Lewis & Ellis Inc.

Improving internal processes key to driving profits for insurers

Life Insurance and Annuities
by Chris Davis and Lisa Jiang
Consumer life insurance preferences vary by age
Consumer life insurance preferences vary by age

In recent years, many insurance companies may have tried to maximize their profits in a number of ways - and this was particularly true of life insurance and annuity issuers who saw falling numbers of policyholders. However, one way that many may have avoided losing clients during all this time is by looking at what they do internally and working to streamline those as well.

When it comes to making more money out of their everyday business over the last few years, the improvements most insurers have opted to make have come largely with regard to adding personnel and improving the technology they use, according to a report from the Insurance Journal. Other companies may also want to look into the way they handle their business in-house, and re-prioritizing things where they feel they might be falling short. That can include examining policy checking, bill reconciliations and other considerations, which may have little understanding from clients; however, are vital to making sure everything comes at a value.

Dan Epstein, the chief executive officer of ReSourcePro says that taking a few simple steps to improve the way insurance processes are handled internally would likely be a major boon to insurers looking to improve their bottom line.

"The process is really the treasure in the backyard that is being ignored," Epstein told the site. "If you think of an organization as consisting of people, process and technology, there's a lot of focus on people, hiring the right people, investing in sales training and there's a lot of focus on technology, but there's actually relatively little focus on the process side of it."

For instance, research shows that top sales people spend almost half their time servicing accounts, and not actually selling, while customer service representatives spend about the same amount working on behind-the-scenes issues, the report said. Streamlining the ways in which both are allowed to do their jobs will likely let them get a better handle on selling more policies and dealing with clients more often, which is what helps to deliver the most value for those job positions.

Many life insurance issuers have been losing business over the last few years because of the economic downturn. Focusing on processes that can lead to sustained profitability can be critical in maintaining a strong business.



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