Florida Peninsula Insurance Increases Efficiency, Reduces Costs
Client:Florida Peninsula Insurance Co.
- Track and analyze billing information from outside legal counsel
- Lower legal costs while maintaining high quality
- Move from a "paper and pencil" approach to one that is fully digitized
- Gained direct savings and improved quality control with the CSC Legal Solutions Suite
- Gained indirect savings by adopting industry best practices
- Direct savings of 10 to 15 percent a year, resulting in savings of millions of dollars
- Indirect savings by adopting industry best practices
- Better communications between legal department and the company’s board of directors
"Doing more for less" sounds well and good, but how can an organization actually make it happen? As many managers have learned, this all-too-common business requirement is easier said than done.
Florida Peninsula Insurance Co. has figured out a way. This privately held company, one of the top underwriters of home insurance in Florida with more than 150,000 customers, does more for less by focusing on the payments it makes to outside legal counsel. "As an insurance company, we've got to know exactly what we're paying for," says Stacey Giulianti, Florida Peninsula's chief legal officer. "The state of Florida requires it, our stakeholders require it, and our management requires it."
Previously, Florida Peninsula's legal department operated on what Giulianti calls a "paper and pencil basis." They would receive paper bills via snail mail from the insurance company's defense counsel; individually review those bills; and then, when appropriate, send out payments to the individual defense counsel. Checking the bills for fairness, accuracy and clarity was difficult and rarely done.
Now all that has changed. Florida Peninsula recently began using CSC's Legal Solutions Suite. It's a software solution that helps legal organizations lower their expenses, leverage data with reports and dashboards, simplify billing, analyze invoices, document the performance of outside law firms, and create collaborative electronic workspaces for budgeting, planning and strategy. And for greater flexibility, CSC Legal Solutions Suite can be run either in-house or as a Software-as-a-Service offering.
So now, when Florida Peninsula receives bills from outside law firms, the insurer begins by scanning and digitizing the bills. It then uses the CSC suite's software to uncover and analyze the precise nature of the law firms' charges. Are the bills fair? Accurate? Clear? The insurer can now answer these and other related questions. "The software slices and dices the information in whatever way we want to look at it," Giulianti says.
In addition, the CSC Legal Solutions Suite (LSS) keeps Florida Peninsula managers better informed from initial assignment through resolution. The software also helps them identify the best-performing professionals and firms.
The CSC Legal Software Suite also saves money for Giulianti and his team, and it does so in two ways. First, using the suite has directly saved the insurer 10 to 15 percent of its legal expenses, totaling several million dollars a year, by simply lowering bills when appropriate. For example, the company has found certain tasks that should be done by a paralegal were in fact done by an attorney, and billed accordingly. In these cases, the system helps Florida Peninsula detect the discrepancy and lowers costs by adjusting the bill to the lower paralegal rate.
Similarly, the software lets Florida Peninsula compare charges by the law firms against agreed-upon rates. For example, copies of documents are permitted at a set per-copy cost; if a law firm charges more than that, the software highlights the discrepancy.
Second, by working with CSC, Florida Peninsula enjoys indirect savings as a result of adopting insurance- and legal-industry best practices. For example, CSC explained to Giulanti and his team that within the insurance industry, most companies no longer pay for long-distance phone calls. "So we don't pay for long-distance anymore," Giulianti says.
In addition, CSC's years of experience in insurance have delivered other benefits to Giulianti and his team. "CSC will present us with industry problems that have not come to our doorstep yet," he says. "They not only alert us to the problem, but they come up with a solution."
Using the CSC suite has also improved communications between Florida Peninsula's legal and senior management teams. Giulianti explains: "By taking the data and being able to put it in a business objects reports, and by having the LSS experts at CSC review that information for us and provide data and background information, we were able to take that to our board of directors and say, 'This is where we need to improve.' "
Florida Peninsula has been so pleased with the outcome that it now plans to use the CSC suite in other parts of its business. "We use a lot of outside contractors - engineers, experts, medical witnesses," Giulianti explains. "We'd like to have the same type of digitization and data analysis on that side of the business as we currently do on the legal side."