In light of the widespread digital transformation the insurance industry has undergone, you may be wondering if your company is ready to join in. There are compelling arguments to be had for modernizing your policy administration system, or PAS, in particular. Revamping the current IT infrastructure of your PAS to be less disjointed, and more streamlined, will afford you greater mastery over your insurance policy data. It’s also the key to optimizing your underwriting process for quick comparison, delivery, and renewal of policies online. This is what will allow you to offer reasonable prices to your customers, which is the key to staying competitive. And lastly, a modernized PAS will ease the burden on your backend to do quick lean work from wherever they are holding office. All in all, the modernization effort can prepare your company to welcome its most challenging clientele yet: that of the tech-savvy, but financially conservative millennial.
All the same, any kind of modernization effort carries risk. Not everyone may accept the changes piecemeal, and it’s important for any lead implementers of modernization efforts to acknowledge that. Help your company acclimate to your new life insurance software and know the problems you might encounter during modernization. This will allow you to address the underlying issues right away, and start using your upgraded PAS to your advantage.
It May Be Difficult to Wean Staff Out of Familiarity Bias
This first problem may seem like a simple one, but it is arguably the biggest hurdle you have to clear during your PAS modernization. You’ll encounter staff from any level of the company’s hierarchy who may be opposed to modernizing just because they’re comfortable with their current workflow. Perhaps they feel the old ways work best, or that only minimal tech upgrades—and not a full-blown leap to a new platform—are necessary.
This phenomenon is called familiarity bias, and it can appear whenever any potentially disruptive change is introduced into the system. It’s understandable that people will be hesitant to change up their workflow for an aspect as fundamental as policy administration. That’s why it’s imperative for the company’s leadership to demonstrate faith in the new system and to show that it improves, rather than complicates, policy administration tasks.
It’s Hard to Find a Middle Ground Between Evergreen Company Values and PAS Modernization
It’s always heartening to see insurance staff advocate for loyalty to company values, such as offering the most affordable policies or having the best programs for a certain market. But some may think that a PAS modernization goes against those values or will lead the carrier off-track in fulfilling them. This is where lead implementers should clarify that the modernization is not being done for its own sake. Rather than being mutually exclusive, the PAS modernization and the fulfillment of the company’s vision and mission can go hand in hand.
For this to happen, however, the decision-makers behind the integration of a new PAS, i.e. the insurance carrier’s CTO or CFO, must facilitate regular alignment. Measures like a monthly tech audit will help the company see if the software is being used purposefully, in a way that fits the company’s intended direction.
Insurance Staff Think of the Worst-Case Scenario When Migrating Company Data
Staff may also be hesitant about a PAS modernization because of the constant fear mongering about data security. With all the news of data privacy scares and data breaches, staff may be afraid of losing vital insurance data. They may also be imagining the worst-case scenario, in which the PAS will shut down and cause some costly business disruptions.
This is your opportunity to reassure staff that one of the goals of modernizing your PAS is strengthening your data governance and data security as well. Part of the investment will go to making policy data even safer and kicking off a more robust recovery plan for it. Encourage your staff to leave their doomsday thoughts behind and learn about how the reinforced PAS protects your insurance data.
The Work of Implementing PAS Modernization May Seem Extremely Demanding
Lastly, staff may get overwhelmed about the sheer work it will take to roll out the PAS modernization. Admittedly, no one in the company will become adept with the software overnight. It’s not reasonable to push for instant mastery of the new PAS, or instant adjustment of everyone’s workflow to accommodate the new solution.
You may want to consider staggering the rollout and having it take place gradually, or implementing the solution on a smaller scale first. You can also draft a timeframe for full modernization and cite particular targets that you wish for your company to hit. For example, by the sixth month you can aim for one aspect of policy administration to be done fully on the cloud. By the first year of integration, a certain percentage of staff must have undergone a full orientation on the new PAS. Before the two-year mark, the carrier’s IT team must have undergone briefing on basic troubleshooting. Setting milestones like these will give you time to identify knowledge gaps, and it will also ease the pressure on staff to acclimate in one fell swoop.
Final Words: Overcoming the Challenge of Enterprise-Wide PAS Modernization
There are so many possibilities that can be realized once your company kicks off its PAS modernization. You’ll benefit from the improved IT infrastructure, as well as the chance to create relevant, flexible, and appealing insurance policies for your customers.
It’s true that overseeing this kind of modernization effort will be challenging for your company. But the challenges aren’t insurmountable, and once they’ve been addressed, your insurance business may be readier than ever for its future growth.