American Modern Insurance has
been a Guidewire customer since
2012 using the ClaimCenter product. The two companies recently
expanded the relationship with
American Modern adding PolicyCenter, Billing Center, DataHub,
and InfoCenter to their arsenal.
To explain the needs of American Modern and its decision to
continue the Guidewire relationship, the ITA communicated electronically with American Modern’s
chief actuarial officer Steve Russell,
and senior vice president Pete Effler
on the selection and implementation of the Guidewire solutions.
ITA: What challenges did
you address through the
RUSSELL: We needed to replace
aging systems with a single state-of-the-art platform that offers
more sophisticated products with
enhanced features and a consistent user experience.
ITA: How did these challenges affect the perfor-
mance of your company?
RUSSELL: Maintaining legacy systems to support our product suite led to increased IT costs. Making timely system
enhancements to our products was also a challenge.
ITA: What were you looking for from a technolo-
gy solution partner?
EFFLER: We had previous experience with Guidewire
solutions through a positive implementation of ClaimCenter
in 2012. Once we had a short list of three viable solutions,
we used a business- and IT-driven team to conduct proof of
concepts with each vendor around critical processes.
We utilized client references to validate prior customer
experience with the product and the companies. A key cri-
teria was to look for a business partner who was investing in
the ongoing development/maturity of the product from both
a technology and a features standpoint and had a proven
track record in the P&C insurance industry space.
ITA: What sort of steps were taken to ensure the
business transformation was a success?
EFFLER: Delivery was within a 30-month period that followed an agile methodology. Key success factors included:
K Strong management commitment and alignment
K Business and IT resources who were empowered to make
day-to-day design/solution trade-off decisions
K Emphasis on change management via a dedicated team
K Leveraging the software to drive future processes.
ITA: Were there any internal process changes
that had to be made?
EFFLER: This was a business driven strategy, not just to implement advanced software, but to improve how we do business with our customers. We looked at everything from aesthetics to streamlined workflow processes. Over 25 percent
of our associates delivered business and IT solutions with a
high degree of synergy and collaboration. We implemented
PolicyCenter, BillingCenter, DataHub, and InfoCenter for 11
policy types in three states—all at the same time. Remaining
states will be rolled out over the next couple of years.
ITA: How have your customers’ needs changed
in recent years and what is your strategy to
stay on top of those changes going forward?
EFFLER: The Guidewire platform provides us a state-of the-art technology that incorporates industry best practices that
are evolving in terms of technology, features, and functions.
Customers are looking for an insurance carrier that is modern and progressive in the products we are providing and the
technology by which those products are being delivered.
ITA: How will this solution improve the perfor-
mance of your company?
EFFLER: Forward-thinking is key in meeting the ev-er-changing needs of our customers. The advanced platform
allows us to focus on broader, transformative business
strategies that align with American Modern’s growth and
profitability plans going forward, and empower us to deliver
best-in-class products and services to our customers. ITA
The More the Merrier
Once an insurer finds a good partner, it is easier to enhance the relationship.