EuroLife uses ALLFINANZ to cut sign-up times by 66 percent and medical costs by 20 percent
Our interaction with Munich Re continually proves our first-class cooperation. We are very happy with it. The combined benefits of Munich Re’s ALLFINANZ software and their rules consulting services well exceed our expectations.
In 1989, EuroLife Ltd., a joint effort in Cyprus between Manufacturers Life of Canada and the Bank of Cyprus, gained a three percent market share in Cyprus with 3,000 customers. Today, new automation drives its market share of 28 percent in Cyprus and Greece. Its 100 people and sales network of 200 serve more than88,000 customers.
This progressive firm is hitting its marks to be the region’s “first choice in reliable insurance solutions that respond to changing personal and business requirements.” It provides a very extensive range of insurance, retirement and investment solutions for families and businesses.
A pioneer in developing partnership bancassurance marketing in this region, EuroLife’s hybrid sales model includes an agency force that develops its own leads and also services insurance referrals from bank employees. Constant care for employees earned EuroLife the coveted “Investors in People” award. It was the first Cyprus life insurance company to earn this honor.
Business pains and opportunities
But the potential revenue growth of EuroLife’s product lines was slowed by the presence of many manual links in the chain of customer acquisition and signup. According to Underwriter Louis Loizides, “Average policy issue time was then 15 days. Even simple cases requiring no medical evidence took two to three days. In a competitive marketing environment, that was a business risk. Insurance companies don’t like risk.”
The step of actual price quotation had already been automated, but getting the customer to and through that point entailed error-prone manual paperwork for the client, salesperson, EuroLife’s back office, policy admission, document scanning and underwriting departments. In complex cases with substandard risks, that could take up to ten days. Such cases then required an underwriter to print the quote, send it to the agent, who then had the client sign it, then return it to EuroLife. If accepted—and if the customer had not secured insurance elsewhere during this time—the policy moved to policy issue. That could take 20 days.
Additionally, manual input sometimes produced database inconsistencies, which could lead to inaccurate or contradictory reports for operations and underwriting decisions.
EuroLife realised that contracting Munich Re’s ALLFINANZ new business and automated underwriting solution along with its underwriting rules consulting services would remedy their task-intensive processes and problems. The solution should also improve the company’s reputation in a competitive marketplace, make underwriting more consistent, focus agents and back office staff more tightly on core responsibilities, and provide unassailable underwriting, management and marketing reports.
Today EuroLife uses ALLFINANZ for all individual new business products and riders. Used in conjunction with Munich Re’s underwriting rules consulting services, this virtually guarantees that policy decisions strike an optimal balance between incentivising agents, new sales and customers, while they ensure profits march upward.
Installing and using Munich Re software
According to Loizides, “EuroLife Corporate relies upon a long, proven and trust-backed relationship with Munich Re, so decisions for the Cyprus entity to acquire the software and services was a comfortable one.”
EuroLife has installed and now uses:
- ALLFINANZ Rules Designer
- ALLFINANZ Interview Server
- ALLFINANZ Business Analytics
- Munich Re’s underwriting rules consulting services
This configuration provides EuroLife with three levels of underwriting rules design and review. ALLFINANZ Rules Designer empowers underwriters to design intricate flowcharts of questions, classify answers, and specify consequences to optimise the delicate balance among processing speed, rates charged, and signups and revenue. ALLFINANZ Interview Server presents questions in web format and tabulates responses. ALLFINANZ Business Analytics encompasses the results to deliver reports and concrete suggestions for ongoing improvements to questions, instructions and business processes. Munich Re’s rules consulting teams guide and optimise use of these tools by decades of experience helping dozens of insurance companies remain popular and profitable.
As so little had been previously automated, EuroLife put significant effort into training staff and agents, but wisely did not force sales agents and staff into an immediate switch to full automation. Some agents were initially not comfortable with the new automated system. Others were learning how to effectively use the new electronic forms and boxes. The software would prove itself, and positive word of mouth would drive adoption. At the last report, manual and electronic input coexist with a shrinking 26 percent of new business still processed manually.
Loizides relates, “It took about 18 months to implement ALLFINANZ but this included our time to develop a new web application solution and interfaces between POS, core back office system, ALLFINANZ and the web application.
“With Munich Re’s rulebook consulting team for electronic underwriting,” says Loizides, “we made many initial changes to customise the rulebook and application to our needs. We incorporated our specific rules for different products and applications, specifically in the questions asked and range of possible answers given.”
ALLFINANZ enables EuroLife to “fine-tune our rulebook and questions on an ongoing basis,” says Loizides. “We wanted to very precisely clarify for agents and customers exactly the types of answers we need, so more applications go through cleanly right from the start.”
Business, financial and operational benefits
Customers are far better served because simple cases are bound the day of application, instead of a two- or three-day wait. Average turnaround times have dropped by half to two to three days. Duration to bind a complex case has been halved to five days.
Clearly refined questions and rules, combined with marketing efficiencies, have resulted in a 20 percent reduction in underwriting-related medical costs and lower staffing in the underwriting department.
Once manual, the steps of customer application, underwriting and policy acceptance are now automated into the new ALLFINANZ new-business process.
Automating all these steps has shot STP (straight-through processing) up to 72 percent, with goals in sight for a two-day average policy issue. This high percentage ensures underwriting standards are highly consistent.
Advisers and other sales channels voice satisfaction by citing faster processing, earlier commissions, higher certainty a prospect will become a customer, less wait time for underwriters, and far fewer prospects sent for medical examinations.
Loizides says, “Our interaction with Munich Re continually proves our first-class cooperation. We are very happy with it. The combined benefits of Munich Re’s ALLFINANZ software and their rules consulting services well exceed our expectations. And where else could you find their technology and expertise under one roof?”