Stephen Lance Joins Proformex

PRO-18-001-Logo-Final-tag

Stephen Lance Joins Proformex

 

Experienced SaaS startup sales strategist brings his expertise to the nation’s fastest growing life insurance technology software company

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – June 16, 2020 – Proformex, creator of a proactive life insurance policy monitoring platform designed to give insurance agents, advisors and fiduciaries better oversight and visibility into the performance of inforce life insurance and annuities, today announced that Stephen Lance will be joining the team as its Vice President of Sales.

 

Lance has more than 25 years of Silicon Valley startup experience in various leadership positions with companies such as ParcPlace, ValiCert, and Intralinks. Additionally, he served in a sales leadership role working for Steve Jobs when NeXT was sold to Apple. At each company, he focused on creating highly profitable software IPOs while maintaining a customer-centric mentality.

 

“I am delighted to be joining the highly-motivated team here at Proformex and join their efforts in fundamentally improving the way agents and advisory customers service their clients and run their business,” Lance said. “The company’s growth so far has been remarkable, and I am eager and prepared to help take it to the next level.”

 

In his new role with Proformex, Lance will focus on further developing a customer-first, forecast-reliable, and growth-oriented sales organization. Like he did in previous positions, he will promote a positive culture of attainment and develop top performers to achieve our ambition to fundamentally improve inforce management for the industry.

 

Proformex CEO Kris Beck said: “We are incredibly proud to have Steve join team Proformex. With his demonstrated history in scaling software sales teams from startup to multimillion-dollar exits and IPOs, we think he is a perfect fit. I welcome his leadership and look forward to seeing the impact he will make on our company.”

 

About Proformex

Proformex is the industry leading life insurance inforce policy management solution for producers, financial advisors, trustees, and distributors. Our carrier and distribution agnostic platform enables customers to securely store, manage and analyze their entire inforce book of business in one place. Designed to proactively alert users of potential problems with their client’s inforce policies, Proformex protects policies against lapsing, degradation and asset erosion.

 

Media Contact

David Morris

(855) 341-1331

dmorris@proformex.com

###

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

qtq80-aliByc-768x509

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.

 

 

COVID-19 Pandemic Drives Surge in Life Insurance Virtual Sales Meetings

Picture1

Ensight, a leading life and annuity digital sales platform, today released the latest findings from its quarterly Trends Report which highlights a dramatic shift in life insurance interest due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As shelter-in-place orders forced life insurance agents to work from home, remote selling utilization increased by 155% in just eight weeks. Social distancing restrictions were among the biggest drivers of a transformation towards digital life insurance sales in more than 20 years.

 A

During April’s nationwide shutdown, the Ensight Platform created over 31,000 digital illustrations for remote sales engagements by agencies, producers, and financial advisors. The insurtech company also reported a dramatic increase in the number of agency users of its interactive virtual sales platform – from 84 to 215 between January and May of 2020.

 A

“Life insurance has always been a relationship-based business. It’s about connecting with clients and understanding their personal financial protection objectives, and the need for controlled risk that insurance products can offer amidst market volatility. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only re-catalyzed awareness of the need for financial protection, but also ignited a shift to digital client engagement, such as remote discussions over virtual meeting platforms,” said John “Hutch” Hutchinson, Founder of BankingTruths.com. “For years we’ve been working to train our clients to meet virtually, but over the past eight weeks, we’ve found the world is now leaning into a virtual way of doing business. The life insurance sector has realized that a virtual discussion is so much more flexible for the client, but also more productive for our business model. Ensight’s interactive presentations have been instrumental in elevating our virtual professionalism, and the interactive visual experience transforms mundane granular product data into a more tangible digital presentation that a client can understand and act upon.”

 A

The company, whose interactive virtual sales platform supports life insurance quoting with an easy-to-use, intuitive platform notes guaranteed universal life insurance (GUL) protection-oriented quoting maintained strong activity of nearly 39% in April 2020. In contrast, indexed universal life insurance (IUL) grew from 30% earlier in the year to an average 35% in six weeks. The company’s life agency base supports tens of thousands of life agents, producers, financial advisors and financial services firms with digital interactive presentations for remote sales.

 A

“The response to the coronavirus has created a broadscale shift to a virtual sales model and is reinvigorating the traditional way life insurance agents conduct business,” says CEO Bill Unrue. “These changes were already taking form as the growth of the gig economy, remote working, and virtual financial advice increased; what we’re seeing now is how the pandemic has accelerated the industry’s digital transformation.”

 A

To learn more about Ensight at https://www.ensightcloud.com/.

 A

About Ensight™

 A

Ensight™ is the leading cloud-based insurance sales acceleration platform for more than 500 Life and Annuity distributors, thousands of financial professionals, as well as many of the largest North American insurance carriers. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Ensight helps drive sales growth and productivity, while addressing the entire sales lifecycle experience – from prospect to policyholder, new business to inforce.

 A

Read Press Release at: CISION PrWeb

LBTC Announces New Co-Chairs

LBTC_logo_color

 

We are excited to Announce that The Life Brokerage Technology Committee (LBTC) has elected 3 New Co-Chairs (See complete bios at end of post). The new leadership team brings a vast amount of industry experience to drive LBTC forward in working with its members in solving industry technology pain points and creating process improvement for Life Insurance services. The LBTC new co-chairs will also bring awareness of new innovations to the industry.

 

12345* Pat Wedeking, Vice President of Tellus Brokerage Connections

12345* Marjorie Ma, VP & Head of Product Management of AIG USA Life Insurance

12345* Brian Kirland, Senior Director Sales & Marketing of SuranceBay

 

 

The new co-chairs each represent respectively Distributors, Carriers and Vendors. They will serve a 2-year term. The new co-chairs are supported by the LBTC Steering Committee: Joann Mattson of Highland Capital Brokerage, Jeff Lingenfelter of John Hancock Insurance Company, and Ken Leibow of InsurTech Express. LBTC has 120+ industry members. Please see below on how to join LBTC.

 

The Life Brokerage Technology Committee (LBTC) is an independent working group whose purpose is to exchange information about technology related systems and services related to the marketing, sale, and servicing of insurance in independent distribution channels. Some of LBTC’s past initiatives focused on process improvement and solving technology pain points: Automated-Underwriting, eApp, eDelivery, eSignature, Commission Accounting, and Pending Case Status to name a few. LBTC conducts industry surveys, whitepapers, webinars, media and has a face-to-face meeting at the Annual NAILBA Conference in November. LBTC partners with other industry associations such as NAILBA, ACORD and LIDMA.

 

JOIN LBTC

There is no cost to becoming an LBTC Member. Each person who wants to participate in LBTC in your organization can join. Each person will need to fill out a membership form.  You can join LBTC by downloading the membership form and emailing it to Joann Mattson at jmattson@highland.com. Download LBTC Membership Form: https://lnkd.in/eHhHjfZ

Pat Professional 2012

Pat Wedeking

Pat Wedeking is an industry veteran whose focus has been on process improvement, direct marketing and brokerage business development. Coming from the hospitality business as a PGA apprentice, Pat entered the life insurance business through Northwestern Mutual’s training program.  After 10 years in personal production Pat entered the general agency business with a technology driven brokerage focusing on lead generation a lead relationship management (LRM) system.  This platform served as the foundation of Quick Life which was sold to Crump in 2016.

 

During the growth of the brokerage Pat was the founding President of the Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association known throughout the industry as LIDMA.  This organization focuses on industry technology that improves the process of obtaining insurance and helped usher in the ubiquitous use of electronic payments, signatures and delivery of policies.  Further process improvement initiatives focus on voice signature, data based underwriting and bringing data closer to the point of sale.  After service to LIDMA Pat was elected to the Life Happens board of directors and served as Chairman of that organization in 2017. Since joining Crump Pat has been in business development positions focusing on the use of their transaction center platform and, most recently, with Crump’s IMO division, Tellus Brokerage Connections.  Pat brings energy and a big picture mentality to his endeavors.  He has a wealth of knowledge and industry relationships that will help any organization he serves.

Marjorie Ma photo

Marjorie Ma

Marjorie Ma is the Vice President and Head of Product Management and Market Intelligence, AIG USA Life Insurance. She has over 8 years life insurance experience and is now responsible for Life Insurance Product Development and Management at AIG, including product strategy development and implementation, as well as day-to-day product management across AIG’s broad life product portfolio. She is also leading Market Intelligence Team to collect industry and competitor updates and to provide actionable intelligence to product, pricing, sales, marketing and operation teams.  Marjorie joined AIG in 2012 after obtaining her MBA degree from Rice University and has since worked in the Life Insurance Industry.

 

Brian Kirland 0411181615b

Brian Kirland

Brian J. Kirland received his Economics degree from Saint Mary’s College of California in 1997. He began his career in the financial industry as a Portfolio Manager’s Assistant at NWQ Investment Management. From 1998 until 2014, Brian was a part of a growing technology firm, Xtiva Financial Systems, whose products focused on the Broker-Dealer and Securities industry for Sales compensation. Brian then joined LaserApp Software in 2014, deepening his insurance technology expertise. During his two years with LaserApp, Brian spent his time meeting agency principals and carrier partners helping establish a new business platform for the firm.

 

Brian joined SuranceBay as a National Account Executive in July of 2016 and currently serves as Senior Director of Sales & Marketing and a member of the executive management team. Brian works to increase sales within the distribution channels, carrier partners and vendor integrations for SuranceBay’s flagship product, SureLC™. Since 2009, SuranceBay has been an industry leader in providing innovative licensing and contracting software to independent brokers, agents, and carriers. The recent introduction of complementary tools such as DataLink, SureLC One, Background Screening, and AML training, makes SuranceBay’s SaaS platform a one-stop-shop for over 85% of the independent life insurance agents in the United States. SuranceBay incorporates the assets of more than 600 life insurance carriers with subscriptions from over 800 BGAs, optimizing the workflows of 425,000+ active producers nationwide, and processing over 50,000 monthly contract submissions.

 

ApplicInt’s End-To-End Digital Solution Accelerates The Drop Ticket Process

logo1

ApplicInt is an innovative technology leader with the only end-to-end digital solution that includes multi-carrier quoting, eApp, integrated call center platform and digital paramed. The CallComplete solution snaps easily into any carrier’s call center. It has scripted reflexive interview questions for Part One and Part Two. Also, CallComplete can be used remotely as a fulfillment process for ExpressComplete term ticket or any third party ticket platform. Forms, including unique special authorizations required for plus-25 percent of APS records, are signed with voice or eSignature. It also uses data from Rx, MIB, MVR, and accelerates additional requirement ordering like an APS. ApplicInt has added four new modules that result in more accuracy and faster cycle time:

 

·        eLab Slip: Electronically collects Lab Slip Information.

·        ONE Touch: Cuts time to obtain a special authorization up to 90 percent for medical records.

·        Warm Transfer Complete: Client and data seamlessly transferred to call center by examiner.

·        Identity Complete: Securely verifies signers identity.

 x

Employee Pooling Operations Readiness COVID-19 Pandemic

EPSTRONG for FRI CC

 

Life Insurance Brokerage Agencies and Financial Institutions are making Employee Pooling (EP) as part of their business interruption contingency plan. Business interruption due to the pandemic has made Right-sourcing more important than ever. Whether your business is interrupted by a virus that affect humans or a virus that affects a business’s systems, our customers have found that a relationship with EP gives them a resource they can count on to bridge gaps caused by large, unexpected events. Over the last couple of months, EP has been called into action.

 .

Success! EP is maintaining “business as usual” operations during mandatory work-from-home strategy

Overnight, our entire New Delhi team did a spectacular job transitioning to a secure work=from home environment withour missing a beat!

 

As the Delhi government gave word just yesterday that all facilities were ordered to close until further notice, EP New Delhi upper management and employees embraced the opportunity to come together and seamlessly alter the path of operations with no impact thus far on the usual daily tasks performed. We are proud and amazed.

 

I’d also like to share something even more unbelievable. Currently, of 1.25 billion Indians, there are only 400 confirmed cases…the same number as Tennessee. India is on lock-down, Delhi’s borders are sealed, the people are staying home.

 

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but right now we are happy to report that we are operating “business as usual” and India is doing the right things.

 

EP is committed to getting through these difficult times together while continuing to provide our very best support to you.

The following steps have been taken to ensure workflow is not interrupted.
 
  • Employees will be connected to the office network behind SonicWall Firewall via Virtual Private Network (“VPN”) in order to perform their responsibilities.
  • Our employees will only have access to work-related websites; employees will not be able to access any other website or application with their company issued laptops.
  • Our IT team will follow a Zero Trust policy by tracking all employees’ system activity and frequent log checks. System activity includes keystrokes and print shots at an interval of every 10 seconds and browser history.
  • Employees have signed an NDA which is specific to IT policies and they have been warned of serious disciplinary actions involving any security breach.
 
Kindly be patient with us Monday (23rd) and Tuesday (24th) to allow our employees to adjust to this new work arrangement.
 
  • EP Team Leaders will stay in close contact with their counterparts in agencies they work with.
  • Customers are urged to use their dedicated email support IDs to communicate with their Delhi teams.
  • If you have anything urgent that needs to be handled, please reach out via text to the Nashville department head. 
 
New Business – Alice Pratt 615-970-9061 
L&C – Michelle Anderson 615-500-6961
Commissions – Marshall Gray 615-887-1082
Security and IT Concerns – Matthew Johnson 615-481-4385
Other Departments & Concerns – Tom Gray 615-300-7126
 
 
For IT and security concerns, please email IT@ep-insuranceservices.com
For service-related concerns, please email execmgmt@ep-insuranceservices.com
 
You may also call 615-610-5585 ext. 301 for Harmeet Singh, CTO, New Delhi or
ext. 201 for Tom Gray, CEO, Nashville. When you reach voicemail, press # and it will roll to our mobile phones.
 
Thank you for your continued support. We are here for you!
Employee Pooling, LLC | www.employeepooling.com

ELCO Mutual Launches Revised Final Expense Product Using MRS Technology Platform

MRS logo Picture1Elco Mutual Logo Picture5Cum Pane solutions logo Picture3

 

 

BROOKFIELD, Wisconsin, February 3, 2020 –

 

On January 14 ELCO Mutual Life & Annuity (ELCO) launched a new Final Expense product using Management Research Services (MRS) as both a technology platform and a call center services provider. The goal was to provide accelerated underwriting in the new product by leveraging integrations with MIB and Milliman’s IRIX rules engine. CumPane Solutions (CumPane) consulted with ELCO on configuring the underwriting decisions and through a collaborative effort between all, the new product was launched in only eight weeks.

 

MRS’s self-service technology platform was a key component for quickly building the underwriting decisions as determined by ELCO and CumPane. Even after launch, MIB logic was modified to ensure a high automation level. MRS’s innovative platform enabled ELCO to quickly make changes that were safely tested, immediately deployed into Production once approved, and best of all, avoided a new Statement of Work or additional fees.

 

“Making these changes is so easy. A major revision to handling MIB codes can be made and tested in a matter of minutes. The power of our self-service features and customer support allows these changes to be made by any system administrator, with no programming required.” – Steve DeLonge, MRS Director of Client Success

 

“The MRS team and Jason from Cumpane Solutions have become instrumental in ELCO Mutual’s underwriting process. Their innovative solutions, quick turnaround times, and attention to detail transformed a project that initially felt overwhelming into an enjoyable and enriching experience. ELCO’s team is looking forward to the release of its revised final expense product and a bright future with our new strategic partners.” – Bill Bruce, Marketing Manager at ELCO Mutual

 

 

 

About Management Research Services (MRS)

 

Management Research Services (MRS) has developed an innovative approach to streamline the formation and maintenance of a rules engine in new business and underwriting processes. The innovative “software as a service” (SaaS) platform – MRS Tech, has at its core, powerful and intuitive self-service functionality to empower the business user, enable agile development and maintenance and dramatically reduce reliance on IT resources. The industry leading rules engine, E-app, call center, external data integration capability, and reporting options along with an experienced integration team makes MRS the perfect solution to support any new business process.  MRS Tech has a compelling ‘partnership’ pricing structure with no upfront implementation or set-up costs.  For more information, visit www.managementresearchservices.com.

 

About ELCO Mutual

 

ELCO Mutual Life and Annuity (ELCO) has served its policyowners since 1946 by providing unique solutions to the senior market. ELCO’s team believes in the human element, and that service comes first. This philosophy is not only demonstrated by our staff’s intense drive to assist our clients but also by the products we offer. Client-driven deferred annuities, unique immediate annuity solutions, and a portfolio of participating whole life products have allowed us to follow these core values for 74 years, and they will continue to guide us into the future. For more information about ELCO Mutual, please visit www.elcomutual.com.

 

About CumPane

 

Established in 2018, CumPane Solutions is a leading provider of consultancy to the life insurance sector. With a depth of experience in both technology and underwriting, we support clients with their automation initiatives, ensuring a smooth implementation journey and optimum system delivery.

 

The name “CumPane” (pronounced “Come-Parnay”) is based on the Latin phrase from which “Company” is derived. It literally means “to share bread”.

 

For more information, see www.cumpanesolutions.com, or contact jason@cumpanesolutions.com

 

SOURCE Management Research Services (MRS)­­

5 Reasons Distributors Hate Your eDelivery System

steam

By Roy Goodart

Chief Products and Innovation Officer

Paperless Solutions Group, Inc.

 

Hey there fellow InsurTech Express readers, I wanted to share an article I wrote back in 2015.  Yep, just about five years ago give or take a couple of months.   It also marks my tenth year of building eDelivery solutions for this market – crazy to think I have designed and built three multi-carrier solutions over this time. No wonder my head hurts so much.

 

You know what’s both funny and sad?  Reading through this article it struck me that very little has changed; yet the voices of distribution keep getting louder, and multi-carrier solutions keep getting stronger with more functionality/benefits than any one carrier can provide.

 

So, carriers – why keep building these solutions on your own?  I speak with many of you every week where the story of not having enough resources and too many projects stand in the way letting you update or even simply keep your own ePolicy delivery offering current.  Isn’t time – yes, after a decade of stumbling through ePolicy delivery to think differently?

 

Carriers and Distributors, I’m curious to your thoughts…

 

Original article below posted March 26, 2015 ————————————

 

We are coming up on almost eight years of delivering life insurance policies electronically, yet there still seems to be a misalignment between what distributors want and what carriers are delivering (no pun intended). This was never more apparent than at one of the industry’s largest events a couple of weeks back.

 

Over the years, several carriers have created electronic policy delivery systems in hopes of dramatically reducing costs, shortening cycle times and increasing placement ratios. Although cost savings are being realized, cycle times are down by about 19 days and placement lift is averaging 5-6%, overall adoption is still low for the independent channel. Most carriers have been left scratching their heads asking the question, why?

 

So, to help try and solve this mystery I did a little homework and met with a number of brokerage agencies. What I found were the five biggest factors as to why distributors and their agents aren’t using your eDelivery system.

 

Here’s what they said.

 

You’re One of Many and They are Lost in The Crowd. The single biggest contributing reason, by far, is the fact that carriers who sell most of their policies through independents and Broker Dealers are “not supporting” a multi-carrier solution. Don’t believe me? The most recent survey conducted by the Life Brokerage Technology Committee (LBTC) surfaces this issue (See quotes at the end of this article.) Your distributors don’t have the resources to train their own staff on fifteen different systems and fifteen different ways of processing, let alone train two thousand plus agents. Your distributors are desperate for multi-carrier solutions. It’s the only way carriers will ever start to break ground in gaining eDelivery adoption within this channel.

 

Your Workflow Stinks. Most single carrier eDelivery solutions rarely meet the workflow needs of the independent channel. All your distributors hear is “it’s my way or the highway” when it comes to varying workflow scenarios. This group tends to have many special deals and arrangements such as sub-GA’s, centralized processing centers and selling agreements with broker dealers. A rigid workflow makes it almost impossible for this group to support their unique relationships. What does that mean for you as a carrier? If you can’t meet all of their needs they won’t play in your sandbox for half of their business.

 

Lack of Integration. Both agencies and agents want platforms that integrate with the other systems they use day in and day out. Lack of integration with Agency Management Systems, CRM and other third party platforms means that these users have to remember multiple user ids for access, double key information and rely on other sources for updates. Integration with third party platforms isn’t only important for overall adoption, it’s absolutely critical.

 

Inability to Promote and Market eDelivery. Each one-off carrier solution has some great functionality but none look the same or even come close to working the same. This makes it hard for a distributor to accurately promote the benefits of eDelivery because agents are finicky and get upset if “things are not as advertised.” Add this to the fact that agencies are busy trying to help sell and close your insurance transactions and they don’t have the time to come up with promotional content and marketing for eDelivery from scratch.

 

Lack of New Functionality and Innovation. There are some really good homegrown carrier eDelivery systems on the market. You may be one of these carriers. If you are, can you remember the last really great new piece of functionality that was added since it had first been implemented. I would wager to guess you could count them on one hand. Resources are tight all over, and in some instances projects for carriers can be two or three years out. This typically means that once a project like building an eDelivery platform is completed and up and running, little to no new functionality is introduced. This drives users away fast, especially if it missed the mark the first time around.

 

Beyond the five reasons why distribution hates carrier eDelivery systems, one other important consideration for the carrier is the cost for creating an eDelivery platform. The development costs and ongoing maintenance of a home-grown e-delivery system can be as much as 20 times more than the cost of just licensing a multi-carrier SaaS based offering.

 

These are just a few reasons why one-off carrier solutions are seeing low adoption for eDelivery by independent distributors and their agents. It’s not because the agency doesn’t want to support it, or their agents are too old or don’t like technology, it’s because the industry has made it hard for them to do their part of embracing the concept and moving away from paper. The benefits to be had for carriers who fully support eDelivery is real. Just think about what shaving 19 plus days off your cycle time and increasing your placement lift by 5-6% for this channel would mean to your business. It’s not small, is it?

 

 

What your distributors are saying – not your vendors – It’s time to listen up!

 

_______________________________________________________
The LTBC survey was conducted in the last quarter of 2014 and its findings published in November 2014 to its members. The following are sample quotes provided by independent distributors about ePolicy Delivery, their experiences and their desires.

 

eDelivery shouting Picture1

 

Are you Listening? Here are some actual responses from distributors…

 

“we would like all carriers on the same platform so it’s a consistent user experience for our agents and their clients. Right now, only Lincoln and The Standard are on a multi-carrier platform.”

 

“…The lack of universal e-delivery process for each carrier can be confusing for our staff and agents.”

 

“Not enough carriers offer e-policy delivery… we want a multi-carrier solution”

 

“The various platforms drive away the agents, it would be good to have consistency and offer one platform for all the carriers.“

 

“…Agents are not happy learning all the carrier ways”

 

“…See more and more carriers offering (eDelivery) on their websites which is also confusing to the agent.”

 

“Again we have many different processes on e-delivery….agents and GA’s do not want to learn 30 different ways to process the policy”

 

“Too many processes and not enough carriers on multi-carrier platforms that meet requirements of BGAs.”

 

“Need a uniform delivery process for each carrier.”

 

“One platform that many carriers would approve…. eDelivery would be great if there were more carriers onboard supporting a single system.”

 

“Multi-carrier platform that is customizable to our workflow”

Life Underwriting … in minutes!

enoah-logo

Groundbreaking innovation from eNoah iSolutions could transform the life insurance industry by providing underwriters with the ability to make informed decisions in minutes.

 

eNoah, a global leader in digital solutions, brings the speed that term life insurance has typically enjoyed to permanent insurance by unleashing the power of machine l earning, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and predictive analytics.

 

eNoah challenges traditional models and adopts innovative tech for ways to speed up the underwriting

process and empower underwriters to make informed decisions that help place policies quickly, resulting in faster payout to brokerage general agents (BGAs), brokers and agents, and ensuring customer satisfaction that leads to repeat business with higher retention. These new advances have the huge potential to improve cycle time by several days and thereby speed up policy issuance.

 

In short, underwriters using eNoah’s software can run full medical history reports — including attending physician statements (APSs) — in about 10 to 15 minutes, rather than the days it typically takes.

 

That shorter wait time has more clients filling out permanent applications and thus handing more agents larger commissions; it also has carriers issuing a greater number of policies while saving time and money in the process. This ensures faster insurance coverage to applicants.

 

In the Q&A that follows, Manoj Sherman, eNoah’s senior vice president, shares an in-depth look at what makes eNoah’s platform eXtract Plus™ so game-changing for underwriting.

 

Q: What is the biggest challenge for insurance underwriting?

 

Manoj: The capacity to adapt to evolving market needs. Traditional insurance models are severely challenged by disruptive new technologies, and companies need to adopt new models of engagement to meet today’s customer expectations of ease of use and speed of delivery.

 

Insurance at large is one of the slowest sectors to adopt new technologies, as per industry surveys.

 

To survive in this highly competitive ecosystem, there is increasing pressure on underwriting to lower costs while making quick and accurate decisions. That’s essentially a herculean task, because the amount of data in medical histories that underwriters need to review keeps growing.

 

Those histories range from 100 to well over 1,000 pages each, and might include lab slips, medications, EKGs, clinic notes, follow-up notes, surgery procedures, X-rays and other documents.

 

This is a very laborious process as every page needs to be reviewed, case by case, to look for vital conditions that impact the decision. It can take anywhere from a few days to a week for a carrier to make an informed decision on a case.

 

Customers today don’t have the patience to wait that long anymore, even if it means accessing long-lasting coverage that they can use for retirement, loans and emergency cash access.

Issues and Solutions to Commission Accounting

sales-commission-reporting-cover

By Ken Leibow

Published in NAILBA Now Newsletter

November  2019

 

Commission Accounting Systems have been around since the mid-1980s. They are usually found as a standalone system, and having three main purposes:

  1. Commission Reconciliation (Did you get paid as expected?)
  2. Tracking Payables (Track out-of-house deals with top producers on modal premium)
  3. Know your score card (Report on your income by line of business, carrier, and top producers)

Current Issues
There are two challenges with commission accounting systems. The first challenge is setting up carrier commission schedules, assigning those contracts to agents and then building hierarchies. In the Life Brokerage General Agency (BGA) channel for example, the average BGA is writing business with 20 + carriers and each carrier has several Life and Annuity products. Each product has rules like commission banding by year (first year & renewals), banding by age, target and excess premium commission rates on UL products etc. Carriers offer BGAs several commission levels that a BGA can use for their hierarchy downlines. Setting up these commission schedules is a lot of manual work. Even if a system offers tools and resources to build and maintain these commission schedules, there is no process that validates they were even setup correctly.

 

The second challenge with commission accounting systems is to process commissions received on each case on modal premium. If a BGA, for example, writes a large block of business, then to manually process each commission statement is cost prohibitive. Therefore; a carrier’s commission data feed into a commission accounting system is critical. The problem is that even if the carrier uses a data standard, the commission data feeds are not consistent or complete from every carrier, making it difficult to accurately reconcile commissions.  Many distributors will still go to visit 20 + carrier websites or even lookup paper commission statements to verify they have been paid correctly.

 

Solutions
There are several solutions to the challenges of commission accounting systems. A carrier, for example, could electronically send their commission schedules in a data standard that could automatically update the distributor’s commission accounting system. This would eliminate all the manual setup of commission schedules for a distributor. Commission data aggregators could build a verification process that rejects bad or incomplete commission data files, thus only delivering clean data to a distributor.

 

A new innovative solution is that a carrier and distributor together could use Blockchain technology. The carrier commission schedules could be programmed into “Smart Contracts” that are used by both the carrier to calculate to pay commissions and used by the distributors commission accounting system to reconcile commissions. The commission schedules only need to be created once. The beauty of the Blockchain is that each party of a commission contract must approve the contract prior to it being available on a Blockchain for use. These parties connected to the contract essentially build an agent hierarchy and each participant in the hierarchy has a private key with access to the contract and the commission detail in the commission statement. This type of solution can offer privacy and security, thus enabling trust, accuracy and simplicity across the business.