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Asteron Leapfrogs the Competition with Allfinanz Automated Underwriting

  • 14 May, 2009 15:20

<p>Asteron and Allfinanz have today announced the successful completion of a project designed to automate life insurance underwriting. Implemented in several stages, the system has delivered new online tools to assist insurance advisers, while dramatically reducing turnaround times for new insurance applications. The solution has been implemented for Asteron’s full range of Asteron Lifeguard® life insurance products.</p>
<p>Asteron is a financial services company which provides life risk insurance in Australia and New Zealand. Asteron is part of the Suncorp Group, which includes Suncorp, GIO, AAMI, Vero, Tyndall and Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency (APIA).</p>
<p>Life insurance products are typically sold via financial advisers, and involve the applicant providing detailed personal information as part of the application and underwriting process, and in some cases undergoing independent medical checks. There is an industry push to make this process easier and more customer friendly.</p>
<p>In October 2007, Asteron initiated a project to streamline the business processes surrounding life insurance applications, across the broad range of Asteron Lifeguard® life insurance products.</p>
<p>After a tender process involving nine vendors, Asteron decided to partner with Allfinanz, using underwriting rule sets provided by Munich Re and tailored by Asteron’s Risk Assessment team. The first stage of the project was completed in September 2008, allowing Asteron to bring Lifeguard EQ to market in November 2008. The most recent expansion of the project was completed in April 2009, delivering additional online tools for insurance advisers.</p>
<p>John Crosswell, Asteron Executive General Manager – Life Risk commented, “Asteron is committed to delivering exceptional service to financial advisers and the end customer, so we are constantly striving to improve the process of applying for life insurance. Lifeguard EQ was a collaborative project between Asteron and Allfinanz, which has allowed us to leapfrog our competition. We are now achieving faster application turn-around times, with processes which are easier for both our customers and advisers.”</p>
<p>Asteron’s Lifeguard EQ processes life insurance applications using the Allfinanz automated underwriting solution. Financial advisers enter customer details directly into the web-based system. The Allfinanz intelligent underwriting engine automatically tailors the questions asked of each applicant, based on their responses, and the level of insurance cover being requested.</p>
<p>All information provided by the applicant is recorded, and a PDF version of the completed application is immediately provided back to the applicant and adviser, improving transparency and giving applicants an opportunity to verify data. The entire process is tracked automatically for advisers, with both new applications and existing policies able to be reviewed electronically at any time.</p>
<p>John Crosswell continued, “We looked at many different suppliers, and partnered with Allfinanz because of their proven solution and track record, and the flexibility of the Allfinanz Underwriting Engine. The fact that the underwriting rules can be managed in-house at Asteron by underwriters and not IT staff, gives us the flexibility to quickly adapt as new market opportunities or threats emerge.</p>
<p>“Allfinanz was able to successfully implement the complete system within 10 months, helping us to deliver a timely and market-leading offer to advisers. We can now offer advisers and their clients faster cover, with less red tape.”</p>
<p>Where new applications cannot be processed instantly because further information is required, Lifeguard EQ ensures the application is instantly allocated to the right person to deal with that request. This has allowed Asteron to reduce the time it takes to process these more complex cases by up to 48 hours.</p>
<p>Asteron has also used the Allfinanz solution to deliver enhanced real-time online tools, allowing advisers to accurately track and manage the progress of applications for their clients.</p>
<p>Alby van Wyk, Director of Sales and Marketing at Allfinanz commented, “The winds of change are blowing through the life insurance industry. Customers and advisers are demanding faster underwriting decisions, and higher levels of service. Allfinanz’ solutions can greatly reduce processing times for life insurance applications, while improving service delivery and record keeping for advisers.”</p>
<p>About Allfinanz</p>
<p>Founded in 1987, Allfinanz is the market leader in providing new business processing and underwriting automation software to the life insurance industry. By electronically capturing application details and automating the underwriting process, Allfinanz solutions deliver Straight Through Processing (STP) for Life Insurers, and in so doing slash costs and drive greater profitability.</p>
<p>Allfinanz was acquired as a wholly owned subsidiary by Munich Re in November 2007, and operates as a separate software company within the Group. Allfinanz is headquartered in Dublin, with offices in Sydney, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Customers include Prudential, Zurich, HSBC, Tower, LV=, The Hartford and Metropolitan Life.</p>
<p>Learn more at allfinanz.com.</p>
<p>About Asteron</p>
<p>Asteron is a modern, dynamic financial services organisation that provides life risk insurance, wealth management, financial planning and trustee services in Australia and New Zealand. Employing approximately 1200 people, Asteron has offices across Australia and New Zealand. Asteron is part of the Suncorp Group, which includes Suncorp, GIO, AAMI, Vero, Tyndall and Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency (APIA).</p>
<p>Press Contact:
Silverspan,
Sebastian Rice,
02 9959 1991,
seb@silverspan.com</p>

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