In this project, Ginetta provided expertise in user research, user-centered design and web development to help Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) develop a prototype for the global insurance program of their captive clients. This platform made the online management of policies and claims possible. The following proof-of-concept illustrates how innovation through the use of design methodologies and latest technologies creates viable solutions.
Captive insurances are a common way to self-insure the risks of large international companies with subsidiaries and employees all around the world. AGCS acts as the ‘fronting insurer’, who provides reinsurance capital and administrative support in managing policies and claims.
AGCS designed an international insurance program, which is managed and run effectively. However, updating insurance policies and transferring payments across the globe is often a slow, time-consuming process.
Minimum requirements for the proof-of-concept:
This project was a joint effort between AGCS, EY, Ginetta and Citi.
The team kicked off the project by interviewing experts from different roles within the program – the captive management and the fronting insurer. The captive insurance process involves many different parties around the world, including captive managers, key account managers and staff from local offices. By looking closely at users’ day-to-day tasks, analysing their existing workflows and asking specific questions, we identified common pain points in order to get a thorough understanding of their daily work.
What are the user’s tasks? Which tasks do they do every day, and which ones only occasionally?
What are the main issues when working with the current system and process?
Where do users see potential for improvement? What tools and features would they like to work with?
With the help of this research, we were able to identify the most common pain points in the captive insurance process:
Cultural differences, long response times, many people involved
Incomplete information, multiple sources, time-consuming signatures
Status and tracking, payment history, payment lag, exchange rate
Ever since the introduction of the first spreadsheet computer program, VisiCalc, for personal computers in 1979, many businesses were built on a basis of formulas and data stored in rows and columns. Because, back then…
VISICALC represented a new idea of a way to use a computer and a new way of thinking about the world. Where conventional programming was thought of as a sequence of steps, this new thing was no longer sequential in effect: When you made a change in one place, all other things changed instantly and automatically. — Ted Nelson
These mechanisms are still used today, however, when faced with the reality of people trying to collaborate across time zones using spreadsheets that are sent around by e-mail, we’re back to a sequential process.
In the design phase of this project, we challenged the current state of the art: spreadsheets full of data and formulas. Although they work well and people have gotten used to it, these aforementioned spreadsheets allow unlimited editing, and sending files via e-mail comes at a certain cost. From our unbiased outsider perspective, we realized this wasn’t the ideal solution.
With daily tasks as our main focus, we designed the interfaces around the existing spreadsheets. These interfaces address the common tasks of checking the status of an individual policy or the overall status of the captive program, keeping track of policy extensions, submitting claims, etc. — all of which was handled through e-mails and spreadsheets before. Our online version of the tool eliminated many communication pain points.
Inboxes that show new claims and policy updates in a chronological order help the user keep track of any updates that had happened on the tool. It also simplifies weekly status updates, in which account handlers and captive managers actively exchange information. In addition to a chronological view, users can also view policies and claims by country. This feature is especially useful in policy extension phases.
Each year, policies need to be extended. This process involves a number of people at different times throughout a total of 15 sequential phases. After gaining a deep understanding of the entire process, we summarized it into 4 simple steps.
We visualised this process with an extension progress bar. For every policy extension, the current status is clearly shown in this bar. It also highlights the next step and the person responsible for moving the policy extension forward. The complete history of changes and transactions is also visible in the activity sidebar. Structured, transparent and highly efficient.
Some steps require reviews. Whenever a review has been requested, the reviewer can either approve or reject the changes.
Payments used to be complicated and time-consuming. A simple online “Sign & Pay” feature allows local offices to review a policy and sign it right away. The premium is paid faster than ever before.