(Image credit: Adobe Stock.)
EIS Group (San Francisco) announced yesterday at the LIMRA Group and Worksite Benefits Conference in Newport, R.I., that it has made significant enhancements to the underwriting capabilities available in its latest version of EIS PolicyCore, the vendor’s policy administration solution. EIS says that the new features in PolicyCore enable benefits insurers to take advantage of growth opportunities in the small case voluntary insurance market with the advent of healthcare reform and the rise of benefits exchanges.
“Small employers are a key component in driving economic growth, but their needs and abilities for delivering employee benefits are vastly different than the corresponding capabilities for large employers,” comments Rob McIsaac, SVP, Research and Consulting, Novarica. “To effectively and profitably serve this small case market, carriers may need to find better ways to support the underwriting process. The legacy tools and processes which have done the job for large group contracts may not be up to the task of handling the functions needed for this emerging and highly competitive segment.”
The new capabilities within PolicyCore are intended to address what EIS calls a significant market opportunity for U.S. employers with under 500 employees—a category which comprises 42 million employees. Benefits insurance research advisory firm Eastbridge reports that these employers are increasing their voluntary product offerings and that 84 percent of small case brokers expect voluntary revenue to increase as a percentage of their total business. The new release of EIS PolicyCore is designed to address this opportunity by streamlining underwriting processes for employers, brokers and insurers.
EIS describes the key enhancements to PolicyCore that enable an efficient new business process from quote to issue for voluntary insurance as follows:
Flexible Plan Creation: EIS’ spreadsheet-paradigm rules engine is leveraged to provide underwriters with a user-friendly environment to streamline product development by configuring an unlimited number of product, plan, coverage and package eligibility options and parameters using spreadsheets. Included is a new Microsoft Excel add-in that enables business users to import plan data, make changes, and save it back into PolicyCore.
Field-based Quoting: New and enhanced underwriting rules and authorities allow the underwriting organization to distribute workload within their new business departments and to the field. Field-based quoting allows underwriting to take place where the risks are most understood while automating referral of complex cases to specialized underwriters. The result is better quality underwriting, better utilization of resources and reduced new business cycle times.
Automated Census Import: A new automated census import utility eliminates the laborious and error-prone entry of risk-based data into systems while also delivering an easy-to-do-business-with experience for producers and customers. The import utility allows the underwriter to map to the layout of the customer-supplied file, perform field level validation and automatically integrate with the EIS rating engine, thereby saving valuable time for both underwriters and customers’ HR departments while reducing errors.
Rate Reporting and Tracking: Rating reports provide underwriters with insight on pricing formulae to help understand and explain how rates change based on plan changes, thereby improving broker satisfaction. Additionally, rate tracking reports are available to track and measure manual rate through to installed rate to help carriers manage profitability.
“By introducing these advanced underwriting capabilities, EIS Group has again addressed a gap in insurance technology that could be an impediment to growth,” comments Tony Grosso, VP, Product and Industry Marketing, EIS Group. “Our customers have been quick to leverage our latest software release to overcome legacy system constraints to small case market expansion. Strengthened underwriting capabilities are the latest step in the evolution of our core insurance platform for benefits insurers, and follow the introduction of full claims management and flexible billing management into the platform over the last twelve months.”