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Policy Administration

11:10 AM
Andy Edwardson, VP of IT, Farmers Alliance Mutual Insurance
Andy Edwardson, VP of IT, Farmers Alliance Mutual Insurance
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Long-term Planning Key to Policy Admin Project Success

Developing a long-term policy admininstration project helps maintain focus and demonstrate progress to stakeholders, says Andy Edwardson, VP of IT, Farmers Alliance Mutual Insurance.

Positive results from a policy admin project will not occur overnight. Projects of this scale typically take several years. Gaining executive sponsorship is key, as is buy-in from all areas of the business. A strategic initiative such as a policy admin system upgrade or replacement may interfere with tactical projects -- awareness of this must be evident from the onset.

Develop a solid long-term plan that demonstrates progress to key stakeholders. This will help maintain focus on the project while sustaining business and momentum. Identify and communicate expected benefits, and check them along the way to determine if stakeholders continue to hold the same vision. Whether your approach is a package or development solution, focus your strategy on flexibility to support future requirements.

Farmers Alliance implemented OneShield's policy administration system solely for business owners (BOP) and then shifted gears to an in-house development effort, which we call Compass. We started that effort in February 2009 and hope to wrap up the implementation by 2012.

We have learned that it works best for us to develop complex processes such as those involved in policy administration in-house, so we are building out those capabilities ourselves. Our focus is on only missing pieces. Often package solutions are bundled with components that we seldom leverage. Our approach is intended to leverage many of the technologies already in place -- such as rules, rating, document management, statistical reporting and other back-end processing components -- while simply filling in the gaps.

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