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Driving Value-Based Experiences In Insurance Using Apis

By Leslie (Les) Hermitt Jr. Chief Digital Officer C&F Digital Partners business unit

Leslie (Les) Hermitt Jr. Chief Digital Officer C&F Digital Partners business unit

The trend toward online self-service in all aspects of our daily lives has precipitated a major disruption in the insurance industry, first in personal lines and more recently in the commercial space. In particular, the small business insurance buyer is expecting the same online experience as they have with their home or auto policy – immediate, fast, responsive and online, whether it be on their tablet, laptop, mobile phone or another device.

Application program interfaces (APIs) as well as modern databases with cloud-based, open architecture, are the keys to revolutionizing the industry by enabling end-to-end digitization of the insurance experience.

While there is nothing new about using APIs, the insurance industry has been challenged by closed, legacy systems that do not allow for interoperability between 3rd parties. Modern, open platforms are allowing APIs to transform the industry by providing access to the features and data between traditionally siloed systems that can be integrated into a single, unified application interface.

Recognizing this opportunity in the marketplace, and unencumbered by closed legacy systems, Crum& Forster established Crum & Forster Digital Partners in 2018. Crum &Forster Digital Partners is completely focused on providing small business insurance through a touchless online experience. The division is staffed by designers, engineers, underwriters, and partner experience team members with expertise in offering digital insurance. The division partners with digital, like-minded agents, brokers, and insurtech providers to offer insurance online.

Through a robust set of REST APIs our digital partners have the option of seamlessly integrating with us for our online rate, quote, bind and issuance functionality or using our intuitive portal interface directly. The APIs provide a connection point between our modern, open policy system, and third party data providers while keeping our partners, not-so-insignificant investments in their custom user experiences, whole. This connectivity makes it possible to automatically pull in policyholder details, without burdening users with providing volumes of details.

By automating the submission process we are able to boil down the underwriting process into a couple of self-explanatory underwriting questions making the submission process simple and fast for the end-user, and touchless for our underwriting team. And, we get the added benefit of more accurate data than was previously possible.

Speed and customization are important components of the digital experience. By leveraging APIs, we are able to establish and grow strategic partner relationships with multiple digital partners simultaneously. These relationships are symbiotic and give immediate impact and power by integrating the platform between the carrier and the agent or broker. This interconnectivity through APIs has been transformational for the industry in the way insurance is rated, quoted, bound, issued and serviced and has redefined the relationship between the carrier, agent and broker, and the small business policyholder.

The trend toward integration leveraging APIs is turning our insurance world upside down - in a very good way. Crum & Forster Digital Partners offers online rate, quote and buying through our portal or as a seamless experience with our partners, depending on our partner’s preferences. The real winners are the small business owner policyholders who are getting exactly the right kind of coverage for the right price at the right time to help them protect and grow their business.

Weekly Brief

Top 10 Policy Administration Solution Companies - 2020
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