Published on the 12/08/2020 | Written by Cincom
Policy documentation is an opportunity to delight, or dishearten…
Today most insurers are struggling with why they should even think about investing in a new customer communications solution if they’re already getting policies and correspondence out the door. It simply depends on what role customer and agent experiences have in the overall strategy and how much you believe documents and correspondence influence those experiences. In the past, it was a more straightforward evaluation. Most insurers considered the creation and delivery of policy-related documents and correspondence simply a cost of doing business. In this model, the focus was on efficient operations and cost reductions. If a new customer communications solution could help to reduce overall costs or make the process more efficient, then it would make sense to implement it. If using a combination of the core systems, manual processes and word processing programs kept costs low, then there was little reason to invest in a new solution for document creation and delivery.
But now, customers and agents have increasing expectations for insurers to communicate using the methods that are common today. One example is to provide more visually appealing, easier-to-read letters, statements and policies (color documents, new layouts). Another aspect of improved communications is the ability to e-deliver some or all of the documents instead of just printing and mailing them. A third expectation is that insurers will create and deliver messages via e-mail, websites and other digital means. None of these are brand-new requirements, nor are they technologically challenging for a modern communications application.
“Rules-based logic identifies when text paragraphs or other regulated components must be inserted.”
Multiple departments and individuals may be involved in creating and producing forms, document templates and individual customer documents. In order to ensure compliance, it is vital that only authorised individuals create or change elements that are subject to compliance rules. A modern customer communications application will allow for the definitions of specific roles that are assigned to specific individuals. For example, only certain named individuals may be able to change language related to a coverage in a given state. The application then “locks down” this language so that others cannot revise or delete it.
The ever-changing flow of business in insurance results in frequent changes to existing customer documents or the creation of new ones. For example, when a new product is introduced, a new state is entered or a new regulation is issued, existing templates must be revised to create the corresponding new versions. Tracking the different versions of documents that need to be used in each situation is very complex. Modern communications solutions can automate the tracking of versions to ensure that the correct one is being used.
When role-based authorisation is combined with version control and reporting capabilities, insurers are able to audit changes to templates effectively. It is critical that audit trails for all document changes are available. A modern communications application provides this capability, allowing diagnostics to determine what version of a template was used at a particular point in time and who made the changes to it.
Individuals (or core application systems) creating and assembling customer documents cannot possibly know all the rules on when and where to include the right regulatory language for every situation. Modern customer communication applications can assist in this regard with rules-based logic that can identify when text paragraphs or other regulated components must be inserted, based on data pulled directly from core applications. This also provides another benefit of personalising the content to each individual customer.
All of these capabilities for the creation and delivery of customer communications allow the compliance team to support other groups who are creating communications (such as Policy Servicing and Claims) and reduce regulatory fines, manual operations and rework. The automated capabilities of a modern customer communications application enables compliance professionals to capitalise on their expertise and knowledge about regulations while improving their efficiency and effectiveness.
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