Underwriters swamped with busywork that erodes salesNews added by Benefits Pro on November 26, 2013
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By Dan Cook

If underwriting is your job, and is assumed to be your primary revenue generator, wouldn’t you think you’d spend at least half your time doing the actual underwriting for clients?

You might want to. But data compiled by FirstBest Systems, a insurance software provider, suggests that less than one in five underwriters have the “luxury” of spending at least half their time doing underwriting.

That’s because many underwriters are swamped with the details of inputting information, processing leads and deals, and other administrative functions that keep them from selling their products and services.

Two-thirds of the respondents, representing more than 40 carriers, agreed that underwriting was a key driver of growth and profitability.

“But underwriting's impact is often limited because of deals lost on account of slow processing, as well as process inefficiencies,” the study said.

When asked how much time they estimated that underwriters spend “actually doing underwriting,” here’s what they said:
  • 82 percent said underwriters spent 50% or less of their time actually doing underwriting.
  • Half of those (41 percent) said their underwriters spent only 10 percent to 25 percent of their time underwriting.
  • The other half of the 82 percent thought their underwriters spent between 26 percent and 50 percent of their time underwriting.
  • 18 percent estimated that their underwriters spent at least 51 percent of their time underwriting.
FirstBest concluded that much of the time that could be spent on underwriting — and making money — is lost to inefficient systems that don’t represent the latest technology available.

“These results confirm what we hear from carriers every day: that improved underwriting efficiency is measured in strong business results. These findings demonstrate that underwriters need tools that are designed to fully optimize the underwriting process, unlike 'core' policy systems,” said John Belizaire, co-Founder and CEO, FirstBest Systems. “Carriers are demanding underwriting workstations that rapidly bring all internal and external data together in one place, enable collaboration between underwriters and agents, and enforce consistent underwriting so that the underwriter can make the best decision in the least amount of time.”

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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