Salesforce Insurance Automated Underwriting

September 10, 2021. 5 MIN READ

Insurers and their broker partners have long had to put up with slow manual processes to generate and underwrite business. But today’s independent brokers and agents are looking for automated digital experiences to help them manage customer expectations and sell more effectively. They are more likely to choose insurers based on how well they help them sell and how easy they are to work with.

For an insurer to be a preferred supplier, it needs to give brokers digital access to products that can be tailored to customers' needs and quoted in real time. Automating submission intake and responses, and strong broker-underwriter communications are also key. Digital capabilities shared between the insurer and its distribution partners must make it easier for new and renewal business to be efficiently underwritten at scale — whether it’s automatically bound by a broker or rapidly reviewed and approved by a human underwriter.

Insurers’ ability to stay competitive — whether in SME commercial, specialty, or more complex personal lines — now depends on having the right digital infrastructure to drive these experiences.

Salesforce Automated Underwriting Solution

Salesforce’s Automated Underwriting solution gives insurance carriers and managing general agents the streamlined digital capabilities needed to grow business in collaboration with independent brokers and agents.

The solution primarily supports underwriters and external producers with automated processes across submissions, quote-to-bind, underwriting, policy issue, and payments. It also provides underwriters, product managers, and other senior stakeholders detailed business analytics to help steer business decisions.

The solution combines quoting and policy administration on Salesforce’s Digital Insurance Platform* with other Salesforce cloud capabilities. These include Partner Communities on Experience Cloud, Distributed Marketing on Marketing Cloud, business analytics with Tableau CRM, workflow automation with Einstein Automate, Chat on Service Cloud, and, where needed, third-party system integration with MuleSoft Anypoint.

* Runs on Financial Services Cloud

Integrated Distribution Management

The Automated Underwriting solution natively integrates with Salesforce’s Distribution Management solution to let insurer sales channel managers efficiently onboard, grow, and nurture their external agent network. With Salesforce Distributed Marketing, insurers can support their producers in driving top-of-the funnel business with integrated marketing campaigns.

Agile Insurance Quoting

At the heart of the solution is Salesforce’s Insurance Quoting* capabilities driven by flexible rating and underwriting engines, coverage configurability, and guided quote-to-issue processes.

Consumer-grade omni-channel digital quoting can be deployed to independent producers via brandable portals on Salesforce Experience Cloud. Producer-generated quotes can be automatically approved using straight-through processing for risks that fall within underwriting criteria.

Producers can efficiently capture customer information, complete applications for needs analysis if required, and quickly generate quotes. Open API connectivity to external sources supports application speed with data prefill, while capturing key eligibility and rating factors.

Omni-channel digital quoting experiences are optimized for online, tablet and mobile, as well as by dynamic forms that adapt in response to entered information. Producers can also leverage AI-driven next-best offers with Salesforce Einstein to guide cross-selling and upselling.

* Delivered through Insurance Policy Administration — Quoting (quoting only) or Insurance Policy Administration — Full (quoting plus full policy lifecycle management and billing capabilities).

Automated Submission-to-Response

Insurers can rapidly scale automated underwriting through their broker/agency partners by connecting with leading distribution platforms such as IVANS — with whom Salesforce has collaborated.

Carriers can standardize their submission data requirements so their distribution partners can extract, format, and send new business submissions to underwriters at scale. Underwriters rely in turn on Salesforce’s insurance quoting capabilities to automatically rate and respond to producers with a quote or qualified declinature.

Streamlined Underwriter Workflow

Of course, human underwriting is needed for more complex risks. Productive user experiences are key. Quotes that fall outside underwriting criteria for automatic binding are routed to a dedicated underwriter workstation for review. Underwriters have a complete view of submissions and accounts where they can adjust pricing, manage documents, and confirm their underwriting decision. Producers and underwriters can also communicate in real time through chat on Service Cloud.

Underwriters can efficiently prioritize, manage, and track submissions across each stage, from initial intake to review, underwriting, quote/proposal, bind, and close. They have a 360-degree view of agencies and customers to contextualize and guide decisions, and a clear view of their business pipeline by agency/brokerage.

Within their underwriter workstation, they can automate the management of plans, tasks, and documents, and collaborate with other underwriters and stakeholders on opportunities, either through the Underwriter Workbench or through Slack and Salesforce Quip.

Rapid Payments and Policy Documentation

Once a policy is bound, guided processes support producers with premium collections. Integration with One Inc. ensures rapid payments processing. Policy documents can be managed through Smart Communications, which provides highly scalable, template-driven document generation.

Real-Time Business Insights

Easily configurable out-of-the-box dashboards support underwriters, product managers, and other stakeholders at the carrier with business pipeline, broker performance, and portfolio insights. These can also be shared with brokers to help them steer their sales and marketing activities toward more profitable business and personalize interactions with their customers.

Intuitive, AI-powered visual analytics with Tableau CRM enables underwriters and product managers to go deeper and quickly see which factors drive portfolio behavior, helping them make important product, pricing, and broker distribution decisions.

Agile Innovation and Change

To be a preferred insurer, carriers also need to quickly innovate products to help their brokers provide more tailored coverages for their customers. Salesforce’s metadata-driven product catalog,* along with the rating and rules engines, lets product managers quickly configure and launch new products.

Connected policy administration capabilities** lets users manage a full range of real-time and scheduled policy transactions, such as policy updates, out-of-sequence endorsements, automated renewals and cancellations, as well as billing.

* Through Insurance Product Administration
** Through Insurance Policy Administration — Full

Easy Integration with Other Systems

Carriers can also easily integrate with other systems where needed. This includes native integration with Salesforce’s Automated Claims solution, and Mulesoft-enabled integration with third-party systems, and other systems of record.

Ascot Group — Automated Portfolio Underwriting

As part of its expansion plans, Ascot launched a U.S. insurance company in 2018. In late 2019, the company implemented Salesforce’s Digital Insurance Platform and launched its Ascot Array broker portal to develop its SME excess casualty business in the region.

When looking for a new platform, a vital consideration for Ascot was offering a fast, high-grade user experience for its underwriters and broker partners. The company was looking for rich functionality, an intuitive user interface, and flexible workflows to simplify its brokers’ selling process and help its underwriters speed up their evaluation of submissions and quotes.

Before long, the new platform helped the company reduce underwriting admin time by nearly 60%.

Today, Ascot’s Array portal supports operations with a third of the underwriters and a quarter of the back-office support staff that would be required with a conventional system. Underwriters are now less encumbered by manual tasks and can monitor and analyze their portfolios’ progress through data-rich dashboards.

Ascot is able to adapt workflows used by its brokers to make it easier for them to submit business. On-the-fly rating calculations and straight-through processing support fast quoting and issuing of policies. Eighty percent of broker submissions receive a response or policy in under five minutes. Brokers also use a live chat facility to communicate directly with Ascot’s underwriters.

Optimizing risk selection is also key. By accessing third-party data through APIs, Ascot now manages to enrich the data it receives from broker submissions. It uses this along with analytics and filters to gear business inflows toward more profitable accounts.

Ascot also manages to reduce adverse risk selection by implementing changes to eligibility factors, application questions, and other broker guidelines within the space of a day.

A major differentiator has been the ability to generate new insights into accounts and share these with its brokers. Ascot helps its brokers better understand the business-type composition and relative demand for different coverages in their portfolios. Real-time analytics are employed to understand and predict buyer behaviour — for example, when different types of firms are likely to bind their business or drop out of the buying process.

This helps Ascot’s wholesale broker clients decide on which business classes to focus. Wholesale brokers can then share insights with their retail brokers to support smarter selling. Salesforce’s Einstein algorithms help predict which sales leads and opportunities will convert, and when.

Ascot says that Salesforce has given the company a “true digital platform.” Having launched its SME excess casualty business on its new platform, it aims to add additional, more complex commercial lines.

Learn more from Ascot’s senior executives from their presentation at Dreamforce 2019.


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