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Will my policy administration system support my loss control needs?

August 19, 2016 David Da Costa Blog


Most insurance carriers I speak with recently are undergoing an upgrade or replacement of their policy administration platform and other core systems.  This is no surprise, given the rapid pace of change and growing uncertainty in the industry driven by new entrants, new technologies and disruptive business models - insurers are quickly trying to future-proof their operations.

Given these huge investments in core systems, a comment we often receive regarding loss control functionality is:

"I think our new policy administration system might handle our loss control needs."

From our experience, some policy administration systems do have rudimentary features to support loss control, but typically fail to address the very unique needs of this function.  These basics often include:

  • Generating a request from an account/policy
  • Basic task management and workflow
  • The ability to attach loss control documentation (produced using Word, Excel, etc.)

You might be wondering why this is the case...if loss control is a key function for most insurance carriers, why do core systems not include features to support it?

To frame this answer, let's consider one of our customers - a major insurer with more than 12,000 employees across all functions of the organization. Their loss control team has 80 individuals (which is equal to a meagre two thirds of one percent of the company workforce).

When I look at this fact from the perspective of a policy administration solution vendor, there are simply too many other features and functions to deal with to devote significant resources to such a small function.  Policy admin vendors need to worry about complex product structures, underwriting rules, document outputs, regulatory compliance, billing feeds and cumbersome reinsurance calculations...loss control simply just doesn't hit their radar.

Another issue we recognized is a lack of understanding by these vendors (and even the internal IT team occasionally) of what functionality and capabilities loss control actually requires.  Understandably so, as many loss control teams have never required any IT support as they have often built their own templates and tools using Word, Excel, Access or whatever they could cobble together with duct tape and dental floss!

Figure 1: Will my policy administration system support my loss control needs?

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