There are many ways to modernize the policy administration process. Sometimes, simpler solutions are the answer.
In this case, Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., the Novato, Calif., property-and-casualty carrier, wanted to cut the costs of policy administration-related paper flow. At the same time, it wanted to make it easier for its 2,000 agents.
Doug Ackerman, Fireman's Fund's lead systems engineer, says the critical step was instantaneously converting IBM's AFP print language to Adobe'sPDF format, enabling agents to view policy forms and endorsements online.
"This not only reduced the number of steps involved in policy generation and distribution, it made Fireman's Fund a much easier company for agents to do business with, regardless of location," Ackerman explains.
"Slashing printing costs was a big driver, but legacy system preservation was also a significant consideration," adds John Glennon, Fireman's Fund Information Technology product manager.
"We have older systems integrated within our IT infrastructure and, as a result, we needed to be more responsive to our agents."
To make that change, Fireman's Fund implemented a solution from Xenos, a Toronto-based firm that offers a data and document management software platform.
"Implementing Xenos' d2e was minimally invasive and didn't require drastic customization, whereas other vendors were unable to satisfy our needs without large-scale infrastructure changes," says Ackerman.
"We've also begun to give serious thought to using the technology that delivers finished policies electronically to deliver other insurance products, or even quotes," he says. Today, if an agent and the insured come to Fireman's Fund and say they need a quote, a hard copy document is faxed or mailed, and that delays the process. We are looking at doing quotes using the same application," Ackerman says.
Since implementing Xenos d2e in April 2003, Fireman's Fund has saved more than $640,000 in printing and associated costs, with potential to cut as much as $2.3 million. Currently, more than 2,000 independent agents are using the new system after it was integrated with legacy systems.
"Independent agents are our primary business drivers," Ackerman says. "We recognized that other companies were providing agents with online capabilities and decided we needed to do a better job of arming our agents with the tools critical to their job."
January 1, 2005
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