eNoah: An Interview with Coleen Moser

eNoah Coleen Monser

Hank George Interviews Coleen Moser 

Originally published in Hot Notes September, 2020

 

Several of my friends lost their livelihoods when EMSI suddenly shut down. We offered to assist them in their hunt for new opportunities. That is when we found about eNoah.

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We want Hot Notes readers to get a proverbial “bird’s eye view” at what eNoah does, and we asked my friend Coleen if she would do this interview and answer the questions we have.

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She said “yes,” and here is what she’s shared.

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What is eNoah?

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eNoah is a global provider of services for life insurers. These include contract underwriting, medical record retrieval and medical record summarization.

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The recent expansion of U.S. onshore operations enables eNoah to provide an accelerated end-to-end process speeding up decision-making by insurers.

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What do you consider to be the biggest challenge life insurance carriers and underwriters face today?

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The capacity to adapt to evolving market needs.

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Producers (agents, brokers) and insurance applicants have become accustomed to the “Amazon experience,” where they can select the product they want at the price they are comfortable with and have it in as little as one day. This expectation complicates the life insurance application-to-issue process. Attending physicians’ statements can take weeks to acquire and review.

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Because of this, there is increasing pressure to make faster decisions with less information while cutting costs and continuing to be competitive.

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Unfortunately, insurance has been one of the slowest sectors to adopt new technologies. This can be a herculean task, in part because the amount of data in the medical histories, that underwriters must review, keeps increasing.

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Accessing records through patient portals and e-health records has exposed gaps in data and inconsistent formatting. Many essential portions of the standard medical record may not be included, increasing the odds of underwriting errors.

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Complete medical records can exceed 1,000 pages. They typically include lab slips, medications, ECG tracings, clinic notes, follow up notes, surgical procedure summaries and countless other documents. It is a tedious process for an underwriter to review every page of the APS to find those key bits of information that can make or break a case.

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eNoah’s mission is to greatly reduce decision-making intervals by relieving underwriters of most of this burden. This is accomplished via customizable solutions ranging from a traditional medical record summary to utilizing eXtract Plus, which utilizes innovative technology for a system-driven overview of the APS. When insurers deploy this novel resource, there are always going to be those occasions when the underwriter needs a full summary of the APS. When requested, this can be done within 48 hours.

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How do eNoah’s eXtract Plus and APS Summarizations speed up the risk assessment process and take pressure off underwriters?

Underwriting requires exquisite attention to detail honed by years of experience and a broad knowledge base. eNoah’s focus is creating powerful tools to help underwriters make accurate decisions more rapidly and less tediously.

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These tools were built for underwriters by underwriters that created resources and software leveraging the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence. ML and AI can —with great accuracy — read through and filter a client’s entire medical history spanning several hundred pages in just minutes, and provide deep insights to the underwriter to quickly make informed decisions.

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eXtract Plus gives underwriters quick, easy access to the critical decision-making data on the most complex cases. It is a versatile platform that can be used in many scenarios, depending on what the underwriter is trying to achieve.

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For example, an underwriter needing to check for certain conditions before making a decision can now run a search and very quickly see what’s happening in terms of medications, labs, procedures, how many years someone has been on a treatment, frequency of drugs taken, and dosages. And this is done with great accuracy that is realized by mitigating or eliminating human errors.

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eXtract Plus was designed to be intuitive and easy to use. Access can be provided via a secure login, and training for most underwriters can take place in less than an hour via a video tutorial, with the eNoah team readily available to ease that transition.

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eNoah data are stored in the U.S. on a secure server with HIPAA-compliant and ISO-Certified protocols that protect data.

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How much underwriting time can be saved using eNoah’s products and services?

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A traditional APS review can range anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the length of the APS. Internal studies suggest 20-50% of underwriter time is saved by eXtract Plus.

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eXtract Plus is more than a simple search engine. The software also provides underwriters with content directly from the medical records itself.

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For example, let’s say I want to know what medications a client has taken over their lifetime, or how a medication relates to lab values for certain treatments. You can see all pertinent data needed in these contexts to make a decision in a matter of minutes. And it can be customized easily to best suit the needs of each company.

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– – – – –

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Thank you, Coleen.

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All of this technology is fascinating even for an old technophobe.

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I confess that I’m coming to appreciate how its capacity to rid us of tedium empowers underwriting professionals to make the best possible decisions on every case they see.

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To read more about Hot Notes September 2020 click here.

Management Research Services announces “New” Self-Configure Model!

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MRS Self-Configure Platform Press Release

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Management Research Services (MRS) is extremely excited to announce our newest form of an e-App platform, our Self-Configure model! Over the course of the last few months, MRS has been consistently working to make a process that allows insurers to optimize their internal resources to support field operations. Now, this process has become a reality due to MRS’ no-code, easily configurable, and cloud-based platform. The insurance companies’ internal teams can oversee the configuration requirements and implementation daily and guide their own field operations and sales teams. This new service model not only saves time but also saves almost 35% of the total unit cost resulting in increased profitability margins for the insurer. MRS is also assisting this transformation with training, guidance, and ongoing supervision. We pride ourselves on our quality service standards that allow our customers to become experts in their field. We believe that we are successful when our clients are successful.  You could be next when it comes to digital transformation and development!

GG Oncel, our Head of Customer Strategy and Growth stated “We are very excited about this new chapter as part of our no-code and easily configurable genius platform. This new service option will help insurance companies that prefer to utilize their internal resources as part of the processes and make it their own solution. We are still providing continued supervision via our 100% US-based Customer Success teams giving ‘peace of mind’ to our clients at the same time.”

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At MRS, we help clients transform change into a competitive advantage.

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MRS provides a high-end technology product to life, health, and annuity insurance industries.  In today’s world where “the only thing constant is change,” that original vision has been expanded to include more services and technology capabilities designed to help clients adapt quickly and in a cost-effective way.  MRS has invested heavily in our technology platform to create a foundation for the next revolution in life insurance.  MRS’s No-Code platform gives you all the tools needed to build a highly secure, complex application that efficiently collects voice and electronic data without writing a single line of code.  The result is a vastly reduced time to market with no initial or ongoing maintenance costs making the total cost of ownership substantially lower than status quo solutions.  Our platform’s ability to support powerful reflexive logic makes the MRS rules engine extremely efficient in collecting all information needed to make a point-of-sale decision.  The capabilities and flexibility of our platform allow customers to use the MRS technology platform as their single solution or as a tool to support and enhance current technology solutions they already have in place.  Please visit us at www.managementresearchservices.com or contact us by email at sales@mrsreps.com to learn more!

 

Customer Experience with a Millennial Mind

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Joe Martin / ReadWrite

It’s not how we’ve always done it, and that’s a good thing. Here is a guide to creating a customer experience with a millennial state of mind.

 

Millennials’ communication styles are different from prior generations. Younger workers appear to have a clear preference for visual content, particularly videos. When faced with an issue, they’ll watch a YouTube tutorial to figure out how to fix their broken vacuum rather than dust off the text-heavy owner’s manual.

 

Many millennials’ preferred methods of connection and communication involve an abundance of emojis, GIFs, memes, and acronyms.

How will your business connect to this generation? How do you create a customer experience that will make an impact and create a loyal customer out of this generation? Chances are, many of your employees are part of this generation and the customers they’re interacting with are their peers.

 

Enabling your employees with the communication tools necessary to connect in the ways that are natural for them is essential in providing high-quality customer interactions that can improve satisfaction, increase referrals, and drop churn like it’s hot.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Stand Out with Millennials

Business owners who pay attention and apply the technologies that are central to the millennial’s world do so by using the tools they already interact with on a day-to-day basis.

 

As you learn millennials’ language and communication styles, you’ll gain insight into creating a high-touch, personalized experience using software specialized just for that. Customized and highly personal is the key to creating a meaningful experience while simultaneously improving your bottom line.

 

Here are five key concepts that will help you break through the noise and tailor your customer experience to Millennials.

  1. Be Authentic
  2. Show, Don’t Tell
  3. Work Around Their Schedule
  4. Speak Their Language
  5. Know Your Audience

1. Be Authentic

‍Millennials conduct copious amounts of research before they make just about any purchasing decision. Because so much is available, data has shown that millennials are more likely to make decisions for their money and their life based on their values.

 

A Nielsen report found that 73% of millennials will pay more for a product that is sustainable— and the word “sustainable” is equated with “trustworthiness” in a millennial’s mind.

 

How will you stand out? Emanate authenticity.

Our millennials are people who been inundated with choices their whole lives and their generation is spoilt with them. You can bet the one thing — they know how to differentiate everything. The Millennial knows the better from the best — it’s kind of like knowing the difference between a pair of Yeezys and a pair of Feezys, or Ray Bans from Ray Berries.

Your product and team have a story. Tell it with transparency to invite connection with people both in and out of your company.

 Be Trustworthy

Trustworthiness and transparency allow you to connect with customers in an authentic way. Go beyond the taglines and offer information. Present knowledge that isn’t typically required or shared on a product label or business brief — such as the brand story.

Tell how your brand may be contributing positively to the world, and how much your company upholds honesty and integrity with its employees and clients.

 

It’s often independent initiatives that provide this information to millennials, but this extra effort is important — don’t pass up the opportunity to do it. You extra effort could be the very thing that sets your company apart from the competitors.

Some examples of ways to communicate authentically include having an ‘About Us’ page on your website.

 

Have your social media engagement up-to-date and interesting to create community. Opt for live-streams with a webcam recording software as opposed to a formal press release information.

 

Couple these well-founded efforts with communication software that speaks the way millennials do, and you’ve found yourself a pair of listening ears. Have your spots at least for 8 seconds — that’s the amount of time it takes for millennials to decide whether they’ll move on to their next option.

 

Be careful with using AI to completely replace your customer support. If not done properly, your AI effort can cost you customers and loyalty.

 

The Future of Insurance USA 2020: Discover the CEO and C-level Speakers Confirmed for Reuters Events Flagship Insurance Conference

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Reuters Events have today launched their flagship insurance event, The Future of Insurance USA (November 16-18th 2020). The Future of Insurance USA is the industry’s most senior strategic conference, uniting top decision makers from across the insurance ecosystem. This one-of-a-kind event comprises of 3 days of C-level led, executive discussion on the trends and challenges that are transforming our rapidly evolving industry. With so many opportunities for growth within the insurance landscape, now is the time for decision makers across all insurance lines to collaborate and realign strategies for innovative tech, customer engagement, product development and more.

 

Discover the CEOs and C-level speakers confirmed here.

 

A few of the industry-leading CEOs already confirmed to speak at The Future of Insurance include Maurice Hank Greenberg (CEO and Chairman, C.V. Starr & Co. Inc., Starr Insurance Companies and The Starr Foundation), Brooks Tingle (President and CEO, John Hancock), Bruce Carnegie-Brown (Chairman, Lloyd’s of London) and Dan Glaser (CEO, Marsh & McLennan Companies). They will be joined by:

  • Peter McMutrie, President of P&C Commercial Lines, Nationwide
  • Jane Possell, Chief Information Officer, CNA Insurance
  • Greg Tacchetti, Chief Information Officer, State Auto
  • Shiela Companie, Chief Life Actuary, Amica
  • Naveen Agarwal, Chief Marketing Officer, Prudential
  • Amy Freidrich, President of Insurance, Principal

And many, many more…

 

Discover the CEOs and C-level speakers confirmed here.

 

Reuters Events recognises not only the overarching challenges facing the industry, but also the individual obstacles within each sector. With an agenda that takes a focussed look at issues within each insurance line such as smart homes, business interruption, healthcare data sharing and beyond, as well as a birds-eye, collaborative view of the insurance landscape in its entirety, The Future of Insurance is truly an unmissable event for all carriers.

 

With an unrivalled C-level line up, The Future of Insurance USA 2020 is expecting more than 10,000 virtual attendees from across the North American insurance ecosystem. Providing you with strategies to transform each core pillar of Strategy, Product Development, Innovative Tech and Customer Engagement to deliver what the connected customer is demanding: personalized products, real-time engagement, and seamless service. For more information, please visit the website or get in touch with a member of the Reuters Events Insurance team.

 

More information can be found on the website https://events.insurancenexus.com/connectedusa/

 

Contact: Ira Sopic

Reuters Events

Email: ira.sopic@insurancenexus.com

 

iPipeline Expands Product Management Group with Appointment of Industry Veteran Roy Goodart

Roy iPipelien 20 Year

Focus Will Be on Advancement of iPipeline’s SSG Digital Platform for Brokers and Advisors, Direct Writers and the Direct-to-Consumer Digital Experience

 

EXTON, PA (August 4, 2020) – iPipeline®, a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry, today announced the appointment of Roy Goodart as VP of Product Management. A 20-year veteran with a record of success in managing SaaS and business process automation platforms for the life insurance and financial services industry, Goodart comes to iPipeline from Paperless Solutions Group, where he served as Chief of Product and Customer Success. In his new role at iPipeline, he will be responsible for implementing his vision for the enhancement of the SSG Digital® Platform and Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) solutions, as well as executing the company’s overall product strategy to fulfill customers’ digital initiatives.

 

“We have been re-thinking our approach to our solutions given the impact of the COVID pandemic. As part of our initiative to accelerate the pace of digital transformation we have decided to add multiple additional senior leaders and top talent to our Product organization. We are happy to welcome Roy Goodart back to iPipeline to drive a seamless digital experience for consumers, agents, and advisors.” said Larry Berran, CEO, iPipeline. “We are looking to double down on our investment in this space and Roy has a track record of producing innovative, easy-to-use products that meet the immediate needs of our industry. Given the likelihood that more business will be transacted remotely, one of his strategic initiatives will be the continued development of comprehensive, next-gen direct-to-consumer (DTC) solutions, including DTC offerings enabled by advisors and brokers. Roy is no stranger to anyone in our industry, and we are pleased to have him onboard at iPipeline to drive our innovation.”

 

“iPipeline is in a unique position to deliver incredible value to an industry greatly in need of fulfilling their digital transformation imperative. The new challenges emerging from COVID-19 are going to be with us for the foreseeable future. There is no better way to overcome remote engagement obstacles than by using an integrated platform designed for agents, advisors, and consumers,” said Roy Goodart, VP of Product Management, iPipeline. “My immediate focus will be on advancing the SSG Digital platform, integrating new products, and delivering on the next installment of a DTC solution to power sales and meet consumer expectations.”

 

Prior to Goodart’s role at Paperless Solutions Group, he held key executive positions at Prospect9, Aplifi, AgencyWorks, and InsureSocket. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing at Westminster College, and a Master of Business Administration Degree from University of Phoenix.

 

For assistance in reimagining how your organization does business in the COVID-19 environment and to achieve a competitive digital advantage, contact sales@ipipeline.com or call 1-800-758-0824, option 2.

 

About iPipeline

iPipeline is a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry. Through our SSG Digital, end-to-end platform, we accelerate and simplify sales, compliance, operations and support. We provide process automation and seamless integration between every participant in our ecosystem including carriers, agents, general agencies, advisors, broker-dealers, RIAs, banks, securities/mutual fund firms, and their consumers on a global basis. Our innovative solutions include pre-sales support, new business and underwriting, policy administration, point-of-sale execution of applications, post-sale support, data analysis, reporting, user-driven configuration, consumer delivery and self-service, and agency and firm management.

 

iPipeline’s platform is used by approximately 150 carriers, 1,400 distributors and financial institutions, and their agents and licensed advisors in a cloud-based environment. With headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania, iPipeline has locations in Bromley (UK), Burlington (Canada), Cheltenham (UK), Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Huntersville, Ontario (CA), Philadelphia, Pleasanton, and Salt Lake City. Visit www.ipipeline.com.

 

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For iPipeline:

Lisa Shea

Marketing

lshea@ipipeline.com

484 870 6234

Solving Unique Pain Points For Life Insurance New Business And Underwriting

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By Ken Leibow

Published: August Broker World Magazine

 

There are a lot of changes happening in the life insurance industry because of COVID-19—market environment, types of insurance products, processes, and technology. As these changes are evolving, there are unique challenges impacting new business and underwriting. I want to show you some innovative solutions solving these pain points.

 

Life Carriers Need Predictive Underwriting in the COVID-19 World
In a perfect world insurance companies are changing their strategy in a void, a company changes pricing while the industry is static and the company can evaluate the impact on the policyholders and the profitability of the company over time. Due to new regulations, principle-based reserving (PBR) and a new standard mortality table, the 2017 Commissioners Standard Ordinary (CSO) Table, and now due to COVID-19, companies are changing pricing while the rest of the industry is also changing pricing. To be able to trace the impact of a change, to simulate strategies and make decisions quickly, companies must have reliable data and predictive technology (such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) to evaluate the impact in real time.

 

Companies are building complex products, and sophisticated underwriting protocols and benefit programs, to attract specific distributors, producers and customers or specific market segments or specific risks. Being able to simulate what-if scenarios and build strategies based on data allows companies to be more scientific and therefore generate better results. COVID-19 disrupted the way insurance companies onboard a policy, there is a move to eApp, underwriting is done remotely, the ability to take liquids has decreased. Companies that can predict the probability a policy will be placed and what would be the biggest driver to improve placement probability can help companies optimize their operation, reduce waste, and improve consumer satisfaction with the process.

 

iPipeline,® a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry, has integrated its InsureSight Case Analytics Platform with Atidot’s Predictive Analytics Models to analyze the impact of product and pricing changes based on prior sales performance and industry data. The ability to predict future performance based on product selection, producer group, producer, location, demographic and other critical factors, will enable life carriers to adjust product, pricing, or distribution strategy dynamically to optimize market penetration.

 

Transform Paper Apps into Digitized In-Good-Order Applications
In an ideal world we all want our agents to use eApp for submitting life insurance applications instead of paper so that they are submitted in-good-order, processed quicker, and automated as much as possible without having to manually handle the case. There are times when agents will paper-out of an eApp for various reasons or send paper apps to a BGA sending it down that NIGO, slow, expensive path. But now there is a solution to get the app back on track on the data highway. PaperClip, Inc., has a platform called Mojo. This is an innovative cloud-based service that digitizes the life insurance paper application from handwritten or typed text with 99.9 percent accuracy transforming it to data and data transactions.

 

Let’s say, for example, an agent sends a handwritten paper application to the BGA. The BGA then scans the paper application into Mojo, securely transforming the application into data. The BGA can use Mojo for several purposes. Mojo can send data to the agency management system (AMS) to auto-create the case. At the same time, Mojo can file the documents into the BGA’s document management system like PaperClip’s VCF System. And the application data transformed by Mojo can be sent to an eApp platform automatically to get it back on track and in good order. iPipeline has partnered with PaperClip whereby Mojo is seamlessly integrated into iGO eApp. iPipeline calls the integrated solution iGO Link. If the agent had papered-out of iGO, they still would have the opportunity from the BGA’s website to access iGO Link and get it back on track into the eApp process.

 

BGA’s can Reign in the Costs and Turn Around Times for Informals
Informal underwriting has not kept pace with the advances in formal underwriting. For decades there have been two forms of informal underwriting practiced by agents and agencies. One way, all the collection of health information is collected by the agency before formally presenting a prospect to carriers. When an agency does not have the resources of a support team nor a strong, cooperative relationship with the prospect, an agency will use a victim carrier’s formal underwriting to prequalify a prospect. With this second way, an agent’s investment may only be to find the carrier with the lowest Super Preferred rate, get a ticket app and let the carrier, the agency and the prospect do all the work until the carrier can come back with an offer. Often this offer is not Super Preferred and underwriting and selling starts from here.

 

Both processes are expensive and disruptive. Employee Pooling (EP) has a better solution. They can eliminate weeks of physical and emotional toll on all parties. EP’s accelerated informal platform uses data technology and human capital to give distributors on-demand access to the tools traditionally reserved for insurance companies. Tom Gray, CEO of Employee Pooling, said, “I have been on the distribution side of this industry for 30 years. This is how it has been. I have been determined to obtain solid underwriting data to use to get a meaningful tentative offer that can be counted on and reign in the costs and turn-around time. Our platform can find rich medical data, have it assessed by technology and our medical team and deliver an underwritable package, often within 24 hours. This way, the EP way, gives the agency the tools to put a summarized case up for bid and find the right carrier able to offer a premium that can be placed. The rest is a formality.”

 

eApp and Auto-Underwriting using an Omni-channel Sales Model
Life Insurance is still sold and not bought, however instant issue or simplified issue products can be quoted and applications electronically submitted through a consumer facing solution. This is not a carrier direct-to-consumer model because we are maintaining the agent ecosystem for the purpose of having the agent available for questions and for upselling and cross selling. There is a trend with several vendors today providing these eApp/Sales tools for agents and agencies. Management Research Services (MRS) has a unique platform that is No-Code, fully configurable electronic application platform. It can streamline requirement gathering during the application process, gathering data in the background (in real time) to reduce time with the applicant and provide an instant underwriting decision. Utilize the omni-channel approach to customize your sale, whether in an e-app, tele-app, or both. MRS’ seamless case management provides transparency for your agency and agents so they know where every applicant stands in the process.
COVID-19 and the unstable economy, with service providers who may or may not be in business tomorrow, it is time for BGAs and IMOs to take more control of their business by adding a call center to their agencies. Some of the benefits include increased customer satisfaction, higher conversion rate in completing submitted applications, and higher placement ratio. You also get an automated drop ticket experience that you control. A BGA who changes their model by adding a call center will get more efficiency and reduced costs in agent recruitment, freeing up specialists to focus on handling calls that utilize their expertise. There is consistent service when adding a call center which results in overall improved call quality.

 

BGAs and IMOs Can Take More Control of their Business by Adding a Call Center

A BGA will need a software solution that can seamlessly automate the drop ticket fulfillment process for the call center. ApplicInt’s CallComplete software is an end-to-end digital platform for a call center, already plugged into the carrier’s fulfillment process for completing the app with a client interview for term life drop tickets. CallComplete allows you to take control of the drop ticket process and better service your agents, automatically receiving the drop ticket from the eApp platform and then the carrier’s script, process, and voice signature are all integrated into CallComplete for either scheduling the exam or automatically ordering RX, MIB and MVR for an accelerating underwriting process.

 

Features of a Call Center for a BGA and IMO:

  • Real time assistance for the agent to help complete the drop ticket;
  • Warm transfer agent to client;
  • Call center can initiate the interview without a drop ticket;
  • Agent recruitment (prospecting);
  • Promoting new products and services, then handing over or scheduling to a specialist;
  • Front line to support agents for high level questions; and,
  • Agent pre-script before the carrier compliant interview and post-script cross-selling and agent referrals.

 

Yes, the digital sales model, whether agent-facing or consumer-facing, is being pushed in a direction requiring flexible, easy to use new business eApp tools with products and underwriting that can automatically make an underwriting decision when possible. This is driven by new market conditions like COVID-19 and Millennials. Whenever there is a break in the process there needs to be a doorway to get it back on track. These solutions enable life carriers, BGAs and agents to reduce their operational costs and become more efficient focusing on growing sales.

Filling The Gap With Human Capital Getting The Most Out Of Your System

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By Ken Leibow

Published in Broker World Magazine June 2020

 

Life insurance and annuity carriers figured out a long time ago that speed to market and reducing operational costs with a combination of outsourcing and technology for new business and claims, for example using third party administrators like SE2, EXL and Infosys-McCamish, was significant in allowing for more product launches and focusing on growing sales. A hybrid of this model offered by firms like Employee Pooling and eNoah has been hugely successful in the BGA space. I had the privilege to learn more about the value proposition these firms bring to the table for a life brokerage general agency (BGA) by talking with Tom Gray, founder and Michelle Anderson, head of marketing, L&C Division, at Employee Pooling, as well as Manoj Sherman, SVP, and Stacey Paulsen, director of insurance services, at eNoah.

 

A BGA Increases Focus on Sales with a Seamless Extension of their Team Using Employee Pooling
While daily operations for most agencies follow the same basic blueprint in processing, managing, and capturing new business opportunities, there is no one-size-fits-all in meeting a company’s needs to get the job done. The reasons to right-source your agency by seeking support from an offshore firm are diverse, but the expectations are the same–to extend operating hours through the U.S. nighttime and get the job done accurately and on-time without breaking the bank.

 

Companies like Employee Pooling can certainly position an agency to bring scale and bring stability to daily operations while increasing revenue, especially during these trying times when work volume can erratically ebb and flow. Agencies are also taking advantage of outsourcing options when faced with time restraints, or they simply lack the bandwidth to handle everything piling up on their plates. Why wouldn’t you turn to a BPO who’s seen and done it all, knows the intricacies of every major technology platform like Agency Integrator, SmartOffice, OneHQ, and SureLC, who knows all the rules and nuances of dozens of carriers, and has mapped out processes for every departmental task with care and detail? This level of skill and swiftness almost can’t be matched by any new office member. The bonus is these BPOs cost about the price of an intern.

 

According to Tom Gray, founder and president of Employee Pooling, LLC (EP), in addition to removing obstacles getting in the way of sales, the most important element for establishing a successful relationship with his customers is trust. “We treat every task that we do as if it were our own, whether it’s seeing an agent appointment through or handling comprehensive case management and commission build outs, we take ownership of the task at hand.” The EP team is literally woven into the fabric of a customer’s operations, and because they already know every component of the software technology that’s used in our industry, along with processes and best practices for every agency department from agent appointments, new business and commissions to inforce policy management, onboarding is swift and seamless. Gray adds that the customer relationship reaches a mutually meaningful level when EP earns their trust by assuming full responsibility for the tasks at hand.

 

In addition to onboarding customers who are looking to maximize their software performance or get more out of their current workforce, EP has taken on countless cases of “What now?” situations from customers who are faced with an unexpected circumstance that could significantly impact the overall flow of operations and their livelihood.

 

“These immediate employee departures can impact a company overnight,” says Gray, “And even the most dialed-in companies are not equipped to handle the workflow, do not know the ins and outs of software platforms like Agency Integrator, SmartOffice, OneHQ, or SureLC—or worse, they do not know the details of what’s involved in the process of that particular position that is suddenly vacant.” A recent example of the latter occurred when an EP customer suddenly and tragically lost their one and only case manager. They were at a complete loss and needed a case manager to step in overnight. EP was able to escalate from providing basic support to assuming all new business responsibilities in an instant.

 

Imagine having to step in and fill that role overnight…but EP rises and shines day in day out because of their expertise in every major technology platform, best in class processes, 24-hour service, and their customers’ trust.

 

BGAs Faced with Operational Challenges like COVID-19 are Using eNoah
The learning curve to onboard new talent is long, and finding experienced talent is not easy. It’s an extremely competitive space and with each BGA’s unique culture, finding the right person can be challenging not to mention costly. To add to the learning curve, the diversification of products coupled with state and federal regulations and the carrier’s own interpretation of compliance and the requirements that go along with them, have created a spiderweb of different processes. All which the BGA space has to consume and assist their advisors with. This role often falls on case management to be the “expert” for not only their advisors, but internally within their organization. They are also often involved in pre-sale activities to ensure paperwork and compliance is handled properly before the application hits their desk. eNoah has been successful in helping their BGA customers take on certain tasks so they can prioritize what is most important for their internal team members to focus on.

 

eNoah’s contingency plan ensures there is always an additional resource who knows your business and it’s needs. “We have resources ready with little to no onboarding to support our BGA customers. This also served us well with the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Because of our proactive service model, we were able to support our customers during a transition to work-from-home without a drop in quality or time service,” says Stacey Paulsen, director of insurance services at eNoah.

 

In this “want it now” environment, providing consistent and timely customer service is table stakes. The ultimate challenge is how one maintains time service commitments with excellent quality, all while still being fiscally responsible. eNoah helps juggle these three pain points for their BGA partners by utilizing industry experts who are knowledgeable in all areas of the life of an application while bringing cost savings. eNoah uses a blended approach with a Stateside account manager who has over 20 years of experience in the BGA space. They understand and appreciate the unique differences each BGA brings to the table and work with them to create their own customized onboarding process to make it as seamless as possible.

 

“We want to be an extension of your office, supporting your culture and contributing to your goals and mission statement,’” Paulson stated. “It simply cannot be a one-size-fits- all approach. I love developing strategic partnerships with our BGA customers and truly understanding where they are today and where they want to go. We can help whether that is with a specific need, such as application scrub and entry into your AMS, to full end to end case management and beyond. We customize and support to your unique needs with a delivery team who has over 25 years of experience in the insurance services industry.”

 

Unique Projects for IMOs/FMOs/BGAs
I have been directly or indirectly working on some unique projects to help solve pain-points for IMOs, FMOs and BGAs. As a co-chair of the ACORD Life Inforce Product Working Group, I am helping build out standards for messaging life inforce policies like pre-lapse notifications, policy owner service change requests, term conversions, and inforce illustrations just to name a few. One of the popular inforce policy management platforms is offered by Proformex. As great as the system is in managing an agent’s book of business and discovering new sales opportunities, the critical fuel to function is “data” that gets inputted into the system manually and/or through a data feed. I learned that ePooling plays a key role working with BGAs to manage that data and get it into the inforce policy management system. Another unique project is around commission accounting. The commission accounting systems out in the market today are focused on the BGA commission workflow. These vendors have not directly addressed the needs of commission management for an IMO or FMO. eNoah, with a combination of technology developed internally coupled with using personnel to set up contracts, commission schedules and hierarchies, has been able to remove the commission pain-points and automate what was a very manual process for IMOs and FMOs.

 

With the need for a scalable professional workforce, a BGA’s back-office is servicing agents for licensing/contracting, new business, commission accounting, inforce policy management, and sales illustrations, while also providing product and underwriting expertise. Typically, BGAs are using just a couple of solution platforms, specifically an agency management system, to manage their business. Partnering with a firm like Employee Pooling or eNoah to reduce operational costs and improve efficiencies with the integration of experienced people and faster processes while leveraging the BGAs existing technology is available today.

 

 

Shared Claims Software is the Future

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By Direct Claim Solution (DCS)

So, you are considering a new claims software system. Your organization wants something great. You imagine a system that enables users to reduce costs and cycle time and increase throughput dramatically.

 

You also want to improve the vendor process and workflow efficiencies. You expect your new system to be in place for the next 20 to 30 years. With that in mind, it should be adaptable for growth as well as the inevitable changes.

 

Here’s the question. Are you thinking about extending access to your service providers using a shared claims software system?  If not, why not?

What is a Shared Claims Software System?

A Shared Claims Software system allows an organization to extend direct access to external stakeholders. That’s right. In addition to optimizing the efficiency of internal staff and management, a shared system makes your service providers better. It does this by simply allowing users that are external to the organization to have login credentials and a set of defined permissions to view, add, edit or extract information.

 

In a shared system, specific workspaces that you populate and view are shared directly with others. Because risk and insurance involves a large number of vertically aligned service providers in the chain, a shared solution is a highly effective way of bringing many specialists together to a common location for information exchange. To create such a solution, the system designers must possess in-depth knowledge of each user’s contribution within the big picture workflow.

 

The key advantage of a shared solution for a claims department is that a common workspace eliminates the need for internal staff to request reports, receive and process reports and then re-type summary information. For many claim professionals, those tasks take up 80% or more of their entire workday. Worse yet, much of the effort is not ‘value-added’ because it is heavily administrative and only partly analytical.

 

There is a better way. In having direct access to the system, service providers such as defense counsel, damage appraisers, and assigned experts can deliver their work-product in the exact format and order preferred by you “their customer.” Direct access eliminates the need for processing, interpretation, and transcription from an externally provided document. It’s a direct pour into the claim mold.

 

The key disadvantage is that external service providers have access to your system. But never fear, this is where smartly designed software offers one of its most valuable tools. That is the two-pronged security feature of data isolation and user permissions. In data isolation, claim records not assigned to a vendor are not accessible.

 

Further, a “Rights and Permissions module” defines what pages and functions can be seen and operated by users based on that user’s assigned role. Limitations can be set such that external users may only view and edit certain areas of the system such as the litigation or subrogation screens. A rogue external user can be prevented from modifying data in places that should not be modified. And, a single question on the user-setup page tells the system who is “internal” and who is “external.”

 

External users can be “walled off” from viewing claim records that are not within their responsibility. With these security features, access is a highly manageable risk.

The Use Case for Litigated Claims

A perfect example of the benefits of sharing is seen in the litigation handling context. Litigated claim files rightfully garner a lot of attention. These are files that result in an exponentially higher cost in terms of time, energy and money. They often involve several outside service providers to assist with coverage issues, fact investigation, witness statements, legal research, and valuation.

 

Companies spend massive dollars on discovery and settlement efforts for litigated files. These matters typically have the longest cycle time and largest negative financial impact on results. So, how can a shared system minimize the blood-letting on a litigated file?

 

First, it is important to understand that a shared system does not change the respective roles and responsibilities of the parties involved. There is still a claim professional responsible for the overall handling of the claim file to resolution. That claim professional assigns and manages all service providers working the case.

 

Service providers perform a variety of functions from investigation and legal research to appraising damage and theorizing causes. Service providers conclude their work with reports that include findings, opinions, and recommendations.

 

The Problem – Excessive costs of information exchange between claims professionals and service providers. These costs are evidenced by rising headcounts, increasing pending claim volume, and increasingly poor quality of claims handling amid a level inflow of claims.

 

Current Process – The industry is predominantly using litigation report templates and emails to communicate. The defense firm (service provider) typically has dozens of clients, and each client has its own version of the “proper” litigation report template.

 

Claims professionals send email notifications to defense counsel to request overdue reports and grant extensions of time. Few claims professionals can keep up with their litigation caseload. Their requests for information and subsequent review of that information is often severely delayed. Defense attorneys are often unable to keep up with reporting deadlines and either fail to submit reports or submit them untimely for various reasons.

 

Additionally, defense firms are unable to keep up with the template differentiation across clients and subsequent changes in those templates as dictated by each insurance company from time to time. In this kind of slow traffic, claims start to turn sour for everyone involved.

 

Shared Software as A Solution – With a shared system, the claims professional directs the system administrator to add the service provider as a “vendor” on the claim record. Once complete, that service provider defense attorney can directly access the litigation management screen and other select features within a cloud-based system. Fields and content can be populated by the defense attorney with key information summarizing investigations, legal research, and valuation of the claim along with procedural developments in the case. Demands by plaintiffs can be tracked, and recommendations can be entered directly into the claim system.

 

This direct access eliminates the need for the defense attorney to locate the most up-to-date litigation template, and then complete and send for review. In turn, the claims professional must receive the report and translate or interpret key data into respective claim system fields. The shared solution brings the voice and the eyes of everyone involved in the same location where collaborative claim analysis can be accomplished.

Realign Insurance Strategy with the Power of Tech

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Accelerate your digital capability to navigate disruption

Even before Covid-19 began its global march, the insurance industry was gearing up for profound change. But as the events of 2020 continue to evolve, there is growing sense of urgency for carriers to accelerate delivery of spot-on solutions for their customers.

 

To navigate this new era, Reuters Events is launching Insurance AI and Innovative Tech Virtual (May 27-28).

 

Across all corners of insurance, longer-term goals now require immediate action, and a strategic push to embrace digitalisation like never before. At this unique gathering of the industry’s most senior figures, innovators and decision makers expect to:

 

  • Outline a roadmap for the future of insurance
  • Share the latest strategies on how to drive workable solutions and innovations
  • Work towards an environment where all carriers can not only survive, but prosper
  • Discover how to build trust and win over the new generation

 

Meet decision-makers from across the entire value chain, with 1000+ leaders from technology, innovation, data, analytics and more. Now is the time to join the boldest minds in insurance to create a competitive edge through a unified tech strategy.

 

Confirmed speakers include:

 

  • Jane Possell, Chief Information Officer, CNA Insurance
  • Greg Tacchetti Chief Information and Strategy Officer, State Auto
  • David T. Vanalek, Claims Chief Operating Officer, Markel
  • Amandah Greiling, SVP and Head of Underwriting Support & Service, Zurich North America
  • John Almasan, AVP, Head of the Actuarial Advanced Analytics, Nationwide

 

To stay ahead in this new era for insurance, this is the one virtual event that executives with a strategic interest in technology, innovation, data and analytics cannot afford to miss!

 

Virtual attendees of Insurance AI and Innovative Tech Virtual 2020 will become part of North America’s largest insurance community, with over 2000 industry leaders coming together to network, debate and learn from renowned experts. To give attendees control over their own networking, Insurance AI and Innovative Tech Virtual 2020 will also be utilizing the innovative Brella app, allowing attendees to set up online meetings with new contacts and create valuable business networks that can be leveraged in future. Even from a distance, Insurance AI and Innovative Tech will feature more interactivity than ever before; remote polling will gather the audience’s perspectives on pressing issues and attendees will be able to submit their own questions to our expert speakers using the Slido platform. Please find more information on agenda and registration via the website: https://events.insurancenexus.com/analyticsusa/register.php

 

Insurance Nexus, a Reuters Events Company, is behind Insurance AI and Innovative Tech Virtual (May 27-28).

 

Contact:

Ira Sopic

Global Project Director

Insurance Nexus

T: + 44 (0) 207 422 4363

E: ira.sopic@insurancenexus.com

 

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About Insurance Nexus

Situated between London’s Silicon Roundabout and the City, Insurance Nexus is at the innovative heart of an industry undergoing significant disruption and innovation. Insurance Nexus is the central hub for insurance executives. Through in-depth industry analysis, targeted research, niche events and quality content, the team provides the industry with a platform to network, discuss, learn and shape the future of the insurance industry.

 

 

The Answer is Multiple Choice – A truly innovative claims process puts customers first

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Technology is an important enabler for innovative claims but understanding how, when, why and where the customer wants human interaction and having the skills to deliver it is often the critical last mile.

 

Insurance Nexus, part of Reuters Events asked three industry leaders to reveal their unique take on insurance claims innovation. To download the free whitepaper, with contributions from Economical, Wawanesa and Aviva, click here: https://bit.ly/2XOnTAh

 

What does innovation mean for you? Is it about incremental improvements in current technologies or process? Perhaps innovation should be more radical, the only true innovation being the wholesale disruption of a service or sector?

 

Certainly, there’s no lack of examples of either of these in the insurance sector. On the one hand, improvements in data management, technology integrations and a mobile-first approach has made all sorts of activities from generating quotes to claims reimbursement faster and more hassle-free than ever.

 

On the other, new services are springing up to tackle previously unmet customer needs, services that look unlike any model the insurance sector has seen before. Services such as Lemonade, which boasts the industry’s fastest end-to-end claims process. Settlements in a matter of not weeks or days, not even hours, but seconds. Or Metromile, which allows microinsurance at scale, allowing customers to insure only their small part in the growing sharing economy.

 

But experts have more recently suggested that the true innovation isn’t in the apps or platforms themselves, but in the way carriers choose to deploy them. And choice is the operative word. Technology shouldn’t be helping carriers dictate new ways of claims management. Instead, it should be opening up a whole landscape of choice around where, when and how customers want to manage their claim, in some cases subverting even the most current thinking around what it means to be a modern, tech-driven insurer.

 

To download the free whitepaper, with contributions from Economical, Wawanesa and Aviva, click here: https://bit.ly/2XOnTAh

 

 

Do not hesitate to get in touch to further the conversation.

 

Graham Proud
Global Head of Connected Insurance Research, Insurance Nexus
Reuters Events
Tel: +44 (0)20 7375 7221
graham.proud@insurancenexus.com