The promise of a better way to enable the P&C Insurance industry to do business has been an expensive and ongoing voyage, a voyage that some think is a myth while others hope it is reality. SEMCI (single entry multiple company interface), Real Time, “Once and Done” are still far away for most as a reality. Even though over the years enough money has been poured into potential solutions, the attainment of the desired end state is still more of a myth.
Too much weight has been placed on the use of technology as the answer to the question of, “how do we deliver on the promise of a better way?” If technology were the answer, then I am sure that we would have already reached the solution.
Legacy is a huge issue, both within the Insurance Companies but also within brokers. Don’t assume I am referring to technology legacy. Sure, legacy within systems, both broker and company, is a major issue, but legacy within workers (lack of training or improper skillsets) and legacy within workflows is as big if not bigger factor than the legacy systems that most still rely on. Don’t be fooled either, even if the technology comes as SaaS (software as a service) or is mobile or is promoted as the latest and greatest, I can guarantee that there is still legacy within the architecture (built by humans with legacy thoughts and knowledge).
Real change is going to only happen when we can break through generally accepted legacy thought and workflow. The next step is not going to be incremental. To take advantage of the latest technology there is going to have to be a complete disassociation from past practices and mindsets.
To sum up, the technology is absolutely ready now to deliver, but the biggest barrier to delivering SEMCI and real time to new policy, renewal policy and policy change is the human factor.
In fact, change is already happening amongst us. There are thousands of brokers who are issuing policies in real time as well as creating policy change in real time and all other aspects of the policy life cycle all in a real time mobile environment. It is so subtle, that most would not even know that is what they are doing.
A few brave companies have stepped into this new world, leaving their legacy thoughts behind, and are benefitting from enabling their brokers to do business in an unthought-of new work environment. This new work environment is completely mobile, lets brokers get quotes instantly, issue no-error policies in real time, make policy changes in the same fashion. Time that used to be spent on tedious paperwork can now be put into client relationships, both existing and new.
In addition to those obvious benefits, these insurers are dramatically reducing their cost to issue insurance policies. They did not let Legacy Thinking prevent them from making these dramatic improvements to their and their client’s organizations.