WIN Magazine - Spring 2013 - (Page 9)
HOW DID WE UNDERWRITE
BEFORE THE INTERNET?
BY JEANNE RONDEAU, CPCU
OFTEN GET ASKED
how we survived before
the advent of the Internet,
email, online guides, etc.
So many times I have
people tell me they miss
the good old days—well I’m here
to tell you—I am one who does not
miss the good old days in most
respects, especially when it comes
In the “good old days,” we filed policies on open shelves—prior to filing,
the file folders had to be labeled and
then put in alphabetical or numerical order. You then had stacks to put
back to file. Heaven help you when
you needed a file. We actually had
planned misfile search tasks forces.
We had to go through the files and
look for misfiled polices. There were
files that just went missing—we then
sent the troops out to the underwriting floor to search desks, behind
desks, under filing cabinets, etc.
Your file was never available when
you need it the most—it could be in
processing, claims, accounting, or
Incoming correspondence had to
be matched up with these paper files.
The incoming mail had to be sorted
with the file and sent out to the person who would service the request.
Imaged workflows were introduced
about 10 years ago and you now had
your file at your fingertips when you
need it. Some thought mirco-fiche
was the next generation—where are
you now fiche?
Now tell me an imaged workflow isn’t better than the workflow
described above. This is a huge customer service improvement. We can
now have real time conversations
with our customers rather than
searching out the file and having
to call them back. We aren’t using
office space for filing polices, which
is saving a major expense. Workflow
systems, premium processing systems and underwriting intelligence
systems are now being integrated
with each other and performing
some initial underwriting screening.
Systems have been built that allow
producers to upload data for policy
issuance and premium processing.
Some of this does not seem remarkable today, but 20 years ago this was
all still being done with typewriters
and snail mail.
Rating engines are an amazing
improvement over rater racks. Prior
to rating engines most people worked
with huge catalogue type racks that
contained all the state rates, rules,
etc. When any of the pages were
updated, you had to go through the
racks and update the pages. When
you rated a risk you would look up all
the rating information contained in
the state rate pages. You had a paper
rating worksheet where you had to
input the rate, increased limit factor,
debit/credit, and premium basis, and
then calculate the premium using
a 10-key calculator. Again we were
saved by technology, online rating
systems are usually always up to
date, you generally have to input
minimal information and voila, it
calculates the premium for you. So
much more efficient than the old
days! Online underwriting guides
allow users to work with updated
material and puts the updating task
on the guide owner rather than the
I also often get asked how we
assessed risks prior to Google. We
used AM Best Underwriting Manuals
in paper form, we collaborated with
our peers and talked to people that we
knew had some experience with the
type of risk we were underwriting,
we asked for input from our claims
adjustors. These are all still resources
W I N | S p r i n g 2 0 13 | 9
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WIN Magazine - Spring 2013
Cover Story: Eliminating the "Fear Factor;" VoIP Communications for Disaster Recovery & Security
How Did We Underwrite Before the Internet?
Have You Ever Felt Like You're in the Software Business Instead of the Insurance Business?
The MGA Community at the Crossroads
When Sandy Became a Superstorm but not a Hurricane: The Effects on Deductibles
Howto Succeed in Program Business
Your Hidden Sales Force: 5 Steps to Developing "Super" Production Underwriters
Blessings in Disguise: Why Vintage Workers are Creating a New Economic Solution for the Wholesale Insurance Industry
In the WIN-ners Circle: An Interview with Todd Bateson
Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
WIN Magazine - Spring 2013
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