Carrier Expands Offerings, Empowers Agents with Web Self-Service
- Expand business and increase agent loyalty
- CSC’s insurance software for billing, claims and agency support
- Doubled homeowners business and expanded into new state
- Modernized billing and claims processing
- Moved policy processing to agency desktops
Pursuing Growth and Superior Service
Safety Insurance Company had two key goals when it began modernizing its systems: expand the business and provide the best possible service to agents and policyholders. The Boston-based carrier generated great results with the rollout of online services to grow its homeowners business — while in the midst of expanding into New Hampshire, addressing a landmark rating regulation that affected Massachusetts auto policies, and revamping its billing, claims and management information systems.
“We were able to double our homeowners book over the last 5 years, and we were able to handle a lot of blocking and tackling issues without increasing our internal overhead,” said Jim Berry, vice president of Insurance Operations. “We couldn’t have done it without the support of CSC.”
Harnessing the Web for New Business
The relationship dates back to 1997 when Safety, looking for a new system, chose CSC’s fully integrated policy administration software. CSC handles all aspects of Safety’s policy processing support. To support its Internet strategy, Safety became an early adopter of CSC’s Agency Link, a suite of Web browser-based insurance services interfaced to CSC’s policy solution. Agency Link gives Safety’s 900 agents the ability to write and service business faster.
”We view our independent agents as our primary customers,” Berry said. “Agency Link has allowed us to create a self-service model where the agents perform transactions at their desktops. That has also allowed us to shrink down our back-office support staff to very trivial levels.”
Independent agents embraced the system, and with 99.99 percent of new applications coming in over the Web, Safety’s personal and commercial auto business surged. The company more than doubled in size — from $275 million in premium to $650 million in 2011.
Transforming Billing, Claims and Management Information
Building on its auto business’s success, Safety talked with CSC about using Agency Link to focus on selling its homeowners business over the Web. Safety was using another vendor’s policy administration system to manage its homeowners business, and agents said it was not user friendly for entering new business.
“We knew that we would be continually coming up with fixes and asking the old system to do things it was not designed to do,” Berry said.
Safety decided to move its homeowners business to the same platform as auto. CSC worked with Safety to convert data, and in the midst of this project, Safety completed its expansion into New Hampshire. On top of that, Safety decided to modernize key functions of the system with CSC’s Exceed Billing and Claims systems.
“The best thing about Exceed is its flexibility and configurability,” Berry said. “When it comes to billing, for example, people expect that their insurance company should be able to do everything their bank, cable company or utility company can do. Exceed helps us meet those expectations.”
Safety’s claims personnel moved from mainframe-based green screens to modern Web-based screens that use dynamic entitlements to display information based on the user’s authority. Rather than giving 40 or more people access to everything, claims data is available based on the needs of managers, adjusters, underwriters and other groups of users — increasing ease of use and easing regulatory compliance. Exceed Claims lets Safety make claims information available to agents or to policyholders over a secure website.
Safety recently worked with CSC on an enhancement to Exceed Claims to expedite claims processing during catastrophic events. The enhancement taps into a storm forecasting tool and accesses policy administration data, enabling immediate activation of catastrophe claims, reducing processing times and lowering administrative costs.
Continued Enhancements and Ongoing Support
Safety’s latest project is to move additional lines of business onto the Java version of Exceed Billing. This modernization will significantly reduce operating costs and position the company to take advantage of technology advances.
“We are excited about the direction of the Exceed product,” said Berry. “CSC helps us stay technologically current and achieve continuing improvements in platform flexibility, ease of integration and processing efficiencies.”
CSC’s support helped Safety keep all initiatives on track, allowing it to reallocate resources to product development, testing and pricing, and business development. “Outsourcing with CSC gives us the ability to ramp up or down quickly depending on our business needs,” Berry said. “So we can control our scale and costs much more easily.”