Posted on 14 Jan 2009
AMS Connectivity Services of Windsor, CT and American Wholesalers Underwriting, Ltd. (AWUL), a Program Underwriter & Manager based in Stamford, CT, have deployed an innovative new business workflow based on AMS’ TransactNOW® platform bridge. The workflow supports low-touch, single-entry submission of commercial fleet auto policies and other P & C package and mono-line WIP® insurance programs nationally.
Computer science teams at AMS and AWUL worked in concert to deliver an effective single entry submission workflow for AMS Sagitta, 360 and AFW desk tops nationally. To learn more please visit www.awul.com/site/main.html and www.amsservices.com.
The AWUL implementation of the TransactNOW platform bridge continues to push the single entry submission technology envelope. AMS agencies, who comprise a majority percentage of P & C agents in the U.S., can use TransactNOW and uniquely send large mono-line and package P & C commercial policy submissions to AWUL in Real Time® (see www.getrealtime.org). In keeping with the AMS commitment to standards, the entire data-flow was done using the ACORD® standards. Once the policy data is submitted, the agent workflow automatically continues seamlessly to the AWUL submission web site populated with all the data provided via the TransactNOW platform bridge. To complete the submission (e.g., supplemental forms), a series of simple prompts appear. Additionally, public domain data and insurance industry statistics, the heuristics, are applied to the TransactNOW data, allowing the submitter to complete a submission with reduced references and touch.
Commenting on the technology, AWUL’s COO, John Shea said, “TransactNOW allowed us to offer an extensive mono-line fleet auto program for the first time. When dealing with large numbers of vehicles and drivers, the TransactNOW platform fits well with our business model. The model focuses on delivering a fast, quality workflow and a low cost P & C submission experience for the agent. With TransactNOW our agents can submit fleet auto submissions of any size in seconds rather than the hours it may take with some of our competitors. AWUL and its WIP programs differentiate themselves in the marketplace with second to none applications of P & C submission technology.”
AWUL did not stop at just fleet auto. The new workflow also features up sell or cross sell capabilities with all mono-lines within WIP programs. Manual data entry is minimized. Once an agent has submitted the data using TransactNOW any changes or additions to the data are applied automatically to any other applicable lines of business the agent may have submitted or will be submitting. Reusing as much data as possible, as well as applying appropriate heuristics to fill in additional missing data, results in a highly streamlined submission process. Once the submission is underwritten and processed, the agent receives a quote back electronically. The quote includes a complete set of documentation necessary to write the business. Additionally, the workflow permits the agent to edit and reproduce documentation on a client’s computer at the point of sale. Upon binding, a complete set of documents (COI’s, SOI, auto cards, Policy PDF’s, etc.) are Web retrievable back at the agency or even at the client’s site.
Explaining the background of the new workflow, AWUL CEO, Ken Lewis said, “AWUL is an early, if not the first Web implementer of P & C submission technology in 1999. We started to think through a Web based submission system when DOS was popular and Netscape was the only available browser. A lot of time was spent eliminating application redundancies and creating user friendly ACORD® form facsimiles. Much of the submission has been reduced to ‘yes or no’, ‘check the box’, and ‘pull down menu’ prompted responses. Years ago we developed a method for Excel spreadsheets of drivers and vehicles to be up-loaded for an instant fill into the submission for a real time review by the user. We digitized the agents’ submission experience. Forgotten and ineligible answers are instantly prompted to the submitting agent for completion of a submission. At this point, with almost 10 years of Web on-line submission experience, the workflow has continually evolved in terms of speed and user friendly approaches. When you tie together the AMS agency systems, TransactNOW platform and AWUL submission technology, it’s a real win for our agents and their insured clients.”
With regard to the submission workflow of others, Ken Lewis went on to say, “Poor attention to user friendliness in the user interface presentation has produced lackluster results for the carriers and MGA’s who have implemented real time large commercial lines submission workflows. Achieving a completed submission requires agents, marketing people, and CSR’s to spend a lot of time sending PDF’s, emails and discussing open items with carrier or MGA underwriters. Additionally, these other workflows are not generally real time as evidenced by the fact that they are not editable at the point of sale in a client’s office. Because making new insurance submissions and edits are very time intensive and high cost, our approach is to continue the evolution of submission technology. We want to provide straight through or near straight through processing from the AMS agents’ or their clients’ desk top.”
Commenting on this, AMS Connectivity Services Executive VP, Fred Covely said “AWUL is a great example of a company that ‘gets it’. We work with platform bridge implementations for carriers and MGA’s, but the ones that are successful are the ones that pay attention to the details. It’s a fine line between success and failure. AWUL and the AMS team went into this engagement knowing that, if we could deliver the platform to AWUL and jump the technological hurdles, our success would elevate our industry’s Real Time® initiative. One such achievement of AMS computer scientists was the splitting of multi-line agency management system package policies into the component mono-lines. This feature then allowed them to integrate the TransactNOW data with their mono-line programs data base for presentation to the agency submitter. AWUL is a great example of a company positioning itself for the economic upturn that will come. When the economy turns around, it should see a substantial increase in market share.”
Proving the value of investments in technology, AWUL’s market share has increased during these tough economic times. The top rated WIP programs are insured with its A++ XV rated carrier teammate. This highest rating is reported by A.M. Best & Company and has been earned and sustained by very few P & C carriers globally. AWUL management believes – in this present time of financial insecurity, uncertainty, and regulatory failure – its ability to offer policies of the highest rating, coupled with state-of-the-art technology naturally makes AWUL a standout among its competitors.
Both the AMS TransactNOW team and the AWUL team are excited about continuing to improve the “Real Time” agent experience.