This is a great question, and one that is very important to insurers of all sizes and lines of business. While most insurers have structured documents that are produced in high-volume batches (e.g., policies, contracts and billings) under control, most find the dynamic, ad hoc nature of letter correspondence to be difficult to tame, especially when delivering personalized content in real time across a multitude of channels.
In our experience of providing communication solutions to over 100 insurers from around the world, we have determined that there are two key aspects to consider in this area: organizational challenges and integration issues.
Ideally, every insurer would have a unified approach across the enterprise for the creation of all documents and correspondence. In practice, this is difficult because of the way various parts of the business have acquired, built and implemented technology solutions over time. It’s the same “silo problem” that is often encountered with other technology initiatives.
Perhaps the Underwriting area implemented a solution for customer correspondence years ago, which they still use; Distribution has a different solution; and Claims uses its own Microsoft Word templates. And, of course, the core systems pump out policy documents and billing statements.
Many insurers now have a vision and plan to move to a common platform over time, but there are always turf issues and the challenges that come with migration since all of the customer-facing documents must be thoughtfully tested and migrated.
These challenges can be overcome—it just takes senior-executive sponsorship and some careful planning.
One of the most common questions is, should an insurer use its core policy and billing systems to not only generate policy/contracts, renewal notices and bills, but also other communications like letter correspondence?
Unfortunately, a lot of correspondence creation today in insurance is done using legacy core solution modules, many of which have good functionality but are oriented to the IT user.
In addition, many of these legacy solutions integrate with only the core solution and therefore struggle to provide the level of personalization that today’s customers demand.
Ideally, it is best to leverage a single customer communications management (CCM) solution that can produce documents in high-volume batch as well as allow customer-facing representatives to generate correspondence in real time while integrating with all underlying core systems and databases to access the correct variable data and trigger personalized content.
It is best to work with CCM solution providers that have a track record in insurance and experience with integrating with most insurance policy, billing and claims systems in use today.