In this series of blogs, I will explore the use of Underwriting workbenches by Reinsurers and their role in a typical reinsurer. I will also outline the value they deliver from underwriting, service and operational perspectives and how they extend the capability and the lives of stable but old core policy admin systems.
To start with, I will define what I mean by an Underwriting workbench as invested in by (re)insurers in recent years. At its most simple, a workbench is a single interface that sits on top of one or more existing systems. It can be thought of as a “single pane of glass” or a user experience platform (UxP) for underwriters and experts delivering underwriting processes and propositions to clients. No single implementation is the same because of the different classes of business written and the often unique existing system landscapes in which workbenches are integrated.
To illustrate, we have seen workbenches “sat over” core policy admin systems (PAS) and a multitude of other systems such as exposure management, data warehouse, rating and pricing, business rules engines, CRM and pipeline/business planning systems.
Given that the only constant in this landscape is the PAS, one might reasonably ask why “can’t it do what the workbench is doing?”. The answer is primarily down to that most PAS in use today were conceived to be chiefly concerned with “post bind” processes and the feeding of downstream systems. They were not designed to support the “pre-bind” needs of underwriters, but rather the capture of pre-bind underwriting outcomes. Understandably these “core data record centric” systems cannot easily be developed to deliver the types of pre-bind capabilities listed below (certainly without considerable effort and risk):
Other capabilities include rapid change business rules and guidance, document ingestion, and distribution integration with partners, broker, and third-party placement/trading platforms.
In my next blog, I will explore the operational attributes and benefits of underwriting workbenches, from multi-country co-ordination, automaton and elimination of low-value but time-critical work.
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