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Azur helps more people insure the things they love with Salesforce
Azur is on a mission to reimagine insurance with digital tools and real-time data. And its trailblazing approach is already proving a big hit with consumers, brokers, and insurance providers. In 2020, it will write double the amount of premium compared with the previous year. “The insurance sector is constantly looking in the rear view mirror and it’s time that changed,” said Graham Elliott, Azur’s CEO. “With Salesforce, we can transform how services are delivered to insurers, brokers, and their clients.”
Founded in 2015, Azur underwrites insurance products and distributes them on digital platforms that it has developed. But that’s just the beginning - Azur is also laying the foundations for the third age of insurance. “Insurance-as-a-Service with personalised offerings based on evolving risks is where the industry is heading,” revealed Elliott.
Real-time understanding of risks improves user experience.
To be at the forefront of this transformation and support the delivery of one-to-one insurance on a massive scale, Azur needs flexible processes and integrated systems. “We’re doing something that’s never been attempted before in the insurance industry,” said Charlie Blackburn, Azur CTO. “With Salesforce, we can try out new ideas easily and cost-effectively.”
By taking a digitalised approach from day one, Azur has been able to bring together data from across its business to enable faster and smarter decision-making. From claims and complaints to risks and actuals, everything is captured in Salesforce, which is integrated with the company’s two financial systems. “With Salesforce, we can plan, forecast, and understand risk in real-time,” said Elliott. “It’s our single version of the truth and helps us provide better underwriting and distribution services as well as richer user experiences.”
A digitalised approach also made it easier for Azur to mobilise its team to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing remote access to data and systems was just part of the company’s response. As Elliott explained. “Some team members had to work from their bedrooms for weeks on end. I’ve been trying to reach out to people individually to see how they are coping and have gatecrashed the odd meeting. We also organised a webinar on mental health and introduced monthly town halls and employee NPS reviews. It’s important that our people have a voice.”
Faster quoting process gives brokers a competitive edge.
As a managing general agent, Azur provides insurance cover for key assets, such as homes, contents, and cars, via a network of 200-plus brokers. “Brokers are becoming increasingly important to the sector’s distribution model. We want to empower them, so they can compete effectively with market comparison websites,” said Elliott.
Azur has already made it easier and quicker for brokers to source home insurance quotes using a combination of Service Cloud, Community Cloud, and Vlocity’s Digital Insurance Platform. “There are lots of variables with home insurance, which can make it time-consuming and complicated to source a quote,” explained Elliott. “Understanding and assessing these risks accurately is vital otherwise homeowners could end up with inadequate cover, which will have a massive impact on their lives.”
By automating the underwriting workflow and pulling in data from external sources - which includes millions of mortgage surveys - Azur can provide brokers with a home insurance quote in just 90 seconds compared with the industry average of 24 hours. Quotes are accessed via an app built on Community Cloud, with policy documents and regulatory audit trails generated in Vlocity.
Machine learning improves underwriting loss ratio
Every quote comes with 66 rating variables, which helps highlight different risks for different properties, for example flooding. By digitalising this highly complex process, Azur can create the same volume of home insurance policy quotes with just one underwriter instead of the 20 that would normally be needed to support a traditional workflow.
By applying machine learning to better understand the risks used in the quoting process, Azur has been able to improve the underwriting loss ratio for its home insurance product by 2%.
Personalised communications boost conversion and engagement.
To help brokers retain their insurance industry accreditations, Azur has developed a mobile app on Community Cloud for continuous professional development. Communication with the app’s 1,500 users is managed and personalised via Pardot. “Brokers need to complete 35 hours of learning every year and 21 of these hours need to be structured,” explained Elliott. “Our Broker iQ app provides brokers with self-service access to webinars and tests, which help them to better support their customers and keep pace with regulatory changes.”
Azur has also created personalised communications in Pardot to convert, onboard, and nurture brokers at different stages of their journey. Azur sends around 10,000 emails a month, including event invites and follow-ups, reminders to submit quotes, and cross-selling marketing campaigns. This has been achieved with just one member of staff and resulted in an email open rate of 30%. “With Pardot, we can make it easier for brokers to find the information they need to start - and stay - trading,” explained Elliott. “We’ve more than doubled our broker list in three years.”
Bringing better products to market faster.
As well as growing its broker relationships, Azur is expanding its product portfolio. In two years, it has launched seven new products and its latest offering for personal cyber insurance could eventually be used by millions of people.
CyberGard, which is underpinned by Salesforce and FinancialForce, was developed in collaboration with five partners. “With Quip, we can capture feedback centrally during the product development lifecycle and make the process completely transparent for regulators,” explained Blackburn. “It accelerates our time-to-market and improves product quality.”
To ensure it can provide CyberGard policyholders with a great experience, claims and complaints are tracked in Service Cloud. “Visibility of complaints is particularly important in the financial services sector as we need to be able to show what steps have been taken to address a problem,” explained Elliott. “With Service Cloud, we can centrally track all complaints and claims and link them to a policy record.”