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The RMIS, renewals & efficiency: Make the process faster and easier

renewal time saving with a RMISMy post last week on renewals, the RMIS and a hardening market focused mainly on recent indications that the market for commercial insurance products appears to be hardening. In light of that news, I wrote about some steps risk managers can take to slow the rate of growth in premiums – —primarily by improving the quality and scope of their renewal submissions through the effective use of risk management software.

I also mentioned, somewhat in passing, that risk management software is a proven tool for improving the efficiency of the renewal process. In this second post on renewals and the RMIS, I’'d like to focus on these efficiency gains and how risk managers can realize them.

First things first: Risk management software and efficiency gains 

Insurance Renewal Infographic
In my experience, when risk managers begin to think about how to use risk management software in the service of renewals, they usually focus first on improving the efficiency of the process. This is regardless of the kind of system in use, from homegrown software and processes to a full-blown third-party risk management information system.

Most of the risk managers I speak with want their risk management software to enable them to collect renewal data more quickly and with much less effort. This is understandable and logical. After all, if a risk manager has spreadsheets with, say, 2012 values in it, she or he will naturally be more concerned with preparing a strong, accurate submission for the current year. Matching up the 2012 values with those from previous years and putting all the data together for a unified submission with sophisticated analytics will come later.

The conclusion I take from this is that, in risk management as in life, we walk before we run.

Come as you are. Or, don’'t buy more than you need

Making the data-collection process faster and less labor-intensive is often the first step for companies that want to make risk management software integral to the renewal process. However, risk managers should be aware that they can achieve their efficiency goals without buying more system than they might need.

As I noted in my last post, risk managers and their organizations are in a highly favorable position nowadays when it comes to the RMIS options available to them. Specifically, the size and scope of investment in a RMIS can match up nicely with any organization’s needs, size, sector, industry and other important characteristics.

On the one hand, a Fortune 500 multinational corporation may well need (and have the resources to invest in) a RMIS with a dedicated renewals module that automates the collection of values and pushes and tracks requests for data to individual locations. In this example, the company may need such a capability in order to streamline the delivery of data to its brokers, who will then shape the data into market submissions.

On the other hand, take the example of a county-level municipality in a major urban corridor. I recently had occasion to consult with such an entity, a current client, who wanted to improve its renewal process in terms of both efficiency and how their rates benchmark against industry figures. Although this client has several thousand properties managed by more than 10 departments, they really didn’'t need a dedicated renewals module like that described in the example above – —the Fortune 500 multinational corporation.

As we talked, we determined that this public entity would be best served by our property module (which facilitates the management of property-values data) together with our spreadsheet-upload tool. To call it a spreadsheet-upload tool, however, doesn'’t really get at the true functionality it provides. The client was attracted to the spreadsheet-upload tool’s ability to create spreadsheets within the RMIS and deliver locked-down files to field users, who can access only those cells related to their properties. Once updated, the field user returns the spreadsheet to the RMIS, which uploads the file and updates the values in the overall submission.

The moral of the story: Don'’t discount what works!

It’'s important to remember that if there'’s a solution that fills the need, it need not be flashy or super-charged in order to be effective. The spreadsheet gets a bad rap sometimes in risk management circles, but in some instances, it'’s still the right option. Risk managers should bear this in mind when considering technology solutions to their renewals challenges and be sure that they’re getting what they need, and not what the vendor wants to sell.  

Michael Theut is a member of the Solutions Consulting team with Aon eSolutions. Please email Michael at michael.theut@aon.com

RMIS Guide

 

 

Jun 3, 2013

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