Australian-New Zealand life insurance company cuts sales times and costs, while revenues rise
Internally, productivity gains were over $2 million last year, a 10-15 percent improvement on core functions. The Allfinanz suite has helped us manage staff levels as sales rose. It helped reduce data entry and focus skilled underwriters on key activities and advisor interaction.
Asteron sells life insurance to individuals through independent financial advisers. “Before taking on Munich Re’s Allfinanz solution in 2008, customer intake was purely via paper forms,” says John Crosswell, Executive General Manager of Life Risk.
“Two prime drivers pushed automation,” says Mark Bower, Executive Manager, Service and Innovation. “We needed an electronic front-end to attract more advisers and augment their productivity. They needed faster applications, quick completions and low error rates. And we didn’t want each new policy to crank up our internal costs.”
“We wanted an ‘industrial strength’ solution,” says Crosswell, “not a ‘tacked-on’ electronic front-end. We assessed that the Automation Solutions division of Munich Re had the best track record worldwide and showed us comprehensive automation we could phase in. We saw it would adapt and provide a tailored solution for our New Zealand business.” We delivered Phase One to advisers in five months,” reports Bower. “We let that settle in, and then finished fitting the Allfinanz solution to our internal systems in June 2009.” Crosswell elaborates, “Asteron’s information is now integrated in both directions first to interact with our online quoting software; second, on through to auto-underwriting, our underwriting workbench engine, policy admin, and maintenance. It’s genuinely end-to-end.”
The ALLFINANZ solution
“The Automation Solutions from Munich Re have helped us raise our market position and sustain it,” says Crosswell. “New business increased more than 20 percent last year because we’re more responsive to advisers. Without this integrated system, sales would be far harder to process. Now I can see and describe our future in concrete terms.” Crosswell cites specific benefits Asteron has documented. In 2009, over 60 percent of one team’s new life business came in through Lifeguard EQ. Of that: 22% was accepted immediately 37% was accepted within 24 hours
Paper applications once averaged 36 days to issue; today that’s 16. Cases needing underwriting average only 21 days. “And this only reflects our initial implementation,” adds Crosswell. Sales Growth “We brought in the Allfinanz suite to keep pace with changing times,” says Bower. “Today, we’re ahead of the market. Advisers’ electronic intake is more than 50 percent, and bank advisers’ is 70 percent. We expect to lift this much higher by June 2010.” “We have increased business levels many ways,” says Crosswell, “and one of them is our Allfinanz system. It’s a very useful tool for our Business Development Managers, who facilitate service to advisers and help improve their business. Over time, we will further improve our customer experience and adviser productivity.”