To grow its Vyne broker platform, Economical Insurance turns to IBM Cloud

Canadian P&C insurer Economical Insurance, has adopted IBM Cloud to support its new broker platform, known as Vyne.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based carrier is using the IBM cloud service to support several aspects of Vyne, which was launched in the Atlantic provinces and Ontario in June for the insurer’s personal and individually-rated commercial auto lines. With Vyne, brokers can provide faster and more accurate quotes based on each customer’s individual risk profile, and Economical plans to make the platform available throughout Canada later this year.

The majority of the insurer’s business is generated through a network of very loyal and supportive brokers, says Alice Keung, Economical’s Chief Transformation Officer. “Vyne enables brokers to provide faster service and competitive pricing through a sophisticated data-driven pricing model, so they don’t have to contact us to verify the accuracy of quotes,” she explains. In tandem with rolling out the new platform, Economical also revamped its auto lines, so brokers could explain the options more easily when helping customers choose the most appropriate coverage.

To enable Vyne and its direct-to-customer online channel, known as Sonnet, the insurer worked with IBM to create a hybrid cloud environment. Its relationship with IBM dates back to 2016, when Economical first launched Sonnet and needed a fast way to build out a highly flexible and scalable infrastructure.

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“We opted for a hybrid cloud strategy because we wanted to have the best of both worlds,” says Keung. “We wanted flexibility, just-in-time scalability and reliability, but we also wanted to leverage our existing infrastructure investments.”

The cloud service provides the additional resources Economical needed to personalize its broker and customer services. “IBM Cloud lets us integrate the big data and analytics we need in real-time,” Keung says, “so we can present customers with a tailored offering,”

Enabling rapid response
Rapid product development was another consideration. “We also have other processes that allow us to bring development and operations together seamlessly,” Keung notes. “In a world where it’s essential to respond quickly to changing customer preferences, it’s essential to have continuous deployment. That’s where IBM Cloud comes in.”

To support its innovation strategy, Economical works with multiple technology partners, including IBM. The insurer created this “partner ecosystem,” Keung says, with the aim of developing new processes and efficiencies.

“Customer and broker expectations are changing very rapidly,” Keung notes, and insurers need a business model and a process that allows them to continually respond. “You won’t be successful,” she warns, “if you don’t have the flexibility to constantly adjust and react to these changing expectations.”

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