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IFG Companies has adopted the FirstBest Underwriting Management System (FirstBest UMS; Bedford, Mass.) as part of the Burlington, N.C.-based carrier’s strategy to expand into new products and lines of business. IFG Companies implemented the solution, beginning with its new property line, using the vendor’s UMS Express accelerated implementation methodology.
“Our existing underwriting environment constrained our response times, but with FirstBest UMS now in place, our underwriters are able to access a real-time queue of their accounts, and efficiently address status and in-flight priority items,” comments Raymond Karrenbauer, senior VP and CIO, IFG Companies. “The company has always been focused on technology-enabled innovation and transformation, and especially with a new team of underwriters joining IFG, we seized a timely opportunity to modernize underwriting workflows with the introduction of FirstBest UMS.”
Advantages of a Common Underwriting Platform
IFG’s goal was to establish a common underwriting platform across the property insurance businesses, providing underwriters with complete data access in support of their underwriting risk selection and file reviews, Karrenbauer affirms. The solution provides IFG with a level of visibility and workflow management not previously achieved with existing systems. With underwriting data and documents centralized and available in UMS, underwriters are able to increase efficiency and speed of execution, by eliminating the constraints of having to navigate multiple systems and sources for data. Through a single UMS electronic file and view of the risk, IFG underwriters can collaborate rapidly on submissions and capture all correspondences (e.g., e-mail, notes, attachments) within the context of the submission and account.
Mission-Critical Analytics, Tools and Processes
“During the evaluation process, we always had a clear understanding of the differences between the underwriting functionality available in our existing policy administration systems and the new capabilities we would gain with the implementation of a dedicated underwriting workstation solution,” comments Christopher Lewis, executive VP and chief risk officer, IFG Companies. “Having successfully integrated FirstBest UMS with our existing business technology environment, we have enabled our organization with mission-critical analytics, tools, and processes to underwrite property business more effectively and efficiently.”
IFG Companies took an incremental approach to building out the FirstBest UMS for its newly created property unit. The carrier also integrated the solution with several of its systems and data sources, including IFG’s clearance and pricing platforms, document management system, and core policy administration system. Implementation of FirstBest UMS for IFG’s new property line was followed by its adoption for the carrier’s inland marine line of business.
“FirstBest congratulates IFG on its successful implementation,” comments John Belizaire, CEO and Founder, FirstBest Systems. “Due to the synergies of our respective teams, the UMS Express implementation experience was collaborative, well-organized, and fast. We look forward to supporting IFG’s underwriting team as it leverages a modern underwriting workstation to optimize underwriting proficiency, responsiveness, and flexibility.”