John F. Kennedy once said; “change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
RSA is undergoing a time of change and transformation. For us, we’ve taken a look at what’s worked for us in the past, evaluated the present state of the industry and tried to marry those two ideas into a calculation of what will work best for our business in the future.
Doing this has allowed us to take a holistic look at our business to determine the areas where we need to change in order to improve for our brokers and their customers.
What we’ve come to realize in the process is that we’re not the only ones who are changing. The insurance and broker business landscape is certainly shifting and this has a lot to do with the customer. Customer behaviors are evolving, and along with that, their expectations of what a business can (and should) do for them.
We all have to find ways to do things differently; you as brokers to reach more customers and satisfy their new expectations on value and service; while RSA and other insurers must strive to deliver strong product and service propositions to our brokers at more competitive prices.
With that in mind, we’ve been working on our transformation over the last several months in order to put the idea of doing things a little differently moving forward, into action.
Technology for the future
In 2014, we sold our interest in Noraxis for a record breaking multiple. This has enabled us to look for ways to invest significantly in our core operations. Our goal is that this investment will allow us to improve how we do business with our brokers, which includes improving our technology.
Modernizing and upgrading our technology is a critical lever to the success of transforming RSA Canada and ensuring we are progressing into the future with our brokers. With the various insurer acquisitions we have made over the last 8 years, we have integrated a number of different systems that didn’t accommodate all of our various businesses and portfolios. From a cost and data integration perspective; this has left us room for improvement.
As part of our commitment to improving our technology, we are making a significant investment of almost $300m to overhaul our entire IT platform as part of a three phased program over 5 years which includes; policy administration and billing systems; broker and pricing tools and digital enhancements.
The first phase focuses on the implementation of a new Claims system, Guidewire. This faster and more efficient system will help improve customer service through proactive claims management, resulting in higher quality data capture and an increased emphasis of express (low-touch) adjusting when applicable. This will help create a solid and consistent operating platform to leverage future technologies. Ultimately, for our brokers this means a modernized system to help them better serve their customers.
With respect to Broker Tools, we acknowledge that our current tools are in need of an update and that this was holding us back from growing with our broker partners. Some competitors have moved ahead with more current tools and we were losing ground. We will be investing significant resources to improve our broker tools and digital process to enable a seamless interaction with our broker partners. This means more straight through processing with improved underwriting filters, using external data to underwrite rather than asking the customer and greater usability when navigating on our site.
As we move forward in our transformation, we will continue to seek our brokers’ feedback in the process to ensure they are feeling the positive effects of our technological enhancements.
What’s not changing?
While we are changing in certain areas of our business, some things will remain the same. Our overarching strategy in Canada remains unchanged; we remain completely committed to the broker channel and will continue to develop propositions in the territories and segments we want to compete in. We have no plans to exit any segments or areas of business, in fact we are seeking opportunities to build and develop our business in the future. We strongly believe that, with our brokers, we are “Better, Together”
Although businesses in all industries change and transform, for RSA one thing that remains the same at our core is that in order to succeed our brokers and customers must remain at the centre of what we do and we must continue to build our relationships with them. Our broker partnership and putting customers’ needs first remains of upmost importance to RSA as we move ahead with our transformation.
We will continue to collaborate with brokers as we move through our transformative journey. Drawing from our brokers and their clients experiences in the past and present, will allow us to best plan for our future together.
This article originally appeared in The Ontario Broker magazine.