de Goudse Automated Underwriting

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Netherlands Insurance Company de Goudse cuts processing time and provides better service

“In our field and market, de Goudse is now seen as an innovative insurance company that uses modern techniques to provide better service to the customer.”

Valentina Visser, Manager – Health and Income Protection

The company

De Goudse N.V. provides insurance for life, property, vehicle, health, disability, and travel. Founded in 1924 De Goudse N.V. is based in Gouda, the Netherlands. The firm sells primarily in the Netherlands, exclusively through 3,000 brokers.

Speeding up processed

Income and disability insurances are among De Goudse’s major products. In a rapidly dynamic and competitive marketplace, De Goudse is keen to speed up those processes that impact the acceptance of risks, so that it can distinguish itself from competitors and provide quicker and more customer-friendly service.

According to Valentina Visser, manager – Health & Income Protection at De Goudse “We could see that although we had competitive policies and pricing, we were not closing as much business as we wanted and expected to. Looking deeper, we found that some of our processes were far too slow, in particular those related to the medical acceptance of risks.”

“As we sell exclusively through independent advisors or brokers, it is of vital importance that our processes do not form a bottleneck that decreases business. Our information collection and medical information processing were almost entirely manual with almost no automation; we felt this was the right place to start looking for new efficiencies recognizing that speeding up the optimization of new business processes would not only reduce costs and increase our internal efficiencies, but would also enable us to provide quicker and better service both to our brokers and to the individual customer. We knew customers would welcome a reduction in the elapsed days between original contact and closing a deal.”

The solution

“We commenced with our disability insurance by examining three leading software products to speed up the closing of contracts with prospective customers. We knew that if we could deliver decisive answers in less than a week, we would stand out in our industry in the eyes of customers and brokers.”

Visser reports, “We have investigated various possibilities that were available in the market. The Allfinanz Interview Server, and Allfinanz Business Analytics from Munich Re provided the smartest solution after we carefully weighed all factors particularly its ability to conform itself to our needs as we grow.”

“Today, the broker/advisor creates a policy request, which includes an application for a customer to fill out the health declaration via email. As the customer enters information it is stored in the Allfinanz Interview Server database. The health declaration is then complete and the data including the Allfinanz Interview Server preliminary assessment goes to our medical workflow system for final medical approval.”

“We didn’t need to ‘customize’ the rules engine,” explains Visser. “It’s just not that difficult. It’s built to be constantly modified, so we simply changed its settings to conform to our company and the demographics we serve. Implementation and rollout has taken up to ten months to this stage. We plan ongoing expansion of the system, such as increasing the number or medical conditions it considers.”

Business benefits

“We now have a faster speed in doing business and contracting new customers,” says Visser. “Our aim is to have 70 percent of policy applications delivered with straight through processing (STP) by the end of 2011, and we are confident that in time we will achieve our ambitious target of 100 percent.”

“Customers clearly appreciate this new system. It enables them to provide us with medical information in a much quicker and easier way. And as a consequence we can more quickly provide them with clarity about the acceptance of the risk.”

Visser says, “The subjective benefits of our energetic attitude and Allfinanz product suite are many but hard to quantify. In our field and market, De Goudse is now seen as an innovative insurance company that uses modern techniques to provide better service to the customer. We are achieving new recognition as an innovative and entrepreneuring insurer.”

“The ‘people benefits’ we see are that our underwriting staff are happier spending far less time on the tedious rote of underwriting straight-forward cases. We are also receiving positive reactions from our brokers.”

Visser concludes by saying, “As things progress, we know that Allfinanz Business Analytics will increase our insight into business patterns and trends, and will guide us to improve efficiency and to optimize our service to our customers.”

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