on the art of adjusting.”
With improved time and capacity,
Wiedmeyer seeks to strengthen the
customer experience. Claims will never
be fun for consumers, but he believes
Republic Group can make the process
“Regional carriers with indepen-
dent agents need to excel on service,”
he says. “The more time we can spend
on customer service, the better the
results. That is one way we want to dif-
ferentiate ourselves through the claims
Republic Group is one of the excep-
tions to the rule that claims systems are
second in line. The carrier purchased
Guidewire’s InsuranceSuite, which
eventually will fill the insurer’s policy,
claims, billing, and data warehouse needs.
Because claims trailed Republic Group’s
other business units in terms of sophis-
ticated technology, the
ClaimCenter system will be
installed first, according to
“Claims was so much
further behind so it is
almost in crisis mode be-
cause of the deferred main-
tenance,” says Wiedmeyer.
“The claims department
is building a better value
proposition when we talk
about the expenses we save.
Plus, we can add top-line
growth with improved retention. I like
The implementation was scheduled
to begin in January with a rollout in the
middle of 2016. Because of the length of
the project Wiedmeyer realizes much of
his department’s capacity will be eaten
up by subject-matter experts as they
work on the new claims system.
“It will take up a lot of organizational capacity for change. We’ll be able to keep moving, but maybe not as fast,” says Wiedmeyer.
“Short term, that’s a small price to pay for
the benefits we are going to receive.”
GIS information is one area that claims
can adopt quickly to integrate, even with
legacy systems, according to Furtado.
She explains it as more of a workflow
or internal process. Insurers use GIS
to deploy adjusters to the
closest loss to their loca-
tion and make real-time
adjustments in adjuster’s
schedules based on the
length of time they spend
at any particular risk.
A second aspect of
GIS involves catastrophic
incidents, such as tornados,
During a tornado event last year,
Furtado reports an adjuster was working
the scene of a loss. The carrier had all of
its risks mapped out with GIS informa-
tion and the adjuster happened to stop
at other homes in the neighborhood that
had not reported losses but were part of
the risk portfolio.
“They were able to see if there was
minor loss at that location,” she says.
“The homeowner couldn’t believe the
Most carriers are concerned about all
their customers, reports Furtado. In this
case there was minimal damage and the
insured was happy.
Another insurer had risk locations
GIS-coded prior to a wildfire. Between
aerial imaging, GIS info, and the information coming in about the wildfire, the
insurer was able to pinpoint their risks
and tell the fire department if a risk had
been consumed by the fire or not.
“It’s not just GIS, but when you use
technology together you can make a
powerful statement and you’ll have an
insured for life if you can provide this
level of information,” says Furtado.
Most of Grange Insurance’s mobile
“When you use
together, you can
make a powerful
you’ll have an
insured for life if
you can provide
that level of
Karen Furtado, SMA