Guidewire Connections – one of the biggest user conferences in the P&C insurance industry – took place in Las Vegas last week. The conference brought together insurance and technology leaders to share how they are driving growth and change through Guidewire’s suite of applications. ValueMomentum was proud to be a gold sponsor at this year’s event. As a Guidewire Select Partner and first-time participant of this conference, we were excited to showcase how we’ve helped our insurer clients leverage their investments in Guidewire for targeted business outcomes and to improve their products and services, expand geographic footprint, provide a seamless process for both agents and employees, and optimize customer experience.
NJM Shares Guidewire Commercial Lines Implementation
ValueMomentum was joined by NJM Insurance Group in a breakout session titled “NJM Launches Commercial Offerings.” Jozsef Szoke (AVP, NJM Insurance Group) and Clarence Brown (Business Process Administrator – Commercial Lines, NJM Insurance Group) joined ValueMomentum’s Head of Insurance, James Carlucci to share insights from their commercial lines implementation project on Guidewire PolicyCenter. The speakers began the discussion by identifying the major trends impacting insurance business models today. Some trends to note included:
- The move from transaction-centric to experience-centric
- The change in focus from a closed product business model to an open-ecosystem business model
- The shift from process-centricity to customer-centricity
These trends were recognized as major factors redefining the capabilities essential for success in the digital era. The Guidewire platform, as well as other modern core platforms, and ecosystem was identified as a key component for enabling insurers to achieve these capabilities and succeed in today’s digital economy. Many insurers are leveraging their Guidewire core foundation to expand into new segments and markets, lower operating costs, and become more agile so that they can compete.
For NJM – a company that mainly focused on personal insurance – the implementation of Guidewire InsuranceSuite made it possible for the company to expand and launch new lines of business. The core modernization, in addition to the digital technology transformation going on at NJM, allowed the company to build up a robust delivery model in terms of transforming business into new technologies and maintaining it through regular releases and updates.
With the goal of expanding into commercial offerings to include Business Owners Policy (BOP) and Commercial Umbrella Insurance (CUMB), NJM set out to implement commercial lines in Guidewire PolicyCenter. This end-to-end initiative included building out the rules, rate, and forms for the Guidewire products, establishing predictive modeling, setting up capabilities to manage producers and agencies, and integrating back-end office solutions as well as front-end third-party partners to optimize the experience of both agents and employees. A big part of implementing commercial lines was understanding ISO products and electronic rating content. Both Szoke and Brown emphasized that leveraging ISO electronic rating content was a condition for successful implementation. “It was very important to us to launch very clean BOP products that are market-ready,” Brown noted, “so that independent agents and new distributors and what we have set up are ready to go to market.”
For Szoke, the fact that NJM spent enough time in the pre-inception and inception phases of implementation were essential conditions for success. During inception, management worked with business stakeholders to finalize scope and find high-level requirements for implementation. As with any project, structuring long-term goals was essential to achieve success. In the conception phase, the speakers emphasized that a high degree of collaboration between the claims team, the legal team, and the financials team was important from an overhead perspective. Both noted that the Guidewire implementation of SBTs was important from a processing perspective.
Best Practices for a Successful Core Implementation
The commercial lines implementation project brought additional benefits to NJM outside of launching new products. The company was able to increase their knowledge of ISO products and SBT utilization, establish program standards for future implementations, enable effective and flexible product changes/enhancements and provide higher value to customers through integration with ecosystem partners. Some best practices and lessons learned offered by Brown and Szoke include:
- allocate the right expertise and resources to all phases of the project, especially inception,
- align vendor partner to your standards and best practices,
- ensure that test cases are business ready and aligned,
- establish business time outside of program meetings,
- establish early process for change controls,
- strive to achieve a high level of SBT compliance,
- pay attention to performance metrics in development.
As ValueMomentum’s first Guidewire user conference, Guidewire Connections 2021 proved to be a success for the ValueMomentum team. As a new partner in the Guidewire ecosystem, ValueMomentum is excited to grow its Guidewire practice and help insurers leverage their modern core systems to drive innovation, compete, and grow.