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The insurance industry can tend to be somewhat more complex than the rest of the financial sector. It's important to create digital products that not only meet high security standards (which is common in banking) but also translate the business strategy and vision of a good actuarial model, which can be a challenge. 

We then must integrate the best of these complex visions to assemble a product that allows organizations to enhance sales in a highly competitive market, where other companies have multiple product and service offers ever day. We are talking not only about a good user experience (UX), but also about an architecture and a tactical product from a technical point of view aligned with the organization’s core.

B2B sales strategies, focused on the corporate customer or broker, then become necessary; having a 100% digital product is only the basis of this long but valuable path. Let's get to know the best practices, key points and challenges when building insurance broker portals that enhance B2B sales.

Product unit 

Actuarial models that guide core system integrations are not flawless, but they do ensure standardization in the quality of an end-to-end process, and thus enable an approach to products that can evolve over time.

The insurance industry has entered a new stage in its digital transformation. Relegated processes or limited synchronization between the actuarial model and technical definitions is no longer an option, and even industry providers have acquired software companies related to data science, risk analysis, and automation. 

Product design will move from interface improvements or digitization of traditional processes to rethinking integration with your core systems in strategic and efficient ways, while responding to actuarial approaches and emerging (and increasingly digital) risks.  

Ensuring good integration is therefore the best way to offer a broker a good experience. Making platforms collaborative and adaptive to pricing models and processes will make a difference to your brokers. For this process, it’s vital that internal teams from service areas, technicians, actuaries, all delve as a team into the unknown parts—the famous black box—of your core systems and have room to align it with your digital developments.

Some best practices are: 

  • align the product architecture model with the actuarial model 
  • train technical specialists with business understanding 
  • make proofs of concept for critical integrations 
  • include technical definitions in the construction of raters
  • contemplate the coexistence of new vs. old processes and products
  • technical definitions of segregation models, and
  • incorporate analysis and metrics to the service models.

A broker portal that is designed and correctly integrated from its base between the actuarial model and the technical scope, is a platform that will open space to meet evolving needs and changes, reducing the focus on unforeseen events and therefore able to take corrective or more competitive actions towards the market demand.

Technical solutions tailored to your products

The insurance industry has well-defined processes for its brokers. However, while there is a standard base, through trials and tribulations we've learned that not all technical processes can be unanimously defined. Identifying these differences can give the organization a commercial and competitive advantage. This is the blue ocean of small improvements to make life easier for your customers and differentiate you from your competition.

It's important that organizations identify certain aspects starting from any product’s conception: 

  1. The key tasks in the processes according to the groups of brokers and their commercial impact, and 
  2. The processes that require more traditional operations that need to be digitized.

From our experience these analyses have opened the door to significant changes that improve the product while at the same time establish regulated business models and increase their brokers’  degree of confidence.

  • API
  • Risk profilers
  • Georeferencing

System Observability

No product is exempt from failures, which customers are aware of, but once in production, it is necessary to have a transversal visibility of what is happening to give a better quality of support, execute future improvements and anticipate errors within the execution. This, in addition to building loyalty, helps improve satisfaction rates and consequently greatly influences product preference.

The system must always keep the user informed about what is happening through appropriate feedback that’s delivered in a timely manner, especially when we are talking about highly complex systems. At Modyo, we are currently working on product enhancements where we provide visibility of service errors through integration with AWS, which facilitates the ability to monitor and even infer anomalous situations in transactional systems. 

Through specific code and a layered observability model associated with technologies, we understand that in order to have good commercial conversations, it is key to provide brokers with alternatives that give the client visibility of everything that happens with their product. 

That is why we know that observability is also proactive and we can help prevent downtimes through alert systems, or at least reduce their duration. Receiving automatic alerts to detect a decrease in response times, especially in the most relevant transactions for the business, as well as controlled errors that may affect it, are key in making productive use of time. Time is money - the difference in a quote, an issue, or a risk analysis makes a big difference.

Asynchronous models to avoid impacting customer processes

A product that is able to perform at the speed of the broker's business opens doors to improved sales. But also, as mentioned before, a product that is able to understand the differences between its own quoting, issuing processes, or detect where it needs to improve the performance and architecture model makes a difference.

To improve the performance of some of the insurance and product quotes from various industries, at Modyo we rely on Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) a fully managed message queuing service that allows decoupling and scaling of microservices, distributed systems and serverless applications.

Eliminating the complexities and overhead of managing and operating services makes product maintenance more efficient, but also streamlines the middleman process. Knowing how to set up asynchronous processes for issuing processes or security validations according to the volume of each quoter will help volume from being a problem for the broker.

A model such as the one proposed can help the product and the operation to free itself from administrative overload by having the system manage all ongoing operations with the necessary infrastructure. This provides a highly available and scalable message queuing service that help deliver messages reliably. The CORE system doesn’t always have the availability or speed that is required, but with a good asynchronous model it prevents messages from getting lost and can provide other necessary services. 

Finally, this type of service means you can keep your sensitive data protected to help you meet regulatory and compliance requirements and scale elastically and cost-effectively, worrying about pre-provisioning and capacity planning will be one less concern. Having standard queues and being able to use an unlimited number of messages per queue will provide you with almost unlimited processing capacity.

Talk to us about enhancing your digital product 

At Modyo, we understand the key points and challenges that come up when building insurance broker portals, and that it can be a lengthy and cumbersome process. During this era of rapid digitization, we’re here to discuss your journey, whether it be transitioning your product to fully online, to updating your messaging service, and how a next-gen digital experience platform could be your solution.

Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash.