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A Refreshing Start Pre-Issue Documentation, Best's Review, December 2008


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Scanning as part of the overall life insurance policy workflow and process.

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A Refreshing Start Pre-Issue Documentation, Best's Review, December 2008

  1. 1. BEST’S REVIEW Technology Insight Technology December 2008 M aximizing document cap- group customers, have enough “soft- By ture, indexing and catego- dollar return on investment” to warrant Gates Ouimette rization efficiencies during the investment. Hard-dollar cost savings the pre-issue stage of an insurance often won’t amount to enough for insur- policy lifecycle is something insur- ers already heavily invested in pre-issue ers have been striving toward for document capture and imaging systems. years. Insurers have long been heavy The decision to invest in systems or imaging systems users, with signifi- offshore resources ultimately should get cant cost savings achieved through evaluated within the context of current implementations of these systems. business processes which lend them- With advances in scanning soft- selves to a potential document process- ware and hardware, optical character ing systems refresh. Can a more straight- recognition/intelligent character rec- through process cut down on the ognition, content management and number of manual processing errors? Will customer satisfaction A Refreshing Start benefit from improved sys- tem-related document trans- parency resulting in having a view of the most current status of a new, in-process Pre-issue process work flow/business rules engines, are policy application? there additional benefits available to When evaluating investments in visioning, both strategic insurers by a refresh in their current policy-related document capture and and tactical, is critical to in-house new business systems? processing, a strategic perspective at the the policy lifecycle. For example, lower error rates in overall process level is required—from newer scanning software can theoreti- receipt of new business documents to cally allow for more automated process- printing/mailing the final contract.This ing and less manual intervention of would include: incoming documents within the new • Understanding the initial “input” business process. If the software also business architecture at a macro level proves consistent enough to be used as and reviewing the pros and cons of part of the categorization of these docu- how to incent the gradual use of more ments, there’s potentially larger value standard methods such as online sub- in a system refresh, based upon more mission and supplying downloadable timely collecting/sorting/grouping of all forms to insert in fax streams. requisite new policy paperwork. • Reviewing the overall process However, since the consistency of flow and identifying potential quick- The decision to invest in scanning solutions across multiple docu- win projects using the latest in work systems or offshore ment types is still not 100%, for compa- flow/rules engines, content aggregation, nies having large document input streams, metadata extraction/mapping, search resources ultimately adding inexpensive offshore resources to technologies etc. should get evaluated do the scanning, indexing and categoriza- • Always mapping the overall within the context of cur- tion functions can sometimes still provide systems architecture at a strategic, a less expensive alternative. best possible solution level such as rent business processes. Despite this possibly less-tangible service-oriented architecture, and business benefit resulting from upgrad- then striving to implement technolo- ing current document processing gies and solutions that, at a minimum, systems, the business decision to do so allow more simple future integration could come down to whether increases of newer, better solutions. in process efficiencies, accuracy, trans- Using this more strategic parency and scalability, and their impact approach against a well-defined, on distribution channels, retail and understood and documented vision in the pre-issue stage will result in Gates Ouimette is a Best’s Review insurers being able to make tactical decisions and investments without columnist from Massachusetts. He can be reached at sacrificing long-term benefits. BR 60 BEST’S REVIEW • DECEMBER 2008 • RepRint Copyright © 2008 by A.M. Best Company, inc. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.