Sometimes the answer is just staring you in the face. Literally.
Ten years ago, Secura Insurance (Appleton, WI) decided to move away from archiving all of its paper and stored all documents electronically so customer service representatives (CSRs) could view all of a policyholder's documents directly on the screenwithout having to "run" and get a paper file.
Secura, a $205 million-in-premiums property and casualty insurance carrier, found that its 475 agencies were also requesting to see many of the documents the CSRs had on their screens. The enabling technology the company has used for the past 10 years to record documents electronically was from DocuCorp (Dallas), reports Scott Huiras, vice president of information technology at Secura.
"Every invoice we produce is electronically archived," says Robert VanBeek, director of agency automation. "CSRs do not have to get paper files because the files route electronically to the workstations. Our objective was to leverage that, because the agents have the same needs."
Since a DocuCorp product was the foundation for Secura's initial project, named EasyView, the carrier wanted to continue to work with the document technology vendor. "Secura was one of the first insurance carriers to pilot the DocuCorp technology," says Huiras. "We have a largeinvestment in the technology and we have enjoyed working with them in the past. There was no chance of going to another provider."
In fact, since all of Secura's documents were in DocuCorp formats, Huiras says it would have been a waste of resources to choose another vendor. "We would have had to start over immediately if we chose another vendor," continues Huiras. "We are positioned to leverage the current technology to the agents."
Although the CSRs had access to EasyView through the company's LAN, Secura had to find a way to Web-enable the application for the agents. "The product only took about three months to develop," according to Huiras. "Since DocuCorp did most of the development, there wasn't a whole lot Secura had to do. It was DocuCorp that had to do the work to make this happen, except we had to address the security issues."
In order to have the agents access the information through the Internet, Secura had to develop technology to give access to information exclusively to authorized agencies. "We had to let the agency come on our Web site and let the agency only see its own information," says Huaris "That was the biggest thing. Security was a 50/50 development between DocuCorp and Secura." Although Huiras would not reveal what type of security technology Secura is using, he did say Secura is using Linux on the Web server to expedite information access.
"We had a security audit and the testing company said we did a great job," says Huiras. Secure Computing, a San Jose, CA-based security technology provider, evaluated the Secura implementation.
To date, the project has been very successful, says VanBeek. "We had a goal to get 60 agents using it for the rollout, but there were 145 using it immediately," VanBeek says.
Part of the reason so many agents are using the system so quickly is that "we did go and get agency advice on workflow and screen set up, and that has helped us develop a better product," VanBeek explains.
Secura hopes all agencies will use EasyView in the future. "As we survey the agencies, 99 percent have access, but not every agency has access at every desktop. Full access will help us get a lot more agents on the system," adds VanBeek.
At a Glance
Secura Insurance, Appleton, WI, $205 million in premium.
LINES OF BUSINESS:
Personal, auto, home, umbrella, boat, fire, farm and select commercial lines insurance.
DocuCorp (Dallas) e-Solutions and document technology; Linux Web servers; Secure Computing (San Jose, CA).
Give agents access to policy information and forms over the Internet.
Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio