Boost Customer Satisfaction with Connected, Automated Underwriting Processes

Gijsbert Cox, EMEA Insurance Industry Leader
March 2, 2022

The insurance industry is undergoing massive modernization to improve outdated processes and enhance policyholder experiences. Delivering a connected insurance experience has become critical for insurers to stay competitive as the marketplace digitizes and insurtechs emerge, bringing new challenges to more established providers.

 

Core to an insurer’s overall connected insurance experience are workflows that ensure a seamless, accelerated digital underwriting process for potential policyholders. Quote requests are typically a customer's first impression of an insurer—it's crucial to make the experience a good one. 

 “Now is the time to break the rules of underwriting and rewrite them using an automated, data-driven process underpinned by a robust technology strategy and platform.” —Accenture

Customer expectations for a digital experience are on the rise. Only 15% of customers say they are satisfied with their insurer’s digital experience, and customers under the age of 55 are nearly three times more likely than those who are 55+ to switch insurers for better digital tools. So how can insurers meet customer expectations while improving internal workflows to return a quote in a timely, digital manner? First, let’s discuss why outdated underwriting workflows hinder insurers’ opportunity to scale.

Disconnected processes make for a poor experience for potential policyholders.

Traditional underwriting poses several challenges to insurers and intermediaries. Coordinating data acquisition, managing versions of spreadsheets, and entering and re-entering data across many different systems consumes underwriting resources and slows the pursuit of profitable business by adding time and complexity to the analysis and pricing process. 

Two key drivers to improve underwriting processes are efficiency and enhanced customer experience. For many insurers, the underwriting process today largely occurs via email, manually updated spreadsheets, phone calls, or going back to the broker/intermediary to contact the customer for more information. These tedious tasks overcomplicate processes and stifle efficiency. 

Efficiency is particularly critical when handling submissions that are not in good order (NIGO). Not only does inefficiency in this phase drive up costs, but it also leads to a poor customer experience as insurers or brokers/intermediaries have to go back and try to contact the customer, resulting in delays and frustration.

69% of paper applications received by study participants were NIGO. In stark contrast, for participating insurers offering electronic applications and a digital experience, the NIGO rate fell to just 5%. 

Source: Celent

Simplify underwriting workflows.

To streamline underwriting workflows, insurers must first simplify them. Identify where roadblocks exist and where inefficiencies are rooted. The faster you can quote, rate, and bind, the more likely you are to win new business. The longer this takes, the more likely the customer will sign with another provider with a more customer-centric process and digital experience, increasing your percent not taken up (NTU) ratio.

Underwriters hold a great deal of responsibility when assessing risk. They often face “analysis paralysis” with all the data available at their fingertips—resulting in overthinking a potential customer’s profile and slowing down the underwriting process. This is where automated underwriting processes and a unified low-code platform can help. 

Unify data and automate processes with digital underwriting tools.

Automation plays a critical role in quote submission triage and complements the underwriting team’s capabilities to leave mundane, repetitive tasks to bots and value-driven work to the underwriting team.

By using a unified low-code platform, insurers can take their disparate data sources and unify them for the underwriters, giving them all the pertinent info they need in one view. Rapid access to account information helps increase their efficiency and decision-making accuracy. For this, integration is imperative. In the wise words of EY, “Optimally, internal and external data can be shared in a cohesive manner across a host of applications and toolsets, from underwriting desktops, rules, and modeling solutions and policy administration systems to CRM, billing, and claims systems to data warehouses, analytics applications, and reporting software.” 

Integrated low-code data gives underwriters the ability to view all relevant information in one place. They can then easily complete tasks and collaborate with cross-functional teams. 

Accelerating the digital underwriting process with a single, unified low-code platform delivers these key benefits to insurers:

  • Automate new business clearance and risk appetite assessment.
  • Drive efficiency in core processes and enable more efficient pricing and quoting.
  • Unify structured and unstructured data from internal and external systems.
  • Enable collaboration through alerts, workflow management, and co-work tasks.
  • Personalize process and business reports for immediate visibility with real-time, actionable analytics.

These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg for insurers looking to automate their workflows and enable accelerated underwriting for their teams. We’ve further outlined the benefits of connected underwriting, how it improves profitability and the customer experience, and how low-code enables this transformation for insurers in our whitepaper, Unlock the Power of Connected Underwriting