Alberta Motor Association CIO on Guidewire’s Role In the Club’s Insurance Transformation

The AMA’s VP of Technology strategy relates how the Alberta-based club has shifted its focus from market share to risk selection/management and claims performance and sees Guidewire’s core system suite as a vector to success.

(Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta. Photo credit: Gorgo.) 

In recent years, the Alberta Motor Association (AMA), an affiliate of the Canadian Automobile Association, had placed emphasis on growing its share of the auto insurance market in the province, according to Collin Moody, the club’s VP of Technology Strategy. However, with changing customer expectations and other factors, the AMA has shifted its focus to claim risk selection and management, claim performance and customer satisfaction more broadly. To meet its goals, the AMA has selected Guidewire’s InsuranceSuite core insurance processing platform, along with Thunderhead’s Smart Communications solution for customer communications.

Delivering on Changing Customer Expectations

“We recognize that there are aspects of our current solution that don’t allow us to become the kind of company we need to be,” Moody comments. “The kind of company we see ourselves becoming is one that gives customers a choice of channel, and ensures that during the key moments of truth—whether servicing a claim or writing a new policy—we deliver on our customers’ growing expectations for speed, accuracy and a highly satisfying customer experience.”

Collin Moody, VP of Technology Strategy, AMA.

Collin Moody, VP of Technology Strategy, AMA.

AMA began implementation of InsuranceSuite for policy, claims, billing and rating/underwriting in Nov. 2015 and plans to roll out the system for personal property and personal auto by the end of 2016, according to Moody.

“We’re aiming to tighten up our insurance operations and looking to handle distribution through new channels,” Moody says. “There’s a growing segment of customers who have an expectation of online service. We see Guidewire as an opportunity to for us to not only look at operational efficiency and risk selection and management tools, but also to position ourselves for new communication and distribution channels.”

AMA was influenced in its selection of the Guidewire suite by the experience of its sister club in Ontario, according to Moody. “They’ve been on Guidewire for several years and have been very successful on the system,” he says.

In addition to a very strong reference, AMA also learned from its sister club’s experience. “We’ve been following their philosophy of leveraging as much functionality out of the box as possible,” Moody explains. “It’s a good exercise because it acts as a catalyst to review our business processes and match what we consider industry best practices that are built into Guidewire.”

New Levels of Data Access and Quality

Transformational initiatives AMA is conducting in relation to the core system replacement include a claims paperless initiative based on software from enterprise content manager vendor OpenText (Waterloo, Ontario). AMA also has significant data warehouse and business intelligence initiatives afoot. “Being able to leverage data is critical to our ongoing success, and with Guidewire we’ll have better access to data than ever,” Moody says. “We’re making sure to capitalize on this opportunity by making very serious renovations to our data warehouse—our previous system didn’t give us the levels of access and data quality to facilitate the kind of analytics we’re looking to achieve.”

In addition to making gains in risk management AMA seeks significant gains in claim performance and customer experience from its transformation. The company has set new key performance indicators representing an elevated level of service. “Our current state makes it challenging to do anything claim-related in a timely manner, and that’s because of the performance limitations of our legacy core systems,” he elaborates. “That’s clear from our current Net Promoter score, and we have developed metrics to address that.”

“We see claims management as an area where we can achieve substantial improvements in customer satisfaction,” Moody adds. “We believe that because we’ve seen it at other Guidewire customers, and more specifically our sister club in Ontario.”

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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