In practice: XRAE from iPipeline
In the first article in a new series looking at how advisers use software, services and products in their advisory practices, we look at how one intermediary firm is using iPipeline’s XRAE – a pre-sales underwriting solution – with clients wanting insurance protection
Neil Foster works for Freedom to Insure, a small intermediary firm that has been using iPipeline’s Assureweb portal for a number of years and more recently started using the pre-sales underwriting solution XRAE.
When dealing with protection cases, Neil (pictured) says that when the firm felt the client was likely to be rated, one of the areas that they struggled with was how to easily set the client’s expectations at the beginning of the sales process. The process required that they would have to call the underwriting helplines of several different providers for decisions in principle. This was taking at least 20 minutes per case repeating the same information to each provider in order to receive a decision. On some occasions they would have to carry out multiple applications. They were keen to find a solution they could use to advise their clients upfront what impact their rating may have on their premiums and whether they would proceed or be prepared to alter their requirements in order to obtain cover.
Since Freedom to Insure was already actively using the Assureweb portal it was introduced to XRAE – accessible for free via the portal or iPipeline’s SolutionBuilder® – when it launched in April 2014. XRAE is a pre-sales underwriting solution that provides indicative ratings at the quote stage by producing ratings based on each provider’s individual underwriting rules. This single view of the results does away with the need for numerous providers to be contacted to evaluate how clients will be rated and increases the opportunity to get more clients on risk faster. Also, it can help to set accurate expectations with clients early on in the sales process, which assists with Treating Customers Fairly.
The firm tested out XRAE, Neil says, by using it for just a few cases. “The advantages were obvious – we no longer needed to include multiple applications to find out if the client was likely to be rated, nor make numerous calls to underwriting helpdesks.”
Using XRAE, Neil adds, has also meant that Freedom to Insure doesn’t need to call as many underwriters for decisions in principle. And it has reduced the chance of inaccurate data entry for underwriting and quoting.
Also, when looking at existing customer policies, XRAE allows the firm to research whether the client is likely to receive better rates 3-4 years after the initial policy was taken out. Neil says his primary use of XRAE when obtaining quotes is for checking re BMI but he also uses it for blood pressure and cholesterol.
Neil adds: “XRAE avoids the ‘best guess’ exercise which relies on your experience along with looking through provider literature. It’s difficult to always provide an accurate rating and sometimes you can’t advise the client what the premium is likely to be, leaving them with unmet expectations.
“The main benefit of using XRAE is the time saving element, especially as I no longer make as many calls to the underwriting helpdesks, and the simplicity of XRAE allows me to work through cases quickly. From a business aspect, we’ve experienced the benefit of increased efficiency.
“The biggest reasons I’d recommend XRAE are the ease of use and quickness and avoiding the ‘best guess’ exercise.”