September 26, 2019

September 26, 2019 | Risk Pulse


Zurich’s high tech underwriting is delivering results with a human touch

The process of underwriting has always been a crucial cog in the adviser/insurer relationship, although modern perceptions have shifted from being a standard “back office” process to a real point of difference in an insurer’s full-service offering. Most recently, the introduction of URE’s (Underwriting Rules Engines) is providing innovative, tech driven underwriting solutions to a growing volume of business submitted.

 
  • Zurich sees an 87% uplift in point of sale acceptance for applications submitted electronically via the Zurich Adviser Portal
  • Zurich adopt behavioural economics principals to improve the customer experience
  • New online pre-assessment tool delivering a better indication of requirements upfront
  • Since launch, Zurich have made 156 enhancements to the underwriting rules engine
  • 90% of Zurich applications are submitted electronically


The process of underwriting has always been a crucial cog in the adviser/insurer relationship, although modern perceptions have shifted from being a standard “back office” process to a real point of difference in an insurer’s full-service offering. Most recently, the introduction of URE’s (Underwriting Rules Engines) is providing innovative, tech driven underwriting solutions to a growing volume of business submitted.

Since implementing the Zurich Adviser Portal and the UnderwriteMe rules engine in October 2018, Zurich is now tracking at an 87 per cent uplift in point of sale acceptance rates for applications submitted electronically. With the delivery a more streamlined experience for advisers and customers, Zurich is now seeing a shift in preference of electronic submissions over paper applications.

Chief Underwriting Officer, Zurich Life and Investments, Tina Beilby says “With the end to end advice process becoming more technology-driven, innovation directly relating to the underwriting is where insurers can deliver immediate efficiency gains for advisers and their practices”

Without compromise, the adoption of market leading UnderwriteMe rules engine has enabled Zurich to deliver a smart and simple adviser and customer experience.”

A driver of efficiency has been Zurich’s implementation of an online pre-assessment tool from launch, delivering a better indication of requirements upfront, without the need to re-enter information multiple times. This step in the process has seen increased confidence from advisers with accurate premiums being quoted in real-time.

But it’s not simply the introduction of new systems that have been delivering results, the flexibility of the underwriting experts to make updates and enhancements to the URE without the need of major system changes and deployments is paying dividends for advisers and customers. 

Some examples of this since implementing the new URE, has been the ability for Zurich to adopt behavioural economics principals to improve the customer experience throughout the application process. With a focus on improving the way we ask questions in the personal statement, Zurich has delivered a more relevant and modern approach to disclosure capture, the result of which has reduced cognitive strain on customers when completing the personal statement.

These changes include;

  • The reduction of lifetime health questions from 26 to 17.
  • 13 medical history questions re-categorised from lifetime to the last 5 years.
  • Question set is more tailored to the benefits applied for (e.g. fewer questions for death only)
  • Removal of minor medical conditions which have no underwriting impact

Tina says, “We have been utilising the flexibility of the rules engine to its full potential. Since launch, we have made 156 enhancements to the rules engine across 20 major deployments with each update providing new opportunities to improve both the customer experience and point of sale decision.” 

“The experts can approach problems in new ways, really challenging the status quo of traditional underwriting restricted by technology. This is the human touch we are proud of at Zurich, making it a real point of difference to be an enabler of underwriting solutions with the ultimate goal of a better user experience” 

Zurich’s annual “Voice of the Adviser” survey designed and conducted personally by Zurich’s National Underwriting Distribution Manager, Matthew Apps, consistently reveals that underwriting is one of the key drivers of adviser advocacy.

Tina says… “We know how much advisers value the underwriting service proposition so through this survey is an opportunity to instil confidence in the capabilities of Zurich’s underwriting and new business teams. We take this feedback seriously and use it to directly align our key priorities with those of our customers. Our latest satisfaction survey results reflect the hard work we have done in the past 12 months, with an average overall satisfaction score of 8.54 out of 10.

These significant innovation improvements have been very positively received by advisers, with 90% of all applications submitted electronically.

If you would like to experience the Zurich Adviser Portal and URE for yourself, please visit zurich.com.au/adviserportal or call your BDM.

September 26, 2019

The industry is coming together for positive change

This week Zurich had the honour of being part of the inaugural Professional Planner, Risk Advice Summit, which we co-sponsored with AIA. The event brought together key industry stakeholders from insurers, regulators, advisers and politicians to discuss some of the big challenges confronting us today. Zurich CEO Tim Bailey was on a leadership panel in addition to Head of corporate affairs, Richard Dunkerley who facilitated a discussion between two leading market research firms, NMG & CoreData, who shared key insights from their extensive studies of the current Australian insurance and advice market.

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