Below is the 3rd of 11 Novarica Research Council Impact Award nominee case studies, which INN is presenting in no particular order. The awards will be presented at the research and advisory firm’s August 13th event in New York and honor best practices in insurance industry IT initiatives and strategy.
Legal & General America, a national life insurer that sells through independent agents, deployed a solution to deliver policies to agencies and customers electronically in order to accelerate sales and service times.
The process, designed in large part by managers in the admin services department, includes supporting the completion of policy delivery requirements and payment processing, all within an electronic signature session.
After initial expectations for the project were set, a small team of IT and Admin Services staff took ownership of the project. Team members held periodic meetings with management to provide updates.
The project was staffed by one software engineer who handled the technical architecture, implementation and ongoing maintenance. Docusign, a provider of e-signature technology, and Paypal, an epayments provider, were also engaged in the process. Both contributed resources through providing account managers and technical support staff.
By working directly with Docusign to implement eDelivery, Legal & General was able to build a more flexible solution at a significantly lower cost than by buying a service from a third-party vendor.
There were a few administrative challenges in internal processing as well as vendor challenges during the project development, but they were overcome because of the strong relationships between all project participants.
Encouraging agency partners to adopt the new technology was also challenging at first. Mitigating this required extra effort by Admin Services to answer questions and ensure a smooth transition for each agency. Adding new features such as agency approval prior to customer delivery, dynamic mode changes, and PayPal integration has also been helpful.
The eDelivery process has reduced the cycle time — from policy submission to final disposition — for participating customers by more than two weeks. In addition, the company has converted almost
Twenty percent of issued policies to the electronic process, which has both cost and environmental benefits.
In his own words, Rajesh Krishnan, AVP, application development at Legal & General, shares lessons learned from this project.
We made sure that the business units were kept in close contact with the technology team throughout the process. The core group met almost daily to keep track of changes internally and that group communicated to the full project team on a weekly basis.
Internally we kept the same team intact throughout the whole project. The project involved dealing with two major vendors, Docusign and Paypal — the project team worked well with the vendors and made sure that we were flexible enough to ensure fast delivery of the project. The primary business leader made sure that all paper work and legal requirements were satisfactorily completed as fast as we could.
The lead programmer was involved in this project from beginning to end and worked as the primary contact between the business units and the vendor. In addition, our business sponsor was very much involved in every decision regarding this project.
We designed an automated integration between our internal systems, Docusign and PayPal. Our eDelivery process features online digital signatures, online payments, and a portal for our agency partners to view all of their electronic business in real-time. The integration utilizes API data exchanges that are flexible enough to support our current internal systems and web-based systems we might build in the future.
What would you do differently?
We added a new feature in 2013 that allows the life insurance agency to acknowledge the policy before the customer receives it. This has proven to be an important benefit for the agency when handling cases issued other than applied for and has increased adoption of the process as it gets the policy to the consumer faster. We would definitely have added this feature much sooner if doing things over again. We learned that any good story is successful if it is told to others in a very interesting way. Our product is easy to use, free of charge and is a complete solution, including the full signature process and payment process, in addition to the delivery. We are now using our Marketing and Creative services group to tell our story well — a sample of a promotional video is here.
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