As a result, non-standard insurers not only have to price
to all the underlying loss experience that would go into any
carrier’s rating or rules plans, but they also have to manage to a
market that’s in flux as a result of the cycles.
What was critical to AACC was having the capability to
manage pricing and rating technology as much as possible
within the product and pricing department and take as much
pressure and programming off the plate of the internal IT
department while still maintaining stability within whatever
platform the insurer ultimately chose.
AACC didn’t have a strict RFP process. The company
looked at a few vendors including some of the larger ones in
the market. In the initial process, capabilities were important,
“Rod (Giess, president of SpeedBuilder) and his team put
together a case for us with the growing balance between the
practicality of their product, the attributes and capabilities, and
the affordability of it,” says Reznicek. “More than anyone we
talked to, Rod made it a point to come in and interview every
department head in the company and document what the chal-
lenges were for us. He built a picture of how those challenges
could be addressed with his software platform back end and, in
certain cases, with a database.”
SpeedBuilder offers a component-based system, but AACC
was focused on two key areas—getting pricing functions into a
black-box situation and out of the legacy system, which showed
signs at that point of instability; and gaining the ability to do
real-time rating with third-party comparative raters, which are
ubiquitous in the non-standard market.
AACC put the first state on the system, Texas, in August,
2014. Every piece of business in Texas was quoted and written
through the SpeedBuilder platform from the “go date,” according to Reznicek.
“From the start, we knew we were going to let that first
state settle in, make sure the technology, the volume, and the
underlying infrastructure that was put in place to support the
platform—including the real-time rating—scaled out so everything was functioning smoothly,” says Reznicek.
AACC was not in a rush to push out subsequent states until
they had a good feeling about what they were doing in Texas.
By the time they were comfortable with that, feeding in the next
three states was a mid-level project in terms of what it took for
internal IT to build the connections between the system and
what was in place with the legacy system.
With Texas, Reznicek points out the insurer tried to address
as many multi-state requirements as possible, which made the
next three states—Arizona, Indiana, and Nevada—less of a
major process to add. The insurer’s final state, Illinois, which
was added in January of this year, had some different aspects to
the program so it took a little longer.
“We use vehicle-value based rating in Illinois versus symbol
rating, so we did some upgrades to our vehicle look-up struc-
ture to complete the circuit for the final state,” he says.
AACC has plans to expand geographically as needed, but
within its current five states, the company continues to find
growth—and foresees enough over the next couple of years—that
they don’t necessarily need to expand geographically.
“When we look at the SpeedBuilder platform to do our rating and essentially be the single point for real-time connections
to any external third-party rating platforms—be it a traditional
independent agent comparative rater or an aggregator that essentially would use the same platform of real-time rating,” says
Reznicek. “We see that as a way for us to expand distribution
through technical capability, primarily by opening up distribution options for our independent agent partners. At the same
time, it is clear that my pricing/product team, while now tasked
with programming and configuration within the SpeedBuilder
software, operates with more efficiency and confidence. When
I marry that quality improvement to the fact I haven’t needed
additional staff to manage the new platform, it’s a huge win for
someone that wants to run a lean, yet capable, pricing/product
department. The entire company is in agreement that it’s been a
positive process and allowed the IT department to disengage a
bit from the rating logic that was co-mingled in the core legacy
system and focus on other needs that arise from a growing
“When I marry that quality
improvement to the fact I
haven’t needed additionbal
staff to manage the platform,
it’s a huge win.”
Matt Reznicek, AACC