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Be more selective in underwriting by automating the insurance submission intake process

December 5, 2022 | Insurance, Intelligent Process Automation

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Effective underwriting is crucial to profitability for any insurance company and being selective about which policies to write is a key part of the process. Here’s a tip: achieving underwriting automation can help you dramatically expand the pool of policy submissions you have to choose from, driving more selectivity and, thus, profitability.

Our conversations with insurance company clients indicate many of them aren’t being as selective as they could because they’re getting more insurance submissions than they can process. We’re hearing only about 25% of insurance submissions turn into bound deals and some 60% never get a glance.

Clearly, insurance submissions is a process that screams for automation. If you’re not even looking at nearly two-thirds of all submissions, how can you possibly know the policies you do write have the best profit potential of the lot?

Related content: Underwriting Automation for Insurance Providers


A time-consuming, manual process


Of course, it’s not that insurance companies don’t want to be processing all those submissions. The simple fact is the process takes too long. Each submission requires an associate to read the incoming email, open any attachment, check out what is likely a multitude of documents, pull out relevant data from each, and enter that data into a downstream underwriting or risk assessment system. Only after all that’s done can an insurance company even begin to properly assess risk.

Insurance companies have only a few options for how to address the issue and stanch underwriting leakage. The first is to hire dozens if not hundreds of new associates and train them how to process insurance submissions – an expensive proposition.

Another is to outsource the job, likely to an overseas provider. That can likewise be costly and may suffer from quality issues that could torpedo any savings if errors sacrifice underwriting accuracy.

Related content: How partnerships help drive underwriting transformation and automate the insurance submission process


Solution: automating insurance submission intake


A better option is to apply automation to the insurance submissions intake process, such that your existing staff can process more submissions. Simply put, you get more capacity with the same headcount.

Here’s how it works. Using an intelligent intake platform, you build software models that read submission emails on their own. While that may sound far-fetched, it’s actually pretty simple. You do have to train the models, which involves collecting maybe 200 actual emails and labeling the relevant components of each such that the model can recognize them. That means labeling things like names and dates as well as the actual subject matter, so the model can tell a net-new policy request from a renewal, for example.

The same approach applies to the large PDF that’s typically attached to an email submission. Models can be trained to not only unbundle the PDF into discrete documents, but categorize each document and extract key data from them for input into your underwriting system.

Related content: How to automate the insurance submissions intake process and drive new premium growth


Tackle the backlog: automate insurance submission processing


In other words, the models can be trained to perform essentially the same function as your associates do. But they can do it much faster, at any time of day, without taking breaks, and with greater accuracy.

It’s not hyperbole to say this automated approach can reduce by up to 70% the amount of manual document handling in the submissions process. That’s likely enough to help you quickly power through your submissions backlog and get far more submissions into your underwriting/risk system.

Now you can start being far more selective about which policies you really want to write. Being more selective leads to improving loss ratios, because you’re taking on fewer riskier policies. That, of course, has a direct impact on the overall profitability of the company. So does increasing employee productivity, which automating the insurance submission process also does.

Learn more about how Indico Data’s unstructured intake platform can help you increase profitability by being more selective in your underwriting process: check out our reference guide on property & casualty insurancecontact us with any questions, or schedule a demo.

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