burdened with another task that is taking time away from brokers engaging directly with customers and prospects. The workload burden flows downstream to them too as they are spending significant time conducting these spot checks and manual audits.
Cashflow and accounts receivable
Cashflow and accounts receivable are always relevant, but COVID-19 has certainly brought it front and centre to every company.
In a high volume, low margin business chasing hundreds of debtors a month is a critical function that is both time-consuming and costly. Accounts departments are already processing thousands of new accounts and renewals a month and the burden of chasing debtors is a task they could do without.
A foundation for growth and acceleration
The insurance brokers that we have engaged with have said their wage costs range between 45%-50% of their business. Their ability to grow, and now more importantly, rapidly rebound from COVID-19 cannot be on the back of increased wage costs.
Insurance brokers are looking past IT modernisation to digital transformation and beyond, as the foundation on which they can build. The question for most is, where do they invest to get an immediate impact that cuts across their whole organisation setting their future operating model.
So how can automation change your insurance broking business?
Here are three solution examples that we have successfully delivered for our customers recently:
Building a quote is time consuming and requires Brokers to re-key data into multiple systems. Watch here as a software bot automates the end-to-end quotation process and hands the Broker the completed quote to send to the customer.
The Claims Process is the key moment in your customer journey. You need it to be friction-free for your customers and internal teams. Watch here as chatbots, digital forms and software bots come together to deliver the next generation claims experience.
Chasing debtors is critical for your cash flow and to ensure your clients have their expected coverage but accounts receivable should not be another cost centre. Watch here as a software bot automates downloading your debtors aging schedule and composes the most appropriate communications to send to your clients.