Kerby-Reid: Automate Underwriting Process

Marc K. Sargent, President, Kerby ReidMarc K. Sargent, President
By far the biggest portions of insurance carriers’ IT budgets are earmarked for auto and home insurance leaving little leftover for specialty product lines. However, carriers are expected to squeeze more value out of these lines and provide efficiency by freeing up underwriters to pursue larger accounts instead of spending their time servicing smaller, more repetitive business. They are also challenged to reduce the risks associated with trying new products, empower their agents, and offer their insureds with the convenience and speed expected. Kerby-Reid’s FLEX platform has been assisting firms overcome these challenges enhancing productivity. FLEX automates the underwriting, rating, payment, and issuance process and leverages the participation of the end-customer to reduce the work required by carriers’ underwriters and IT professionals. “Our pricing model is based on a small percentage of transacted premiums—it reduces the cost and risk of moving existing products to the online sales channel and launching new products,” says Marc K. Sargent, President of Kerby-Reid. “By offering the platform to their agents as a sales tool, carriers can empower them and help them to improve their efficiency.”

According to Sargent, the insurance and surety industry in U.S. continues to lag behind other industries in their adoption of online sales systems. “The gap between customers’ expectations for online sales and what is being provided by the insurance industry is around 35 percent and growing,” he adds. “FLEX is assisting to fill this gap by enabling end customers to apply for and purchase insurance online.” With FLEX, a carrier’s customers and agents can apply online, get an indication or quote, pay, bind, and issue policies and bonds while controlling the rating, underwriting and workflow on a product-by-product basis.

FLEX helps simplify the entire product lifecycle by providing renewals, mid-term changes, cancellations, term-extensions, proof-of-insurance certificates, endorsements and riders, quote overrides, and application reviews and approvals.

Our goal is to retain the insured throughout the purchase process in order to increase conversion rates and ROI

Kerby-Reid’s consulting advice to clients makes their existing application forms and workflows more user-friendly. “Our goal is to retain the insured throughout the purchase process in order to increase conversion rates and ROI for our clients,” explains Sargent.

The platform also has a state-of-the-art payment system that allows customers to pay using credit or debit card, check, agency bill, electronic fund transfer from their bank account, or premium financing. In an instance, an association of pharmacists had decided that they needed an online solution for their group insurance plan but their carrier was not able to provide one. Kerby-Reid was able to create a working demo of their product with three days’ notice enabling the client to capture the business from the incumbent carrier. The final product was launched in less than three weeks in order to meet the renewal notification requirements.

FLEX has extensive customizable content that can be configured to launch products in weeks instead of months. Their easy-to-use product development and administration interface allows new products to be delivered to market quickly and efficiently. “We understand the needs in the insurance arena and understand how the industry works, and offer the best solutions to our clients’ saving their time and resources,” elucidates Sargent.

Kerby-Reid’s growth plan is focused on expanding their client base in both the U.S. and Canada. They currently have carrier and agency clients and have plans to expand into the wholesale/ MGA/MGU and reinsurance spaces. “We recently added contract surety sales functionality and have plans to develop health and life, events, travel, and warranty products for clients in the near future,” concludes Sargent.