Accident Fund Expands Nationwide, Launches Specialty Program
- Support nationwide business expansion with new systems and resources
- CSC’s business process outsourcing (BPO) services and leading insurance technology
- Expanded into 48 states and nearly tripled premium
- Shortened help desk response
- Started specialty company in 120 days
It’s been more than 15 years since Accident Fund Insurance Company of America was acquired by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in the largest privatization of a state-owned agency in U.S. history.
Accident Fund started out as the leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Michigan, and the company has since expanded into 48 states plus the District of Columbia, serving more than 45,000 commercial policyholders and ranking as the nation’s ninth largest workers’ comp carrier.
To accommodate that growth, Accident Fund found it needed to replace its policy administration system, a mainframe-based system that was both out of date and custom-made for the Michigan market.
The company chose CSC’s insurance business processing outsourcing (BPO) platform and services to manage the entire back office including billing, accounting, policy processing, regulatory reporting, compliance and customer service. CSC was able to help the company quickly roll out a full range of services over the Web — a key selling point for recruiting agents. Over time, Accident Fund then moved some processing tasks in-house.
“CSC’s BPO operations were already processing business nationwide, so outsourcing really offered us benefits in terms of speed and experience,” said Richard Znidarsic, vice president of Information Services at Accident Fund. “Since the initial rollout, we continued to use select BPO services in areas outside of our core competency, such as bureau reporting and insurance application management services, and we’re continuing to get benefits from the relationship.”
Over a decade, Accident Fund has expanded coverage from one to three states, then to 30 states and now 48 states. Accident Fund’s expansion program and innovation in online services has earned the company numerous awards from organizations such as ACORD and Celent, which recognized the company as a Model Carrier.
Speeding Help Desk Response Time
However, like any fast-growing operation, Accident Fund also experienced some growing pains.
“Slow response times for help desk ticket resolutions were a problem, really one of our pain points,” said Jaime Dibean, business relations manager of Information Services at Accident Fund. “We identified a process improvement opportunity to remove a secondary layer that really wasn’t adding value to resolution times for our customers. We made the decision to remove ourselves as the middle man and in 2010 began using CSC’s help desk support program.”
CSC’s help desk service provides a single, centralized location for Accident Fund IT staff to access anytime of the day, any day of the year for help with core insurance applications and agency Web portal processing.
“CSC knew our business, systems and workflows. Turnaround times decreased from an average of 7 days to less than a day,” Dibean said. “We were already using CSC for services like this but as a one-off. This was too unpredictable and our delivery to CSC for resolution was significantly delayed. This way is much better for our customer and hopefully for our partners at CSC.”
Another part of Accident Fund’s outsourcing strategy involves using CSC’s printing services, which centralize all document printing including new policies, cancellations, non-renewal notices and invoices.
Accident Fund also relies on CSC for help with critical functions such as complying with each state’s individual reporting requirements. Programming the policy administration and reporting functions is key to staying in compliance.
Expanding the Business
Accident Fund has maintained its growth in customers and coverage in a market that has seen competitors abandon the workers’ comp business or suffer from downgraded credit ratings; and continues to maintain its “A” (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best.
That success also has put Accident Fund in a position to enter new markets with new specialized products. Through the growth of the enterprise, Accident Fund became one of four operating companies within Accident Fund Holdings, Inc.
The company’s speed-to-market concept was put to use again by adding a startup company, Third Coast Underwriters, to the existing policy processing system and supporting it with CSC’s BPO services.
Third Coast Underwriters is a Chicago-based provider of workers’ comp insurance for specialty markets such as construction, emerging energy and “green” markets, non-trucking transportation such as waste haulers and bus drivers, and mergers and acquisitions.
The launch of Third Coast Underwriters was completed in less than 120 days. “This new company had some unique requirements that had to be implemented,” Dibean said. “But we were able to do it with the customization and flexibility we’ve found in working with CSC. We’re continuing to look for opportunities to consolidate systems. We’re confident we can handle it from a technology and business perspective.”
Long-Term Relationship Continues
The long-term relationship between CSC and Accident Fund continues to evolve as the companies collaborate.
“We get excellent support from CSC,” said Accident Fund’s Znidarsic. “CSC not only engages in understanding our technology and workflows, but our business needs too, which is critical to helping them bring ideas to the table.”