WIN Magazine - Spring 2013 - (Page 9)

FEATURE HOW DID WE UNDERWRITE BEFORE THE INTERNET? BY JEANNE RONDEAU, CPCU I 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 to underwriting. 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 lost! Incoming correspondence had to be matched up with these paper files. The incoming mail had to be sorted alphabetically/numerically, matched 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 guide user. 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/

WIN Magazine - Spring 2013