NFS Speeds Applications
Nationwide Financial Services (NFS), a division of Nationwide (Columbus, Ohio; $148 billion in assets), reached a milestone in speed of underwriting completion this June and is driving even greater speed with the implementation of Web tools, such as the EASYMED tele-application program, introduced in a producer pilot last summer.
NFS began an overhaul of its life new business process in 1999, at which time it took an average of 45 days to issue a life policy, according to Peter Golato, senior vice president of individual protection, Nationwide Financial. By June this year, the carrier was ranked as an industry leader with a 20- to 25-day average by LIMRA (Windsor, Conn.).
In addition to process reengineering, NFS invested in Web-based tools that power what it calls its Underwriting Desktop. The system supports application entry for both variable and traditional life products and eliminates the need to re-enter similar data to initiate underwriting requirements. Underwriting Desktop also ties into other programs, such as NFS' Web-based producer tool EASYMED, which transmits streamlined applications to a vendor for processing underwriting-related information. Rolled out in September to NFS' captive force, EASYMED is already being used to process 20 percent of the applications that enter that channel. "Feedback we've gotten from producers is that it's cut their time by about half," says Dave Kanney, officer, life underwriting, NFS.