Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual (PLM) and Indiana Lumbermens Mutual (ILM), two specialty insurers that formed an alliance earlier this year to share services and pool reinsurance functions, have announced they’ve consolidated their policy administration systems onto a single platform from Instec Corp. The new system replaced legacy, mainframe-based systems and outdated rating processes that had been in use for years by the two insurers.

The two companies announced their affiliation in July 2013, and the new alliance created an opportunity to examine their software systems and find ways to streamline and modernize technologies and processes to drive greater efficiency and remove barriers to growth, according to Instec. The alliance has longtime commitments to covering the property and casualty risks of the wood products and building materials industries across all 50 states.

“The three legacy systems we found at ILM following our alliance were reminiscent of the situation at PLM three years ago, when we replaced a hugely-outmoded COBOL-based policy administration system and a manual spreadsheet-based rating process with Quicksolver, from Instec,” said Joseph McGurrin, VP of IT at the affiliated companies.

PLM had already standardized on Instec’s Quicksolver policy administration system, which resulted in streamlined workflows and a much more nimble company, Instec said. “We saw the reduced cost of maintenance and greater agility we could achieve by consolidating separate legacy systems and standardizing on Quicksolver, and we wanted to do the same for ILM,” McGurrin said.

PLM’s initial deployment of Quicksolver took nine months. The new system has helped PLM cut the time it takes to conduct compliance reviews and improve productivity and also has cut overhead costs and accelerated revenue generation, according to Instec. In addition, PLM has saved $100,000 in printing and mailing costs.

The experience gave the affiliated companies the confidence to move ILM’s book of business to the Instec software at the same time as they were ramping up a new billing system, according to the alliance, according to Instec. Both projects were completed on time, and all new and renewal PLM-ILM policies are now issued through the common Quicksolver system.

Choosing a best-of-breed, plug-and-play approach and integrating Quicksolver with adjacent systems such as billing and claims is making it simpler for PLM and ILM to consolidate their core systems without forcing a costly and lengthy rip and replace project, Instec said. McGurrin said the alliance wanted a best-of-breed rating and forms system because rating is a mission critical function. The alliance chose Instec for its ISO, NCCI, and state bureau content, for its self-service configuration capabilities, and for its ability to integrate easily with other systems, Instec said.

Instec’s system is designed to automatically keep carriers compliant and up to date with ISO rating and form changes in all 50 states, delivered directly by the Quicksolver system an average of 110 days ahead of the effective date of change, according to Instec. At PLM, this enabled the company to eliminate weekly compliance review meetings that tied up two officers, an underwriter, and an IT staff member, Instec said. And integrating rating, quoting, and policy issuance, using Quicksolver, has eliminated data re-keying and cut quote-to-issue time from a week or more to same-day turnaround, for policies that can include up to 1,000 vehicles and 250 locations, Instec added.

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