Deploying a New System Enabled Significant Efficiency Gains
Bremen Farmers Mutual Insurance Company (Bremen Mutual) is a Kansas-based mutual insurer that was hampered by a legacy system from the 1990s. The company needed to dramatically improve the efficiency and productivity of its operations by modernizing their policy admin system.
Bremen Mutual selected BriteCore for its cutting-edge cloud-based technology and continuous innovation that eliminated costly hardware and software upgrades while ensuring they stay current with the insurance industry. BriteCore’s intuitive core insurance system enabled the Bremen Mutual team to perform much of the line configuration themselves and to stay actively involved in the process of converting off their legacy system to BriteCore.
Upon deploying BriteCore’s modern platform, Bremen Mutual experienced dramatic efficiency gains. Manual processes were automated, previous workarounds were eliminated, and key information became easily accessible. Bremen Mutual’s agents benefited from real-time access to policyholder information and no longer had to calculate policy changes manually. The company eliminated agent mailings, reduced printing, and achieved a significant 15x reduction in printing and postage costs.
Even after expected staff member retirements and normal employee attrition, Bremen Mutual with BriteCore now easily supports the same amount of written premium with a team two-thirds its size from when the system was first implemented.
Bremen Farmers Mutual Insurance Company: High-quality Coverage at a Competitive Cost
Located in Bremen, Kansas, Bremen Farmers Mutual Insurance Company was chartered as a mutual insurance company in 1888. The company provides property and casualty insurance programs for homeowners/renters, farm owners/operators, rental owners, personal property, and business owners/operators through a network of more than 200 professional independent insurance agencies across the state of Kansas. Bremen provides high-quality coverage and service to policyholders and agencies at a competitive cost.
Leaving Outdated Processes Behind for a Better Customer Experience
Bremen Mutual’s custom legacy system dated back to the 1990s and was holding the company back. It required manual, multi-step processes with multiple people involved to accomplish common tasks such as issuing a policy, accepting payments, or gathering underwriting information. The legacy system offered no online access for agents, required cobbling together various components, and data did not flow from the quote, into the policy, through to claims. The mainframe-based system generated high volumes of hardcopy documents that could only be printed on multipart, carbonless forms. After each printing the Bremen Mutual team had to complete a tedious process of removing perforations, separating copies, organizing documents, and then filing and mailing documents to agents and policyholders. Making a tough situation even worse, the agent copies were difficult to read and required manual scanning by each agency.
Before adopting BriteCore, the company implemented a custom, web-based quoting system to improve the agent experience. This new quoting system helped the agents as they no longer had to manually process paper quotes and issue policies – but it created even more issues for Bremen Mutual. The quoting system was not integrated with the legacy policy admin system, so the Bremen Mutual team had to maintain two separate rating systems. They also had to rekey new information from the quoting system into the policy admin system during the day, process these inputs overnight, and import updates from the policy admin system back to the quoting system the next morning. As a result, the agent quoting system was out of sync and always one day behind the policy system. The quoting system was also limited to issuing new business. In order to quote changes to existing policies, agents still had to perform calculations by hand out of the rating manual.
Moving to BriteCore’s Cloud-based Platform Sets the Stage for Success
When a new President was named to manage Bremen Mutual’s business operations, one of the first priorities was to modernize the policy administration solution. As the team began their search for a new system, they were initially disappointed by the available options. They desired a cloud-based solution, but many higher end policy administration systems were too expensive and out of reach for an insurer like Bremen Mutual.
Then, the team discovered BriteCore. BriteCore’s platform was cloud-based, built on a cutting-edge platform that offered enhanced security and proven reliability, and created with the needs of small to midsize insurance carriers in mind. BriteCore’s continuous innovation and regular updates ensured Bremen Mutual could meet the expectations of their agents and policyholders while staying current with new developments in the insurance industry.
New Capabilities Drive Greater Responsiveness and Efficiency
Bremen Mutual selected BriteCore and then proceeded to configure the new policy admin system and their insurance products. Bremen Mutual was prepared to change their business processes to adapt to the new platform. But, instead, they were pleasantly surprised at how well BriteCore fit their needs. Given the intuitive nature of BriteCore’s insurance platform, the Bremen Mutual team performed much of the system and line configuration work themselves with assistance from the BriteCore services team.
Upon implementing the BriteCore Platform, Bremen Mutual experienced immediate and significant benefits:
Gained greater staff efficiency
With BriteCore, there was one platform and one rating system – Bremen Mutual no longer needed to keep two rating systems in sync. BriteCore’s automation and streamlined workflows eliminated the need to manually handle paper for every transaction. Also, through integrations with new data services and applications, Bremen Mutual’s underwriters were able to access the information they needed from within BriteCore with just a few clicks – no need to go hunting for data in other systems or submit separate requests for critical underwriting information.
Improved agent experience
Bremen Mutual’s insurance agents also gained greater efficiencies from the improved workflows and now had instant access to policy information that was updated in real-time – not a day later. BriteCore’s agent portal supported both new policy quotes and changes to existing policies, so agents no longer had to manually calculate changes to existing policies by hand.
Significantly reduced printing and postage costs
Bremen Mutual no longer needed to print and mail documents to their agencies given their agents now had full access to information and documentation within BriteCore. The only regular paper and postage costs were for documents mailed to policyholders. Instead of printing documents on perforated multi-part carbonless forms, the Bremen Mutual team dramatically reduced paper costs by 15x by switching to plain white paper.
These efficiency gains were tested by a large derecho weather event that generated over 1,200 new claims in just a few days. With their prior system, an event like this would have been an emergency, “all-hands-on-deck” situation with a doubling of the claims team and all employees on call to help. Instead, with BriteCore, Bremen Mutual’s two-person claims team handled the surge in claims with no additional support and without falling behind.
A number of vendor integrations enabled business processes at Bremen Mutual to be automated directly from the BriteCore platform, including:
- e2Value: provides web-based property valuations for commercial, residential, and farm and ranch structures.
- InsVista: processes mortgagee copies electronically, eliminating the need to mail these documents.
- LexisNexis CLUE: automates loss histories to drive more informed underwriting.
- PayCloud.io: provides a one-stop payment services solution.
- Reliable Reports: provides inspection and reporting services.
- Sage Intacct: provides cloud accounting software for companies of any size.
- Verisk ISO: provides property/casualty insurance risk providing statistical, actuarial, underwriting, and claims information.
Prior to BriteCore, Bremen Mutual had 15 full-time employees. Since implementing BriteCore, written premiums have remained at the same level while Bremen Mutual supports the business with two-thirds the original staff. BriteCore enables these 30+% efficiency gains and more through an integrated, all-in-one policy admin system that allows carriers to focus on delivering a modern agent and policyholder experience.
Bremen Mutual continues to evolve and adopt new capabilities of the BriteCore Platform. Most recently, Bremen Mutual eschewed paper completely by leveraging BriteCore’s policyholder portal to provide an enhanced customer experience, drive more efficiency gains, and yield more savings as online access reduces the need for policyholder documents and mailings.