Wednesday Jan 07, 2015

Live Webcast with INN: Grow Business by Streamlining the Entire Opportunity-To-Quote-To-Application Process

The economic realities of today’s insurance market make it harder than ever to achieve profitable growth. There is a need for insurers to reduce costs while growing their business. The web has changed the landscape, and customers now expect products and services to be configured to meet their needs, as well as fast and accurate price quotes and fulfillment. Have you aligned your sales process with the way customers are now buying?

One of the key ways that insurers can grow their business is by optimizing the conversion of sales opportunities into revenue. Insurers can transform their business process by combining their configure, price and quote system with an enterprise rating solution. The result allows insurers to streamline the entire opportunity-to-quote-to-application process including product selection, configuration, pricing, quoting, application, and approval workflows. Learn how to:

  • Increase ease-of-use to dramatically reduce the rate creation and revision process
  • Enhance pricing discipline
  • Improve sales cycles and margins

Join Oracle and Insurance Networking News for this webcast to learn how today’s technology solutions can help insurers achieve profitable growth.

  • January 20, 2015
  • 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific
  • Register Now

For more information on how Oracle’s solutions for insurers and healthcare payers can be used to support your business, visit oracle.com/insurance.

Wednesday Dec 10, 2014

Impact Analysis to Help Insurers Sustain Profitable Growth

Anton Wiryawan, Insurance Product Strategy Director, discusses the topic below:

The economy is showing some signs of life, company balance sheets are stabilizing, and consumer and manufacturers’ confidence indices are trending toward the positive. All of these bode well for Insurance companies. In fact, according to Insurance Information Institute, Insurers’ profitability is at its highest level in the post-crisis era in 2013 as sharply lower catastrophe losses, modestly higher premium growth, improved realized investment gains and favorable prior-year reserve loss development push the industry’s return on average surplus to 10.3 percent, up from 6.1 percent in 2012 and just 3.5 percent in 2011.

However, on a more fundamental level, insurers have bigger challenges on their hands. In both personal and commercial lines, insurers are struggling to adapt to evolving customer demands and higher service expectations with more information sought and transactions conducted over the Web. It will be hard pressed for insurers to achieve more consistent and higher rates of growth going forward without system upgrades to improve efficiency, reduce operating costs, and shore up their financial results.

Faced with uncertain growth prospects, many carriers have looked at the use of predictive analytics (modeling) to help optimize products and prices to meet corporate goals such as profitability, retention, and premium growth. Rating/underwriting and actuarial/predictive analytics are at the center of many of these initiatives. Unfortunately, in many cases, in-place rating systems are not able to do some of the “what if” analysis requirements well.

Carriers need a modern rating system that provides the ”what if” analysis out of the box. Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating system is built from the ground up to handle carriers’ complex rating requirements. It provides an Impact Analysis module that enables carriers to test the impact of “what if” scenarios on their book of business before it’s launched in the production environment. It allows carriers to fine tune their product and pricing and optimize their revenues. Such a valuable tool is needed to sustain carriers’ growth in the market.

To learn more about how your business can benefit from Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating and its Impact Analysis module, visit oracle.com/insurance.

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Monday Dec 08, 2014

Group Billing Made Easy With Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuity

For many insurers, billing is no longer just a process of generating bills, but an important part of communication between the carriers and their customers. A majority of insurance carriers find themselves constrained by aging and inflexible legacy billing systems, which limit their ability to improve operational efficiency. Also, cumbersome or inaccurate billing has led to customer dissatisfaction, creating difficulty in selling additional insurance products to existing customers/accounts.

In order to address this problem, insurance carriers may be considering modern billing systems to be integrated with the policy administration systems. However, the addition of these systems creates complexities and limitations – in addition to increased investment for an external billing system – and also makes maintenance and further enhancements painful.

The Oracle Insurance Policy Administration 10.1 release introduces unified Group Billing functionality to better align the solution’s capabilities with market needs and trends.  This new functionality provides an excellent billing solution that can significantly impact an insurer’s processing expenses, improve cash flow, and increase customer satisfaction, especially in case of Group Billing where reconciliation becomes overwhelming. This solution also supports efficient and effective batch processing capabilities, eliminating the need for any external billing solution.

Group Billing in Oracle Insurance Policy Administration has been designed and developed with wide range of capabilities:

The solution uses a two-stage process in generating a bill, which allows it to capture granular details and makes Group Billing configurable.

  • Generate Bill Details

    This is a rule attached to a transaction that generates the bill details as various entity levels – usually at the Policy, Client or Coverage level.

    These bill details hold the most detailed information pertaining to any policy, client and coverage that can further be grouped together to generate Group Bills as required.

  • Generate Group Bill

    This is an attached rule configured to find mapped bill details to a Group Customer in order to generate a single Group Bill.

    The system allows the ability to define a billing group, which can be a company, government agency or other organization that handles billing for individual annuity or life insurance policies held by their employees or members. This billing group will be the recipient of the Group Bill.

    It is also possible to aggregate bill details to a Group Bill, based on bill details generated over a period of time, or based on set levels of bill due amounts. Search capabilities are available and can be performed at various levels. The Group Bill can be searched and accessed, so all bill details associated with the Group Bill can be viewed.

    The system can be setup to automatically generate a Group Bill on a given billing date and can be configured to support multiple client billing cycles (e.g. weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual or any other client defined frequency). The system is also capable of defining a configurable or system status with the Group Bill (for example Pending, Active, Released, Deleted). The status is changed as billing activities are processed for a specific Group Bill.

Group Bill Reconciliation

Once a Group Bill is generated for an entity (such as a Group Customer) and payments are received from the payer, these are adjusted against the individual Bill Detail entries and reconciled. The Billing Reconciliation enhancement introduces new screens, business rules and other functionalities needed to process the reconciliation and generate the required policy level activities to ensure the payments are adjusted to the policy.

User-friendly screens allow the billing/payment representative to easily find a bill and reconcile it manually and provide the ability to do adjustments anytime in future.

The system allows the addition or removal of a policy for a member that has already been generated, and reconciliation handles the associated adjustments needed.

The system has the ability to produce periodic discrepancy reports at the participant level, providing insight to into which employer-billed premium payments need to be resolved (e.g. may be missed deduction or underpayment) and to produce a periodic past due report, based on remittance frequency, to communicate the receivables that are not paid and past due.

Oracle Insurance Policy Administration’s Group Billing functionality can also identify and track unallocated cash (through suspense) and support retroactive enrollment, retroactive termination, and reinstatements. It also allows reallocation of payments or adjustments to individual receivables within system.

After reconciliation of the amount received, the bill can be released and the status changed. The system will automatically generate individual remittance activities for the policies included in the list bill for the amount received (reconciled amount). If there is an amount that is not reconciled, it can be applied to the appropriate level of suspense at the lowest level known, which can be at Group Customer, invoice, billing class or policy level.  The system also allows reversal of reconciliation in cases of erroneous payments (over payments, under payments or incorrect allocations).

Batch Processing using Data Intake

Oracle Insurance Policy Administration can receive an electronic format file from the employer or payroll provider for employee payroll deductions at participant (member/dependent) level – within a benefit by employer selected schedule (by pay period, weekly, monthly or any client-defined frequency) – and batch process it to generate scheduled Group Bills.

The system has the ability to support tracking, research and follow-up of unallocated payments (i.e., a batch of suspense items where all of the money was not applied as premium to contracts in the group, the unapplied suspense detail would be available). It is capable of receiving payments by means of lockbox, EFT, payroll deduct or manual check.

The system also supports search capabilities for missing or improperly applied payments in order to provide corrective processing to address improperly applied payments located in search. This includes the ability to remove payment, apply to another account or reopen suspense.

Learn more

Oracle Insurance Policy Administration provides a highly configurable and flexible platform that enables the carriers to innovate to keep pace with changing demands, simplify their IT environments and transform the business into an agile, cost-effective enterprise. The addition of Group Billing functionality offers an excellent billing solution that can significantly impact an insurer’s processing expenses, improve cash flow, and increase customer satisfaction

To learn more about Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuity and how Oracle’s solutions can be used to support your business, visit oracle.com/insurance.

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Thursday Nov 20, 2014

Oracle Insurance Product Configuration Helps Carriers Deliver Products to Market Faster

Anton Wiryawan, Insurance Product Strategy Director, discusses the topic below:

In today’s competitive insurance market environment, the key to gaining and retaining market share is to introduce new and innovative products faster than your competitors. However, many carriers are unable to do this because the way they define, build and launch new products is not consistent. In a typical carrier’s environment, product data is scattered throughout the organization in spreadsheets and multiple systems, making it difficult and costly for carriers to introduce new, innovative products and product changes to market.

Oracle Insurance is pleased to introduce a new product called Oracle Insurance Product Configuration that can help carriers deliver product to market faster. Oracle Insurance Product Configuration is a web-based insurance product modeling solution that centralizes product data and validation rule definitions while providing a single product schema reference for integrated external systems.

Oracle Insurance Product Configuration helps insurers improve agility by externalizing all product data and validation rules from multiple, hard-coded operational systems into a central repository, where products can be easily configured and modified. With product information centralized in Oracle Insurance Product Configuration, carriers can accelerate new product introductions and bring changes to the market faster.

Some features of the Oracle Insurance Product Configuration 1.0 are:

  • Product Configuration by business user – product data and validation rules are maintained in a central product repository where qualified business users can build and modify their own products with minimal IT support.
  • Model Inheritance – users can inherit reusable components to easily make changes to existing products or create new, customized products from a common product model base.
  • Approval Workflow – an approval workflow can be utilized if a product needs to be reviewed or approved prior to releasing.
  • Product Definition Specification – for each insurance product, a product specification XSD can be generated from the repository providing a blue-print for integration among systems adhering to the specification.

Some of the benefits Oracle Insurance Product Configuration provides are:

  • Creates a reusable hierarchical schema to define multiple insurance products that can be shared across multiple systems.
  • Provides a centralized location for information so users do not have to chase down product-related data stored in spreadsheets, folders, e-mails, and other fragmented sources.
  • Improves speed to market through a streamlined, consistent, and repeatable product development process.

What differentiates Oracle's offering from other Product Configuration in the market is integration with other Oracle products. For example in the first release, Oracle included Oracle Insurance Data Capture as part of Oracle Insurance Product Configuration. Oracle Insurance Data Capture (OIDC) is a web-based data capture application system built specifically for the insurance industry that streamlines data capture by allowing insurers to create and configure questions and rules through an intelligent front-end data capture web application. Both solutions allow your business users to easily define, make changes or add new products and create custom questions for those products. It allows you to build products in days not months, therefore improving agility for your organization and building competitive differentiation in the market.

To learn more about how Oracle Insurance solutions can benefit your business, visit oracle.com/insurance.

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Thursday Oct 16, 2014

Market Value Adjusted Annuities

Changes in market conditions are leading carriers to make changes to their product offerings. “A lot of annuity carriers already have MVAs, but those that don’t are busy adding them to their products right now,” says Danny Fisher, president of the Fisher Agency, a Dallas brokerage general agency. The carriers are persisting on securing MVA approvals largely because of concerns about the interest rate environment, Fisher says. Today’s fixed annuities are paying very low interest rates, he explains.

MVA Annuities on the Rise

Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the MVA annuities market. Last year, while MVA annuity sales were up 88 percent over second quarter compared to fixed-rate non-MVA products were up 71 percent, income annuities were up nearly 19 percent, and indexed annuities were up 10 percent, according to Beacon’s third quarter report.  Similarly, when compared with third quarter performance of the previous year, MVA annuities in third quarter 2013 were up by staggering 131 percent, while fixed-rate non-MVA gains were less than half, about 61 percent.

$2.5 billion worth MVA sales in third quarter were up from $1.3 billion in second quarter. That growth says a lot about the current direction of the MVA segment: Sales are chasing rates. With this level of growth, carriers will need tools to help them manage this business in an efficient way.

Selecting the Right Core Admin Solution to help with MVA Annuity Management

Generally,  MVA annuity is treated as a fund that tracks the prevailing rate. Some products use calculated values stored in fields on the policy in lieu of a fund. A good life insurance policy administration system that maintains MVA annuity products should be:

  • Configurable to allow each carrier's version of MVA
  • Calculations should be customizable based on their product's profile
  • Be able to carry out a series of calculations using the results of each prior calculation, so as to arrive at the finalized; Cash Surrender Value after the MVA factor and then MVA has been calculated per set formulae.
  • Capable to quickly apply any changes/modifications to the formulae.

With the consistent growth in sales of Market Value Adjusted annuities, inevitable indications with various surveys have lead to suggest that Market Value Adjusted annuity products can boost growth in business for carriers of any size. Oracle Insurance Policy Administration provides a highly configurable and flexible platform that enables the carriers to quickly build and sell various custom products including Market Value Adjusted annuities with record speed-to-market times leveraging the highly customizable calculation capabilities and pre-built templates.

To learn more about Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuity and how Oracle’s solutions can be used to support your business, visit oracle.com/insurance.

Don’t forget to keep up with us year-round:

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Oracle's flexible solutions can help insurers navigate the change necessary to meet today’s challenges and have the business agility to be prepared for the future.

For mor information, visit oracle.com/insurance.

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