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Canadian Underwriter -
Electronic signatures make workflow less cumbersome. They can also produce an audit trail for each transaction and provide proof that the customer received and read the documentation before he or she signed it.
Tear Down This Wall
Imagine if Amazon's online book-buying process worked the same way that insurance company portals work. Brokerages with as few as five markets are too busy doing training, managing passwords and keeping procedures current. Several improvements are required.
Use What You Have
A recent ad-hoc survey found that fewer than 1% of brokers work in real time with their insurers and none of them support access to their insureds on a 24-7 basis. Brokers can now operate in real time with their insurer suppliers, but the dedication to take full advantage of the technology is lacking.
What should a broker do upon discovering that a producer has intentionally failed to advise clients about a necessary document or piece of information until a sales contest was under way, in order to ensure that new sales were revealed during contests? In doing so, clients felt they were fully covered when, in fact, they were not. Brokers agree this violates RIBO's rules.
The View Ahead
Auto insurance, severe weather, profitability and interest rates were among the topics discussed at CW Consulting's Crystal Ball in January. Among other issues, industry executives explained why the data gleaned from their telematics devices identify them as bad drivers.
Commercial brokers waste time and create needless aggravation if they have to leave their own commercial management system and then log in separately to a carrier's system in order to look up a client's policy wording. With real-time wording lookup, brokers store portal credentials, save time and cut the risk of referring to an out-of-date policy wording.
Get the Picture
Some insurers are drowning in a sea of data, but by presenting the information in a pictorial or graphical format, professionals can make quick decisions to reduce costs, detect fraud and make better decisions on pricing.
While some retailers are letting customers interact using mobile technologies, social media and self-serve kiosks, one expert says the insurance industry is just starting to grapple with the "omni-channel environment" while another contends that carriers have done little more than move paper-based transaction processes online. One senior IT executive for a property & casualty carrier notes that legacy policy administration computer systems are one obstacle and warns that a distribution strategy involving wireless devices and tablets raises information security concerns.
Moves and Views
Telematics is generating plenty of buzz, but it has yet to be seen whether the technology will simply be an expensive discounting tool.
Leading by Example
James Cameron, honoured last fall with the Established Leader Award from The CIP Society, knows full well the value of giving back to one's industry, one's business and one's self.