Surety remains a business built on relationships and trust, but the industry is changing. Today, surety companies are leveraging technology to improve their business processes and increase market share. They’re automating workflows, speeding up underwriting and making it easier for agents to place bonds — while simultaneously lowering costs.
Digital transformation means taking a hard look at your current surety system. How does it stack up against the best in class in data management? What are the must-haves you should look for in upgrading your automated underwriting and bond management systems?
Digital Transformation to the Cloud
More than likely, you’ll find the best solutions are on the cloud. According to the research firm Strategy Meets Action, the majority of new insurance core systems are now cloud-based rather than on-premise. The cloud has many advantages, including lower costs, greater scalability, and enhanced data security.
So the first step is to look at what software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors have to offer. Here’s a checklist of features you should consider in an off-the-shelf solution:
- Automated underwriting. Underwriting is critical to any system upgrade you make. Stop underwriting manually and look for an integrated underwriter workbench that allows you to upload submission information for a full underwriting analysis. Underwriters should be able to review a principal’s financials, analyze work-in-progress spreadsheets, do a gross-profit analysis, make policy changes and underwrite multiple submissions.
- Document functions. Document creation and storage should be a standard feature, including applications, financials and correspondence. Does the solution include prebuilt forms, libraries and templates from ACORD? Does it integrate with programs like Microsoft Office? Can you print or e-deliver documents? Does it provide a complete system of record, replacing any need for paper?
- Workflow management. Can you create rules that automatically apply to underwriting, business processes and workflows? Create automatic task assignments and generate inline reports? Can you share screens and collaborate with your employees and agents? Does it retain a record of all emails?
- Business intelligence. Data analytics are a key aspect of tracking and analyzing your bond accounts. Does the system have a dashboard and provide customized reports and KPIs? Can it offer insights in real time, with surety-specific information about underwriting and billing?
- Agent portals. Does the system have an integrated portal for agents, allowing them to get quotes in real time, submit new business, track submissions and changes, communicate with underwriters, deliver bond documents and view commissions? Does it support e-signature and e-sealing?
- Implementation. Be wary of an implementation that takes longer than 120 days. How much customization is needed? Will the new system require dedicated IT staff? Can it be accessed remotely? Is there training? How much support is provided?
- Compliance and security. What are the security safeguards? Will sensitive customer data be encrypted? Is it PCI DSS compliant? SOC 2 compliant? Is there auditability built in?
- Future-proof. Will the system you invest in remain up-to-date? Is there a regular release cycle? Are there bug fixes? A roadmap?
There are lots of decisions to make when going through a digital transformation and upgrading a bond management system, but there’s help out there, too. If you’re looking for a partner with over two decades of experience in surety systems, contact Tinubu Square. Find out more about our Tinubu eSurety cloud solution and schedule a demo.