By , Marketing Associate
Ever heard of the saying “the struggle is real?” I think for life insurance underwriters, that should be their motto.
I recently attended the AHOU 2018 17th Annual Conference and had the opportunity to talk to tons of underwriters who all had strikingly-common challenges. In many of my conversations, I asked how long their average APS is and how long it takes them to underwrite a policy, and I was often met with responses like oh jeez – too long? Or Gosh, hundreds of pages and anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.
When prodding further, I learned that many underwriters shared similar challenges and sometimes they didn’t even realize the things that were slowing them down — they didn’t know that there’s a faster way.
Below is a quiz for you to reflect on what wastes the most time in your process. It’s only nine questions long and should take less than two minutes to complete. The quiz will present you with a score and a “report card” is described below.
Well, how did you do?
Here’s a report card to see where you fall:
90-100% = Excellent
If you scored in this range, then your underwriting process is mature and efficient. Mobile applications and online forms definitely make your customers happy (especially the millennials). They also can more easily enter the underwriting system because there’s no unstructured form with handwritten fields. The process for ordering and receiving an APS is also quite efficient. Because your underwriting rules are integrated into the system, you’re able to quickly review APSs. We have much to learn from you my young padawan!
Since you have the proper foundation laid, you’re in an excellent position to begin integrating predictive analytics and social media. These data tools can help contribute to predicting mortality, seeing opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell and even accelerating the process.
80-89% = Good
Congrats, you scored in the B range! This means some of your processes are automated and you’re not wasting too much time in any specific step of the underwriting process. Based on your score, you probably fall into the ECM (enterprise content management) maturity level four according to the Maturity Model for Enterprise Content Management. This is a good place to be however, there’s still room for improvement though as bottlenecks continue. Click on the link to read the blog and see what advice the author has for maturing your system to the next level.
To learn more about effectively managing content, this white paper is a good source: “An Enterprise Approach to Managing Content.” It explains guiding principles to follow and the tools to use to reduce costs, prevent duplicate documents from entering the system, keeping data up to date and more.
Less than 70% = Uh Oh
If you scored 70% or below…you have some work to do. This means you’re spending a significant amount of time waiting around (either for your client to get back to you or for the APS to arrive) or sifting through the APS itself.
If you scored less than 60%, this is what teachers call an “F.”
The paper applications, reviewing too many APSs and taking too long to review them are really slowing down the underwriting process and ultimately hurting your organization as a whole.
There are a lot of technologies you could be taking advantage of that would significantly improve your throughput. Here are some resources to get you started:
- An Enterprise Approach to Managing Content
- Best Practices for Paper-Based Form Design
- What to Look for in a Modern Document Viewer
- Insurer Leverages Paperless Claims Processing
- Case Management Solution Transforms Underwriting Process
- State of Michigan Cuts Processing Times From 75 Days to 17 With IBM Datacap
- How Great American Insurance Group Streamlined ECM Processes
About the Author: One thing I enjoy about working at Pyramid Solutions is that I’m surrounded by incredibly smart people. I love learning from my colleagues and achieving professional growth. Outside of work, I enjoy reading a good book.