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North Carolina Farm Bureau Expedites Policy Processing

North Carolina Farm Bureau has reduced its staff and expedited its policy processing function. The carrier has improved quality dramatically while redeploying 30 percent of its staff and reducing policy turnaround from three weeks to five days at the most.
Subsequent to its recent implementation of Clear Technology's (Westminster, Colo.) Tranzax platform, North Carolina Farm Bureau (Raleigh, N.C.) redeployed staff and expedited its policy processing function, reports Linda Squires, senior executive, operations and information systems, North Carolina Farm Bureau. The multiline P&C underwriter first sought the solution -- which, according to the vendor, replicates context-sensitive and flow-based work that could previously only be performed by people -- to add efficiency to an expensive and labor-intensive process.

"We underwrite auto and homeowner's insurance and 16 other lines of business, many of them manually," says Squires. "There is a strong learning curve when it comes to [underwriting and processing these multi-line policies], so effectively recruiting and training personnel is difficult. Also, the process was taking too much time to get out the door and there were also some quality issues involved." The insurer decided on Clear Technology's tool because "It's very different from the typical automated workflow tool," relates Squires. "Business intelligence and role replication is built-in, those are features that a lot of other tools were lacking."

Phase one of the Tranzax platform implementation, which was completed in February, automated North Carolina Farm Bureau's underwriting and policy processing for mobile homeowners and personal insurance coverage (PIC).

As a result, "Our policy turnaround has been reduced from three weeks to five days maximum and most of the time it takes only two days," relates Squires. "Our quality has improved dramatically and it's almost error-free. Our once-manual rating methods are more consistent and we were able to re-deploy 30 percent of our staff to other areas of the business." Additionally, the two month training process that was necessary for employees involved in the old underwriting/policy processing routine, has now been reduced to two days.

Currently, the carrier is in phase two of its implementation, which involves inland marine and dwelling fire coverage. Additionally, "We envision opportunities [for implementing this platform] in other areas of our business, such as claims," reports Squires.