Digitisation is changing the way industrial insurance transactions are conducted between market partners. The use of a state-of-the-art digital underwriting platform ensures efficiency and a customer-oriented service approach.
(1) Digital underwriting platform – why?
Industrial and commercial insurers generally want to offer standardized digital products, while brokers who deal with the customer strive for exclusivity. With regard to their specific digital offerings, we are increasingly seeing how, on the one hand, insurers are taking brokers’ business models into account and, on the other hand, brokers want to create process efficiency for both sides. This is how market partners win together. Digital business models rely on collaboration.
The overarching goal of all market participants in the insurance SME sector is to let the business run fully automatically – from the invitation to tender to the definition of cover and claims settlement. Because despite its great potential, SME business is still too cost-intensive at present. This is due to high internal processing times and too much manual work despite standardised products.
A digital underwriting platform links all market partners who want to conduct their business digitally together. At the same time, it increases efficiency and customer orientation at all levels. The entire underwriting and referral process can be accelerated by a platform and fully digitalised processes for offers, extended contract clauses and renewals.
(2) Configuration of digital insurance products
What does it mean to create and manage digital product portfolios?
For insurers, brokers and other distribution partners, this means that they need to convert data and rules for risk assessment into a structured, digital form that can be read and interpreted by software.
A digital product as a whole is created when the core building blocks are modelled and described – for example in the form of the underwriting, cover and claims model- and finally are combined in a single technical product framework. A variant of such a digital product must be set up for each digital partnership, as it must cover the individual requirements of the broker and insurer.
Would underwriters be able to do this modelling themselves? Yes, if the platform offers to make data modelling possible even for technical experts without programming knowledge, see “Low Code“. This enables underwriters to develop, test and launch products themselves in the shortest possible time. The time to market is thus considerably reduced.
(3) Individuality despite standardisation in products and distribution channels
Industrial customers, insurers, brokers, MGAs, pools, financial institutions, aggregator platforms, affinity and “white labelling” partners – all market partners in industrial insurance must master a multitude of channels in order to fully exploit the economic opportunities.
Brokers and agents in particular, as distribution partners of insurers, strive for individually tailored risk coverage at the best price. The ability to offer their customers new, individual and fast solutions from renowned insurance companies guarantees commission income. The market partners of the insurers therefore benefit from the new possibilities offered by a platform to fill out a digital application form at the digital point of sale or to upload an existing application form and receive offers and policies for comparison within minutes. This enables them to present the offers to their customers directly and to hand over policies.
- In a modern underwriting platform, they can store the individual underwriting models and ratings agreed with the partners, adapt them in real time at any time and automatically incorporate them into enquiries and offers. At the same time, compliance with applicable laws and regional regulations is automatically supported. And: documents are pre-filled and automatically generated.
- Automated and standardized, the sales and underwriting processes run efficiently and are fully aligned with existing underwriting and referral rules.
- Underwriters have real-time access to all data and can collaborate easily. This also includes referral notifications with due dates and dual control. Underwriting worksheets and rating models are integrated, and all automatically generated documents, mandatory contract amendments and invoices are pre-filled with existing information.
- End-to-end process integration enables smooth cooperation and risk coverage between industrial customers, brokers and insurers.
Individual point-of-sale per sales partner
The individual, digital point of sale enables each distribution partner to find an innovative and compliance-compliant risk solution for their customer in just a few minutes. Simplified tendering and the gained market transparency leads to an increase in gross written premiums. This creates growth and profitability even in new markets.
- Fully automated quotations are generated in just a few minutes = real time underwriting.
- A further motivation is a user-friendly, responsive user interface that provides clear orientation and easy operation.
- Every distribution partner has access, control and overview of all his tenders and offers, all documents are available in digital form and can be downloaded individually.
- A faster, automated underwriting and referral process also facilitates an overview of policies and renewals.
(4) The crucial question of every platform: What is your position on data sovereignty?
Whoever has the data controls the digital business. The battle for customer data in the SME business between insurers and brokers is in full swing. Having one’s own data sovereignty on a common platform is a great asset for every market partner. The platform operator must guarantee this security and his own neutrality one hundred percent. If insurers or brokers are platform operators themselves, the question of neutrality must be answered convincingly.
(5) Open interfaces
A modern underwriting platform must be fully integrated into the existing system world and adapted to the existing back-office processes. For this purpose, it offers optional interfaces to existing legacy systems of the connected platform partners including integration via BiPRO or web service interfaces.
The general integration capability to all kinds of external data are in demand on the market, be it data from sensors, data from other service providers such as collection companies or fraud detection and especially integration to rating engines and existing special solutions for risk analysis.
Increasingly, “conversational interfaces” (voice, chat, messaging) are also required – and not least for the integration of voice assistants.
What is needed is an open platform developed jointly by as many market participants as possible, which each platform participant operating autonomously and thus maintaining its data sovereignty. For collaboration and distribution, a decentralized point-to-point connection is established with each partner. On the basis of digital products and individually agreed terms and conditions, a network of bilateral relationships is created, which enable up-to-date risk coverage and growth.
There are also platforms that fail. The reasons most frequently cited on request: lack of acceptance in the market, overly complex operation and lack of neutrality of the platform operator.
Photo: Foto: MZalevsky, Adobe Stock