Do You Know Where Your Insurance Documents Are?
Scott Bannor | October 31, 2014
Among the challenges the insurance industry is currently facing perhaps the least talked about, yet one of the most critical is the increasing complexity of the document lifecycle. All users—internal business users and policyholders—have high expectations and are becoming more demanding about how documents are created, produced, managed, delivered and, how the information they capture is returned to you.
Without documents—forms, policies, premium notices—it would be impossible to do business. But it’s not like the old days when data went in one end of the mainframe and policies came out the other, printed and ready for delivery.
Where print was once the only option, today documents are produced and delivered by an ever broadening variety of technologies. The evolution of documents in insurance is much like the evolution of TV programming. Not long ago, TV viewers had a choice of a handful of channels. Today, viewers are able to choose from hundreds of channels; often with options of when and where to see their favorites. Printing of insurance documents is similar to having access to the major networks—an expected option, but only one of many. Sure, printing of insurance-related documents is important, but users now want a choice of how, when, and where when it comes to insurance document production and delivery.
The pressure to provide policyholders with options of print, email, web, smart phone or tablet may come sooner than you think. Once a priority, the organization will be faced with challenges to ensure all forms and documents delivered via various channels are compliant with both corporate and regulatory standards, as well as ensuring that you know exactly where each document is in its lifecycle.
Consider the development of the new forms and documents necessary when you’re planning to expand the types of policies offered or looking to move into new markets. It would be helpful to have a robust collaborative process that allows everyone from all lines of business who have some level of ownership in the document or form to participate in its design or approval.
While design might be the purview of experienced designers, these specialists generally aren’t knowledgeable about insurance compliance. While marketers may also not be up on current regulations, they are concerned about having forms and documents comply with corporate standards for fonts, images, and other branding guidelines, while ensuring consistent messaging across all delivery channels. Sales wants to know with certainty if a new form or document will be ready to begin selling new insurance products or open new territories in order to make forecasts.
Perhaps of equal importance to ensuring compliance, consistent messaging, and effective timing is the need to track and report the status of forms and documents in all phases of their lifecycle, whether under development, in production, in an archive or being viewed on a website, smart phone or tablet.
An historical analogy lies in the fairly recent past. Not long ago the people who ran your in-plant or outsourced print operations couldn’t tell if the documents produced were accurate until actually printed. Even more troubling is they also couldn’t tell whether the documents printed contained accurate data or had been printed in their entirety. An increased focus on document accuracy began in the late-80s and early-90s when insurers realized their potential exposure to risk as well as increased customer service complaints.
In response to the lack of document governance, several vendors began the development of what became known as the Automated Document Factory (ADF). An ADF solution is comprised of camera and scanner-based technologies that read barcodes, OCR and other symbologies to verify the proper pages have been printed and, in some cases, validate the accuracy of the printed information. It is quite common to find these technologies in today’s high volume insurance printing operations.
Unfortunately, even with the benefits an ADF solution offers, barcodes can’t tell you anything about how documents and forms were created; who or what departments participated in the design, review, approval and assembly of documents before production and delivery; or if a policyholder viewed an application change form on their iPad or whether they filled it in and signed it.
In the future, the ability to track and report on all activities involved in the development, handling, delivery, and return receipt of documents and forms via the various channels will become imperative. Without a fully tracked and audited process that monitors the entire document lifecycle, insurers are opening themselves to significant risks, added costs, and increasingly dissatisfied customers.
While the technology required is different, insurers can employ the same logic that drove the development of the ADF, applying it to tracking the design, assembly, approval, production, and delivery and receipt of electronic documents.
Organizations might consider integrating audited upstream systems with existing ADF technologies to enable managers to view real-time status reports for all documents, whether under development, in production, or being delivered electronically. Acting now will help insurers avoid future chaos.
Scott Bannor has held sales, marketing and product management positions with a number of industry leaders prior to joining OBRIEN in December 2012. He has been a frequent speaker at industry events. He can be reached at email@example.com or 708-434-5323.
- Electronic Chat with Jeroen Morrenhof
- Legacy Systems Are Dead. Really? Don't Count On It.
- Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 ITA Bridge Awards
- It's time to register for ITA LIVE!
- Registration is Now Open for ITA LIVE 2019!
- What to Expect from a Digital Experience Platform Implementation
- ITA Pro Magazine September Edition is Now Available
- It's National IT Professionals Day
- Save the Date for ITA-LIVE 2019
- OneShield Software and UrbanStat Work Together to Improve Real-Time Analytics and Risk Decision-Making
- ITA LIVE 2019 - SAVE THE DATE!
- Insurance Technology Association Announces New Editor-in-Chief
- August 2018 Edition ITA Pro Magazine is Now Available
- Enterprise Architecture in an Agile World
- Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Devices and Sensitive Client Data
- Industry Insight: 4 Global Insurance Trends in Digital, Data, Content Services and Security
- Diving Deeper into Prioritizing Your Strategic Digital investments
- Why Content Rules
- How Mass Personalization Will Open the Small Business Benefits Market
- At Year End 2017, Will Your Organization Be Protected from Cyber Risks?
- Do Insurance Bots Dream of Mitigating Risk?
- Conditioned to Respond
- Managing & Mobilizing Insurance Data in a Connected World
- Race to the Finish Line
- New Tools, New Opportunities in Claims
- ITA LIVE: Reaching Insurance Industry Crossroads
- Advice to Insurance IT Leaders: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
- New Date, Venue for ITA LIVE 2017
- Guidewire Makes Major Push to Small and Midtier Market by Acquiring ISCS
- Insurance Disruption is Happening Right Now
- Insurity Adds Strategic Investment Partner, General Atlantic
- Beyond Transformation: The Convergence of Finance, Risk, and Actuarial Functions
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
- Electronic Chat with Jeroen Morrenhof
- 2019 Global Insurance Accelerator Cohort Reflects Evolution of InsurTech
- Nearly 50% of US Insurers Are Enhancing Security Capabilities Across the Board, Says Novarica
- Xchange Benefits Acquires the Assets of J. Allan Hall & Associates, Inc.
- HazardHub Celebrates 2018
- Slice Launch Studio
- Crawford Technologies Experiences its Strongest Year of Sales and Growth
- InsureTech Company Accurence Secures Fourth Patent
The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
ITA LIVE 2019
The tide is up! It's time to register for ITA LIVE 2019, our annual educational and networking conference! Our theme is "The InsurTech Revolution: Cutting Through the Hype." and we'll be bringing in a torrent of industry thought leaders, amazing insight and wonderful perspectives on the world of insurtech and its impact on the insurance landscape.
ITA LIVE 2019 will present real-life examples of true startup technologies that are helping insurers gain real advantage -- and a competitive edge -- in the marketplace. We’ll highlight the more successful InsurTech partnerships, while offering case studies that demonstrate exciting innovation and cutting-edge techniques impacting all aspects of the insurance ecosystem.
Ride the wave to LIVE 2019. Sign up today! We look forward to seeing you in May, 2019!
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
You have surely heard it said that small businesses are the growth engine for America. Today, the phrase has a special ring to it for benefits... READ MORE
With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future... READ MORE
Finding insurance carriers willing to write commercial lines risks has always been a challenge for producers... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE