Worldinsure And Optus Debut Technology Platform For Life Insurance

Worldinsure Limited, a company that provides automated insurance processing, and Optus e-business Solutions, the IT services arm of Symcor Services Inc., have announced the launch of Worldinsures e-commerce-based platform for the life insurance industry.

According to Bermuda-based Worldinsure, Optus helped develop the platform, which is “capable of supporting a streamlined interactive application, approval, underwriting and policy delivery system for life insurance agents, brokers and distributors.” Optus is based in Toronto.

Worldinsure says the platforms architecture includes a Web-based software application that incorporates “reflexive questioning, data collection, automated rules-based risk assessment, sophisticated workflow and tracking, reporting and open access for all process participants.”

The workflow and process tracking system also gives end users real-time access to the status of applications, the company adds.

Primary targets for the platform and software are marketing professionals associated with carriers or stockbrokers, as well as distributors such as banks and large financial institutions, says Mike Kryza, managing direction, U.S., for Worldinsure.

The platform can accommodate a single carrier or multiple carriers “from an underwriting perspective,” Kryza explains. The process begins when agents put their customer information into the Worldinsure platform, which prompts the agent with questions that are specific to that customer. For example, he says, if the customer is a smoker, the agent gets the smoking forms.

Next, all MIB and other information on the customer is ordered as needed by the platform, then the information goes to Worldinsures “underwriting workbench,” Kryza continues. The workbench is a software tool that generates underwriting decisions in accordance with an insurers rules, or gives the information to a human underwriter in a form that he or she can use to make a decision.

Asked whether human underwriters might feel threatened by such an automated system, Kryza notes that “the initial body language of underwriters is that way,” but that it also allows them to shift focus away from mundane cases to more complicated ones that require human interaction. “When [the underwriters] realize it enhances their productivity, its very well received after that,” he adds.

Services offered by the platform and software are delivered via the Internet or a companys intranet, says Kryza. Access is password protected and transactions are encrypted.

The Worldinsure platform and services “provide a value-added solution for carriers who want to reduce costs and processing times and increase productivity, and for brokers who want to automate the application process,” says Bruce Pinn, vice president of Optus.

Worldinsures president, CEO and founder, John Hele, says the solution can “improve the complex, interactive and paper-intensive process of purchasing medically underwritten products.”

Kryza says the cost of using the platform will be “at or 20% below traditional underwriting expenses” for each individual client. When it comes to installation, doing so for “a single product with an average carrier” requires an implementation time of between 12 and 15 weeks.

Training for those who will use the new platform is provided by Worldinsure via teams working in “model offices” in Boston and in Canada, says Kryza. That process typically takes one to two weeks.

Kryza adds that there are no system requirements for the Worldinsure platform. “We can take and give data in just about any way. Were XML-compliant and we comply with ACORD standards as well.”

According to Kryza, Royal and Sunalliance was the beta tester of the platform and software, while agreements are in the “due diligence” phase with several U.S. companies. “By fall, we should be announcing the names of customers in the U.S.,” he notes.

Kryza says Worldinsure has seen “keen interest” in the platform in the U.S. market among “large brokerage institutions” that want to be able to sell life insurance products from multiple carriers.

For the moment, Kryza says, the focus of the Worldinsure platform is on medically underwritten insurance. The platform supports term life, universal life, whole life and variable universal life.

Worldinsure is also looking at supporting long-term care and disability insurance.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, July 6, 2001. Copyright 2001 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.


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