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Policy Administration

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AAA Missouri Takes Direct Route

AAA Missouri chooses FileNET technology to manage underwriters' workflow.

AAA Missouri's (St. Louis) insurance policy applications were doing their fair share of traveling. After agents hand-wrote policyholder information on a file form, they would send it and the proper documentation to AAA Missouri's headquarters via US mail. The form would then be opened and date stamped, sorted according to region and redistributed by input operators, and then actually walked over to the underwriting department for resorting and distribution to the correct underwriter.

"We counted about four times that the policy had to be handled or resorted and date-stamped," says Bob Schreiber, vice president for insurance, AAA Missouri. "Some of the problems inherent with the old system ranged from lost files or poor incorrect names and addresses, to the use of incorrect policy forms. Ninety-five percent of the policy forms were being handled within seven days," Schreiber adds.

Web-Based Solution

AAA Missouri, according to Schreiber, decided to use the Internet to enable its agents to submit policy information electronically. AAA also wanted to have a policy quote and issuance function for the company's Internet customers. "We realized that we could use technology to take away paper and enable agents to enter information online into a Web-based, thin-client application," says Schreiber. "But the big problem was, how do we get the information to the correct underwriter and display information in a way that is meaningful to them?"

AAA Missouri already was using FileNET's (Costa Mesa, CA) Acenza for property & casualty workflow management for its claims. "We knew how well Acenza worked," says Schreiber, because parts of the system that would be used for underwriters' workflow "were embedded in the claims system that we had used since 1998. We didn't bother looking at any other products."

Minimal Training Required

As part of an approximately four-month planning process, AAA Missouri's underwriters came up with requirements for how they wanted information to be displayed. Also, during this stage it was determined which supervisors had the authority to transfer information out of one underwriter's queue and into another's. Also, "the IS side of the house had to become familiar with the language and the pieces of information that we were using with the Acenza product so that they would be able to test it," says Schreiber.

No platform changes were required for Acenza's implementation. "AAA Missouri was already changing to Java-based applications," says Schreiber. "All of those changes incorporated a database change, so Acenza was working along with the other components that we had." Because AAA Missouri was the first company to go live with Acenza, "there wasn't a lot of prepared documentation with the system," says Schreiber. "There also weren't a lot of predefined help screens, so we learned a lot of the system on our own just through using it." Subsequent to that, according to Schreiber, FileNET came in and trained the underwriters on how to use Acenza. The training, according to Schreiber, was minimal because the system is relatively intuitive. "Depending on the application and the level of knowledge of the worker, there really isn't a lot of training required," says Schreiber.

AAA Missouri went live with Acenza this past January. After its implementation, according to Schreiber, AAA Missouri held a 30-day "purification" period, during which the company worked out any glitches in the system. "You always expect that some things may not run as smoothly as you plan them to be," says Schreiber. However, "nothing unusual happened."

Schreiber's expectations have been exceeded. "Information is now getting to the right underwriter, the first time," he says. Also a benefit of the Acenza product that AAA Missouri didn't expect, according to Schreiber, is the capability to manage reports among underwriters. "If a particular underwriter is getting too much or too little work, workloads can be adjusted. It's a nice feature."

AAA Missouri plans to work with FileNET in the future. "We are looking to expand by using the newest version of a workflow imaging product for use with our accounting, billing, personnel and other departments throughout AAA Missouri to move information between departments," Schreiber reports.


Case Study Closeup

AAA Missouri, St Louis ($110 million in written premium).

Auto, homeowners/renters.

FileNET's (Costa Mesa, CA) Acenza eBusiness software.

Get policy information to the correct underwriters and display it in a way that is meaningful to them.

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