By Jeff McCauley, President, Paperless Solutions Group, an MIB BusinessAugust 8, 2023
Several MIB members and clients have expressed interest in hearing from other companies about how they are leveraging services and tools to address key industry challenges. One of the more frustrating and time-consuming challenges in the application and underwriting process is the collection of outstanding information. Chasing down missing requirements often involves a manual process, with multiple handoffs and other inefficient steps that lack data security. However, there are tools available, such as Paperless Solutions Group eRequirement℠, that can automate the requirements gathering processes and help address this challenge.
I sat down with Jenny Canas, Vice President of Product, Underwriting and Operations and Resley Hinton, Workflow Operations Analyst from SelectQuote, to discuss their experiences with requirements gathering. In the conversation, SelectQuote, a large distributor of life insurance and one of the earliest adopters of PSG eRequirement, shared their extensive experience with the tool to streamline processes and improve turnaround time.
Jeff (PSG): Can you briefly describe the requirements collection process used at SelectQuote BEFORE you implemented eRequirement?
Resley (SelectQuote): Our previous process was simply a phone call followed by an email. If we were unable to reach the client by phone, or otherwise unable to obtain the information requested by the carrier over the phone, we would have the representative assigned to the case send an email. Over time, we were able to add encryption to the emails for sensitive information. But it was up to the individual representative to enable the encryption so it was not always consistent, and we also had challenges with clients who had firewalls and at times couldn’t receive the messages. When that happened, we had to revert back to paper and regular mail.
In addition to the time this process took, we had challenges with transparency. Since representatives would send emails from their individual accounts, others had no line of sight to their activity. If a rep was out of the office, the cases they were working on could not be accessed by others and this led to delays. For example, if we received an inbound call from a client and another rep took the call, they had no access to the email exchange or status of the case to assist them in handling the call. Also, management had no ability to know what, if any, follow-ups took place or if the proper questions were asked.
Jenny (SelectQuote): Also, we had to maintain various carrier forms, and ensuring we were always using the current iteration was a challenge and sometimes the wrong form would go out. We never got into the business to be a forms vendor, but we had to become one in the absence of a solution that could manage forms for us.
Jeff (PSG): How has eRequirement improved your process / time service / expenses?
Resley (SelectQuote): I think it’s made a significant impact on time service as well as processes. It has allowed us to free up representatives to focus on sending our eRequirement links, while others can focus on making dials for follow ups with customers. Turnaround time for getting information back has been a very important improvement. Forms that would previously take days or maybe a week to receive back, especially a document that needed to be ‘wet signed,’ can be completed with eRequirement’s eSignature and turned around in about a day to a day and a half. That’s been a huge change for us.
eRequirement also helped us address our transparency issue. With eRequirement, representatives can access each other’s cases and if a rep is out, keep the process moving and cycle time down. eRequirement also automates the process of forwarding signed documents to carrier partners while keeping us in the loop. So instead of having to manually transfer a document that has just been e-signed to the carrier, the system sends the document automatically – enabling us to cut out a manual step from our process.
Jenny (SelectQuote): When you think about our cost savings, there’s just sheer manpower savings when you cut out extra steps. You get the benefit of cycle time, but you also get the benefit of resources being freed up. Then another huge advantage is that we no longer have to maintain forms, resolving a pain point I mentioned earlier. Also, the process is streamlined for the customer who can easily identify where information is needed and answer a question directly on the digital form - versus printing out a form, answering the questions, and then sending it back to us.
Overall it’s been a win. With fewer touch points there are fewer chances of the case going off the rails. Because every time you add an additional task or person to the mix, something could go wrong.
Jeff (PSG): What kind of feedback have you gotten from the carriers?
Resley (SelectQuote): The biggest feedback from the carriers is that time services is really cutting down. It’s enabling us to make sure the documents are more complete, and I think the carriers really appreciate that. Being able to electronically highlight required fields or other things the client needs to be cognizant of when they are completing the document has led to a huge improvement for us. In contrast that to the prior method of someone manually going through each document with a highlighter, that automation has been a game changer for us.
Jeff (PSG): Have you had any challenges with carriers regarding adoption of the tool and use of eSignature.
Resley (SelectQuote): We’ve always had a great adoption rate with all our carriers. Everyone has really been accepting of the tool, no one has ever expressed concerns with PSG
e-Signature, and the carriers really like getting the eSignature log so they can see that the signature is coming directly from the client. Ever since we’ve gotten eRequirement rolling, it’s just improved as time has gone on. We always feel very confident about the process.
Jeff (PSG): How has the addition of the Custom Questionnaire in eRequirement affected your throughput?
Jenny (SelectQuote): Our case managers were running into situations where the carrier was asking new questions that were not on their filed form. In the absence of the ability to customize the questionnaire, our people would need to ask the extra questions in their email – and that’s not easy to track. With eRequirement, we were able to build our own version of a 'Custom Questionnaire' so we can ask all questions within the application, keeping it all in one place - making it easier and more controlled for Case Managers and easier to track. I believe, it created a better experience for the customer as well, since they also had their questions all in one place.
Improving requirements gathering for carriers
While this success story is told from the point-of-view of a large agency, it is easy to see from the discussion how eRequirement also benefits carriers and applicants. Specific benefits for carriers include:
For more information about how Digital Solutions from MIB and Paperless Solutions Group can help you improve the speed and efficiency of the application process, Contact Us.
To learn more about PSG eRequirement, watch our video
Jeff McCauley is the President of Paperless Solutions Group (PSG), an MIB business. He joined MIB as part of the acquisition of PSG in December of 2020. Prior to that, he served as PSG’s President / COO for 11 years. Jeff has extensive management, sales, marketing, and operational experience, having worked for vendors, service providers and carriers all focused on the life insurance market. These experiences allow Jeff to see the industry from many different perspectives. Jeff is very involved in several industry trade groups, all of which are focused on progressing automation. Jeff graduated from Virginia Computer College and has taken advanced courses from LOMA and others that focus on Management and Leadership.