Regional Carrier Replaces Systems, Automates Underwriting and Streamlines Processes
- Consolidate administration systems to support growth and expansion
- Enhance access to client information
- CSC’s Exceed software for policy, billing and claims
- Improved customer service with complete view of all policies
- Streamlined billing and application processing
- Automated underwriting decisions
Consolidating Multiple Systems
Alfa Insurance Company and its affiliates – eight property and casualty companies, one life company, four agency operations and four non-insurance companies – provide insurance and other financial services in 12 states.
The Mongomery, Alabama-based operation services more than 1 million property and casualty policies in its home state, Mississippi and Georgia, with 400 service centers staffed by 2,500 people. It was using nine different property and casualty systems that had developed over time. Each system essentially served a single state and was based on the system designed to support the company’s Alabama operations.
The company knew it had to eliminate the complexity of its technology infrastructure, and the IT team turned to CSC and Exceed® policy administration, billing and claims software. The benefits have been accruing steadily for the big regional insurer.
“The client-based nature of our new system means that now, instead of having five or six policies per household, you have one client attached to multiple policies,” said Bo Daniel, an Alfa systems manager. “That’s been one big difference for us.”
Increasing Speed for Agents
Before launching Exceed, applications for Alfa policies were sent to the home office on paper for underwriters to determine risk and whether to offer protection. The inability to provide a quick underwriting decision was proving to be a competitive drag.
“Now we have the ability to let the customer know up front whether they have insurance or not,” Daniel said. “And agents can bind the coverage and get the signatures right there in the field. You may have one that goes through clean and never has human intervention and then the next one can be a policyholder with several risk factors that an underwriter has to decide on.”
The browser-based system automatically scans for company-defined rules and then pushes some applications to the appropriate underwriter, again facilitating quick decisions for the agent and customer.
“The customer now knows when he walks out of the office whether or not he has insurance,” Daniel said. “And the agent is now able to, as long as he’s connected to the Internet, pull up anybody’s policy, key the claim and give them a disbursement on the spot when it comes to claims.”
Meeting Modern Demands for Self-Service
The new systems are allowing Alfa customers to meet the self-service levels offered by nationwide competitors. “Doing everything in a browser-based environment means our customers can now to a great extent create their own policies online. And they expect to do more and more with mobile apps, so we have to accommodate that, too,” Daniel said.
“We’re getting into projects now that give customers the ability to get a rate online. That actually touches against the Exceed tables and generates a rate based on the information they entered on the Internet,” he said. Rating changes also are easier to handle through CSC’s rating processor.
The system also has enabled Alfa to improve online interaction with the agent force in the field and has brought new efficiencies to the IT operation itself by eliminating the need to maintain software on individual machines in different states. The results have been an easier path for secured access to contracts and commission functions and no more need to wait for nightly security upgrades. “That’s been a huge plus for us,” Daniel said.
Realizing Business and IT Value Faster
Alfa Insurance, an active member of the CSC customer community, uses the C.0 version of Exceed. That allows the company to take advantage of CSC’s Continuous Delivery Release program, which provides user-driven upgrades to the system in small, easily managed pieces, rather than in large annual releases. It enables carriers to realize business and IT value quickly on an ongoing basis.
“We’re better now with C.0 because we have the communication we do now with other companies that are on Exceed,” Daniel said. User meetings and the online WikonnecT community have helped Daniel and his colleagues at Alfa continually learn more about what they can do with their in-house system, and to share what they’ve learned.
“We actually have a lot of control over the software,” Daniel said. “We can do a lot of things with the system that we probably could not do with other software. We get CSC to help us if we need it.”