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

October 13, 2022 | Insurance, Intelligent Process Automation

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Commercial insurance companies are in a conundrum. Due to the current economic uncertainty they’re generating lots of new insurance submission intake requests, but can’t process them nearly fast enough to capture all the potential new business at their doorstep.

What companies need is a way to automate the insurance submission process and increase underwriting profitability. The problem is submission requests typically come from brokers via email, and email has proven to be a vexing challenge for most process automation tools.

The solution is a process automation tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to “read” emails as well as classify and unbundle attachments just like employees do – only much faster. Such a solution would enable commercial insurance companies to automate the broker submission process, quickly prioritize submissions, get to risk selection faster, and generate more new business premiums – all while improving loss ratios. Oh, and they could do it without increasing employee headcount.

Related content: Underwriting Automation for Insurance Providers


Insurance backlogs mean lost opportunity


The need for such a solution is hard to overstate. Some customers we deal with admit only about 25% of broker submissions turn into bound deals; as many as 60% are never processed at all.

The key to powering through that backlog is an automation tool that incorporates the kind of AI necessary to deal with the various types of content inherent in submission forms. That includes not only standardized ACORD forms, but also custom forms. There’s also the task of reading the email itself, and understanding whether it refers to net-new business or a renewal. An automation tool that supports multiple languages and handwriting is a plus.

Related Article: Why AI is required for transformative insurance claims automation

How to automate the insurance submission process


Here’s how the submission intake process can work with an intelligent automation tool.

First, the tool will be integrated with your email platform, whether that’s Outlook, Azure Exchange or the like. Then an automation model will classify each email, including whether it’s new business or a referral, and also to determine which line of business it refers to. That’s especially crucial for larger, older insurance companies that have grown through merger and acquisition. They may have a single email inbox covering multiple geographies and lines of business, such as energy and wholesale casualty.

A properly trained intelligent automation model can read the email and extract relevant data for input into a downstream underwriting or risk assessment platform. From our experience, that means extracting about 20 to 30 fields from the submissions email.

The model performs much the same task with any attachments, no matter what format they may take. Standardized ACORD forms are a simple matter, but an intelligent automation tool such as the Indico Unstructured Data Platform can also read and process custom forms containing unstructured content, including handwriting. Just as with the email, the model will define the most relevant fields to be extracted from the forms and input the extracted data into the risk selection tool. As a bonus, automated tools don’t get tired or make typos, so the extracted data is generally more accurate than that input by employees. Fewer mistakes in the underlying data can lead to improved loss ratios.

Related content: How intelligent document processing enables insurance underwriting automation

Generate more new business premiums


By applying intelligent automation, insurance companies can reduce by up to 70% the amount of manual document handling in the submissions process. That means companies can process more insurance submissions with the same number of employees, get them through the underwriting process more quickly – and win more new business premiums.

Learn more about how Indico Data can help you get to risk selection faster, improve underwriting profitability and reduce that submission backlog. Check out our reference guide on property & casualty insurance, contact us with any questions, or schedule a demo to see what the intelligent automation can do for you.

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