A leader in the equine insurance industry for the show and pleasure market, American Equine provides a variety of programs including Equine Ranch and Estate, a P&C policy used by thousands of horse farm owners in 46 states. AEIG provides coverage via contracts with carriers and distributes via a network of approximately 120 specialty brokers.
Recognizing the Challenges
It was a perfect storm. For years AEIG had relied on a single internal expert to keep its aging legacy rating system alive. Then, that individual announced his retirement. At about the same time, a significantly more attractive, but previously unavailable, farm equine product surfaced with a new carrier.
“For us to stay competitive by taking advantage of the new market opportunity, a modern rating solution became a business-critical imperative,” explains Kari Chrysty, CFO and Director of Operations at AEIG.
Adopting a Solution
As the 16-employee boutique MGA had previously consolidated most business processes onto Epic-Premier’s ConceptOne, AEIG sought a compatible solution that could integrate seamlessly with its incumbent platform to enable smooth, end-to-end process automation.
To learn about automated rating solution options, AEIG asked its Epic-Premier team for advice. In turn Epic-Premier suggested several options.
“We thoroughly evaluated Epic-Premiers suggestions,” says Chrysty. “We were most impressed by ValueMomentum’s iFoundry™ Rating Engine. It was straightforward and easy to use with no arcane codes or abbreviations in the fields. Instead, it was all plain English. As any property insurance product has so many components there’s already much to learn, which made the intuitive interface very attractive to us for eliminating guesswork.”
Realizing the Benefits
Within five months of forming a strategic partnership with ValueMomentum, AEIG’s new rating solution went live. Today, the iFoundry integration enables AEIG business users to respond to approximately 150 quotes a month without exiting ConceptOne.
After starting a quote in ConceptOne, users pop up ValueMomentum’s rating interface with a single click. Fields are auto prefilled with data based on inputs already completed in ConceptOne. Then, after a user develops a premium for the quote, they hit a button and the information automatically flows back into the appropriate locations in ConceptOne.
“Due to the intuitive interface, we’ve increased the number of individuals who can rate products by more than double our previous ability,” reports Chrysty. “Previously, only one person had enough experience to understand our outdated legacy system. With our new solution, four AEIG employees can rate quotes we receive from our brokers, significantly improving our turnaround times.”
“Beyond the productivity gains,” she continues, “the ability to easily train new users reduces the well-established risks associated with knowledge transfer, especially for lean companies like ours where longevity is the norm.”
Additionally, AEIG is realizing significant efficiencies over the lifecycle of each policy. “In the past, any post-issuance changes to a policy were stored on paper,” Chrysty says. “This resulted in manual research at renewal. Now, with everything resident electronically, and leveraging the intuitive rating interface, it saves us dozens of hours every month.”
On the technology administration side, AEIG appreciates ValueMomentum’s portal-based electronic ticketing system for quickly requesting changes or resolving issues. “Since the integration was completed we’ve had very little need for assistance,” says Chrysty. “However, it’s reassuring to know that we can efficiently interact with our IT partner should changes be required due to business or market conditions.”
According to Chrysty the move to automated rating with iFoundry is a resounding success. “Like all projects there were some bumps at the start, but both sides adjusted,” she says. “The implementation was delayed due to being the first of its kind integration between the ValueMomentum rating solution and Epic Premier’s ConceptOne,” Chrysty continues. “In addition, there were delays associated with time zone differences between AEIG’s teams in Illinois and ValeuMomentum’s implementation teams in India.
“However, both organizations adapted to get the initiative across the finish line,” she adds. “Overall, we’re very happy with the outcome.”
Most importantly, having an intuitive, advanced automated rating solution infuses agility into AEIG’s business. “This enables us to take advantage of the next product opportunity and stay competitive in our market,” Chrysty says.