In an industry where everyone is talking about speed to market, how is the average carrier to keep up with the blistering pace of change in bureau-based rates, rules and forms? With the typical insurer scrambling to bring new insurance products to market ahead of the competition, the ability to incorporate frequent changes to the underlying rates, rules, and forms can mean the difference between an efficient and successful launch and the lost revenue that accompanies a missed opportunity. Instec recognized this challenge years ago when it made the strategic decision to bundle and maintain bureau-based advisory rates, rules and forms on behalf of its clients, as part of its Quicksolver policy administration software.
“In our 32-year history, Instec has never seen such a large number of multi-state advisory rating updates in such a short timeframe. Our general liability release in February will be the thirteenth major update of ISO or NCCI rating content since September, 2012” says Kevin Mason, vice president of product development.
Keeping pace with the exponential change in bureau-based rating content requires more than simply receiving the updates electronically. Insurers need time to determine the relevance of rating changes for their current, in-market and upcoming products, and then make the updates required in their products via their supporting software. This may explain why analysis and implementation of bureau changes and updates have been cited as the top two challenges in managing compliance, and why as many as 80% of insurers are not compliant with current ISO rating updates, according to industry experts at Novarica.
“We provide business process outsourcing and business technology outsourcing services to carriers, program managers and managing general agents, and rating is a critical piece of our offering. Instec is our go-to partner for policy administration systems, and their rating expertise is a big reason we selected them. They deliver every change released by the bureaus, fully integrated with their Quicksolver system, along with their expert advice three to four months ahead of the effective date. This gives our clients the lead time and guidance they need to incorporate these regulatory changes into their insurance products, and provides them with a huge competitive advantage”, said Kris George, president of MIS Insurance Services.
The frequent changes in bureau-based advisory rating content create yet another challenge for specialty and program writers. These companies create customized rates and corresponding forms to match the unique risks they cover. The last thing these users want to see is their customizations break every time a new bureau update is added to the system. Instec’s product architecture addresses this issue by separating bureau content, client-customized content, and core services into separate layers.
“When we update rates, rules and forms with new bureau content, our clients’ customizations don’t change. Nothing goes away. Nothing gets broken. We separated our system into three layers – core technology, content and customizations – so we can change one of the layers without affecting the others. When we update bureau content, our system sees the client’s customization as having first priority, so new bureau content never overrides the client’s custom content,” says Mason.
In October of 2014, Instec took its bureau-based rating capabilities in yet another direction. Recognizing the need for a nimble rating system that could complement other system capabilities, the company launched Cirrus, a rating engine in the cloud. Instec’s tiered architecture made it easy to lift out the rating layer, and offer it separately. Now, carriers who want to integrate bureau-based rates, rules and forms with an existing policy administration system – or solution providers who want to bundle these features with their own products – have access to an always up-to-date rating system, ready to generate quotes on day one.