Archive for August, 2016

Life Insurance Policy Administration Systems

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

The evolution of shopping from direct to digital methods has impacted profoundly on product and service marketing. Digital shopping, which is characterized by online purchasing has influenced product consumption for both goods and service providers. A purchase mode that has substantially taken over is subscription buying, where consumers place a one-time order, and they get the order delivered regularly.

subscription

Most of the customers who use this method use electronic means of payment, so they do have to place an order from time to time. Sellers and distributors who have been able to integrate this method into their businesses have enjoyed their share of benefits, some of which are quite obvious. Subscription models, though, have required companies to change their marketing methods and procedures. Below are ways in which subscription has led to change of marketing strategies;

  1. Inevitable set-up of virtual offices – Subscription buying is more about prompt product delivery. Therefore, the seller does most of the work while the shopper enjoys the comfort of their couches. However, most product consumer will have issues to raise about the products delivered to them. It, therefore, calls for the supplier to set up a virtual customer service office for Such offices include online forums and a round-the-clock working helpline to enable consumers to tell about their experiences, make complaints or inquiries about products. Companies such as Hubspot have introduced CRMs for such purposes.
  2. Online marketing – When a product consumer gets accustomed to making purchases through subscription, they get used to electronic means of shopping, and it is quite obvious that their first stop when they need new products or services will be the internet. To measure up to this, sellers have been compelled to depend on online marketing. It includes building websites and blogs, advertising on social media and use of platforms such as Google Adsense to reach out to prospective consumers, as opposed to direct means of marketing where buyers and sellers have a physical meeting.
  3. Relationship maintenance – Well, everything has its pros and cons. Subscription models have their dark side too, which all ends up on the seller’s shoulders. The seller focuses more on ensuring that the buyer is always satisfied with the product. It is quite difficult to maintain standards at 100%, which is the consumer’s expectation. Most product providers will time and again find themselves using a lot of resources trying to prove themselves and reassuring their customers, while they should be widening their market scope. All these efforts are to seek to stop the users from hitting the cancel button on their subscriptions.
  4. Working to improve quality – sellers who have chosen to use subscriptions as their mode of marketing have the responsibility of maintaining a “servant” nature while dealing with their consumers since they will depend on the regular subscribers as a market for their goods. One of their marketing options is to keep constantly improving their quality to ensure they maintain their subscriptions. They strive to have something more such as improved delivery services and timelines above their direct competitors in a bid to assure their subscribers that they are still the best choice. This leads to the subscription models rendering business competitions a “survival of the fittest” run, where being diminished to zero consumers is a real threat.

Subscription models have become a game changer in the marketing niche since, while in the pre-digital promotion, we have the subjection of buyers to customer manipulation, in the new subscription models gratification is a must-have for every business. It is a threat to the obliteration of sub-standard manufacturers and distributors since long-term loyalty is the only option left for any success-oriented product and service providers.

We make software for life and annuity insurance carriers. Our software is based on a service oriented architecture (SOA). Looking for articles that are technology driven around our industry, how organizations are using SOA to build new systems, information around Policy Administration Systems, etc. Contact us for further details.

Economic Trends and Life Insurance: Building Applications for Every Economy

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Have you ever considered what our country would do in the face of another recession? It hasn’t even been ten years since the housing market collapsed, and some economists are now predicting another recession on the horizon. Just when we thought that economic growth would usher in a new era of prosperity for a weary population, we were surprised to learn this.

630x355

Understanding Economic Trends and Life Insurance

Where were the economic gurus prior to the 2008 housing collapse? They were probably talking up a storm, but nobody was listening. We were in the middle of the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination and the Summer Olympics were in Beijing. Starting to sound familiar? The only difference now is that Hillary is battling Donald for the White House, England has left the European Union, and the world looks very different. We are in the age of IoT, and people have more noise to block out than ever before. What is common to both eras is that people who are shopping for life insurance are not necessarily thinking about the impact of a recession, especially before it occurs. They become very tight with their spending immediately after the collapse hits, and it takes many of them years to start spending again. This month, we were reading Tony Sagami’s piece on Forbes.com: “3 Recent Danger Signs of a Looming Recession.”

Where the Problem Is 

In any economy, but especially now, the national economy must expand. If economic growth is very slow, then it’s easy for a change to occur from positive growth to negative growth. Sagami references how the U.S economy has grown less than 2% in the last three quarters. That is not an encouraging mark of progress, and it is a precarious two points over the zero mark, below which are those dreaded negative numbers.

Designing Policy Administration Systems for the Future

Insurance companies should keep in mind that consumers eliminate the non-essential items from their budget whenever there is a recession. Some consumers may be reluctant to buy a new life insurance policy or an annuity when times are tough, and they might start shopping around for one that offers them lower payments than the ones they currently hold. That’s why we are committed to building policy administration systems for insurance carriers that work in every economy and that meet consumers wherever they are. Insurance carriers can expect more customer requests for policy information and potentially higher volumes of policy changes and cancellations right after an economic collapse. Your company’s customer service platform, which is connected to mobile and web applications, should be ready.

Customization is the Key

The key to building policy administration systems that benefit your company in every economy is customization. We want to help you by studying your target consumer base and identifying their common needs. Today’s subscribers want the right combination of convenient features and security measures whenever they access your website or mobile site. We design a graphic user interface that collects all information required from consumers and then returns the information that they want in a customized format. Our policy administration systems can easily accommodate both prospective policyholders and existing policyholders. We also use the latest security protocols to ensure that your company meets the current federal and state business regulations, especially those regarding consumer data privacy.

Don’t wait to upgrade your policy administration system that interfaces with existing policyholders. You want a flexible platform that will accommodate different levels of traffic, and you don’t want your website to shut down when too many visitors are online. We can build new applications that interface effectively with your existing infrastructure. For details, please contact us today.

How is Big Data Impacting the Sale and Management of Life Insurance and Annuities?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Leveraging Big Data For Life Insurance And Annuities

Big Data is the volume of data that flows from sensors and other inputs that IT systems attempt to analyze in real-time to extract any useful business intelligence. Life insurance and annuities companies can benefit from the power of Big Data as much as any others.

Big Data for the life insurance and annuities industry is a new way of looking at a well-established set of processes. However, the industry has been at the forefront of data analysis since its inception, but that still leaves room for improvement. Insurance underwriters can take advantage of the new capabilities of information technology are more competitive. By processing enormous volumes of data, they have an advantage over their more conservative competitors.

BigData_iStock_013114

Dynamic Hedging To Back Your Guarantees

Big Data brings three fundamental changes to any industry that attempts to exploit it: More database rows, more data in the database fields, and an increase in the tempo of the updates for the database. The expanded data flow and increased processing speed mean a larger volume of potentially useful intelligence. Big Data provides information that resolves a more fine-grained understanding of the business. These three developments enable insurers to make decisions in underwriting more confidently, meaning that larger the sample, the more precise the predictions will be.

Big Data gives you more information more rapidly and of a quality that makes it more valuable as business intelligence. Insurers are beginning to use this capability to hedge risks. Underwriters gain confidence that they will always fund their commitments. In a life insurance marketplace where margins are decreasing, and competition is more intense, using dynamic hedging to find and respond to risk is an excellent tool for the life and annuities profession that create financial products that involve financial guarantees.

3 Things To Unleash The Value In Big Data

Capture the big picture but remain engaged – Make sure you have the big picture in mind. Think holistically to avoid a narrow application that limits the benefits. On the other extreme, avoid applying it in too broad an approach, which could result in neglecting your information assets. In both cases you lose the value of Big Data analytics which, when applied well, reveal unexpected details and opportunities that can revolutionize any business process.

Coordinate your channels, timings, and offers – Commercial enterprise is moving to real-time, and the life and annuities industries are no exceptions. Successful Big Data analytics finds the most profitable opportunities a does it quickly. The prescriptive ability of analytics helps you see what will make the most appealing offers.

Lighten your IT load – When you bring Big Data infrastructure online it should ease the burden on your IT department. The trend in IT is to replace hard assets with services, which brings down the entry barrier for small and medium-sized businesses. Your information gathering and analytics system should achieve the same goal in data.

Companies that use the tools of Big Data efficiently in support of life insurance and annuities see benefits at all stages of the insurance cycle. Insurance operations can cut costs and reduce time spent in policy administration, distribution management, and all of the other information intensive functions that drive this business.

Big Data makes information intensive industries such as insurance more competitive and more responsive to changing risks. Insurers do not need to throw out their legacy computing systems and begin again to have the benefits of prescriptive analytics that will drive the business forward. FAST Technology develops solutions for life insurance and annuity companies. We build modular integrations to improve the business while reducing expensive IT overhead costs. To discuss the future of your IT resources contact us before the competition leaves you behind.

Policy Administration Systems and the Architecture of Life Insurance

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

In the life insurance and annuities business, an automated policy administration system can give life to the structure of life insurance, even if the applications on top of a legacy IT system are decades old. In an industry that is as specialized as life insurance and annuities, companies often depend on a patchwork of software from multiple vendors. The good news is that the best new policy administrations systems rely on a modular architecture to integrate with existing business processes smoothly and efficiently.

legacy-computers,photo-LeonardoRizzi.Flickr

Integrating New Abilities With The IT Legacy

Even the best general purpose IT services companies may not understand the detailed workings and the technical nature of the of the life policies profession, an insurance company may need to gather a development team and lead them to integrate disparate elements into one coherent structure. An IT general services vendor might not have the needed depth of knowledge within the insurance profession, but they can still provide value in project management and developing your business process systems.

Partnering With A Policy Administrations Systems Vendor

You should go with service providers that have the broadest range of skills and mastery of IT for your integration project. If you have to hire a vendor to develop the carrier-specific elements of the system, then you should choose one that has the most experience with integrating policy administration systems with legacy software. The ability to develop a modular system of service-oriented architecture that supports rapid integration is vital for the best results.

The best software systems for the insurance industry deliver functionality with simplicity. The functions that insurance insurers need are themselves numerous and complex; after all, this is a mature industry with a broad range of financial products and processes that must work smoothly to serve the customers and win their satisfaction.

Interfacing For Every User Situation

A dynamic policy administration system needs an expansive range of functions to cover and to integrate into the whole. It is the complex nature of managing benefits, underwriting, commissions and a host of other necessary activities that tie the process together in one whole.

The modular digital interfaces that insurance software vendor offer now provides a smooth experience and transfers information efficiently to the users that need it, which includes policy administration systems that reduce the time to navigate the insurance services chain. You can automate the processes and tasks of a diverse range of tools for policy administration through the entire life cycle using the appropriate modules and architecture.

Minimizing The Stresses Of Transition

Whether you are replacing existing systems or integrating new software with legacy platforms, an upgrade that includes automated policy administration provides market-leading advantages to insurers once the new capabilities are in place. The power of a system that automates the processing throughout the policy life cycle changes the game for life insurance and annuity insurers and rewards you with new competitive advantages.

However, getting there is often a rough ride. The change management process for technology projects is notoriously fraught with difficulty and cost overruns. The most efficient strategic path takes insurance businesses to balance between legacy and modular applications in a new policy administration system that blends the best of both worlds. The solution for change management that works is partnering with a vendor with the experience to lead the changes on your behalf.

Get The Optimum Insurance IT Solution

By matching a modular set of tools with existing functions, companies can transition without the disruption that can accompany such projects. This approach allows for future legacy applications replacement without interrupting operations unnecessarily. No transition is flawless but the one that minimizes changes is best.

FAST specializes in managing the change process and delivering software that integrates seamlessly with other business IT processes. To discuss how we can help to grow your insurance business IT systems, contact us today.