Below is the 6th 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.

ICW needed to significantly increase its book of business while improving ease of doing business for its independent agency plant. The provider of commercial lines and workers’ compensation insurance launched a project to deploy an enterprise underwriting strategy and improve collaboration with agents and brokers.

The result is a cloud-based workers’ compensation underwriting workstation that can be used by an underwriter or manager as a “one-stop-shop” for receiving and processing information. The system includes a rich agent portal combined with an underwriting workstation.

While ICW’s business side drove the project, it was designed by agents and underwriters, who remained involved throughout the project, provided ongoing feedback and participated in rigorous testing. The undertaking was managed by project management teams from both the company and the vendor. Senior executives were involved from both organizations, and met regularly throughout the project.

From pilot to the first phase of production took about eight months, and additional phased enhancements have been made over time. One company underwriting team and two agencies partnered to pilot the system, and a team of seven vendor representatives also participated throughout different phases.

ICW implemented the FirstBest Underwriting Management System for workers compensation using software-as-a-service (SaaS). The project used in-house web services and a cloud framework developed using Java. The underlying technology was comprised of a service-oriented architecture providing various business functions and data access through web services.

Additional add-ons included open-source technologies, Java development, a Linux server environment, hosted software services and hardware environments.

As a result of the technology upgrade, ICW saw new business submissions increase 93 percent and quotes rise 80 percent. The speed of handling submissions has differentiated the company from its competitors, resulting in an increase in bind ratios, which has led to a 41 percent increase in new business.

In addition, underwriters have increased capacity by 300 percent. They went from having an average book of $5 million to an average book of $20 million to $22 million. The retention ratio on this book increased by 10 points because the company was able introduce straight-through processing for renewals.

The initiative also enabled the capture and sharing of knowledge and expertise through real-time collaboration. The company credits the functionality provided by this system with allowing it to expand into new states without the increased expense of opening new offices.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Digital Insurance content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access