Markel Corporation, one of the world’s leading insurance organizations, is comprised of two major divisions, Markel North America and Markel International. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Markel markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs in a variety of niche markets, including children’s summer camps and child care centers; horse farms; gymnastics and martial arts schools; medical professionals; motorcycles and watercraft; food-service companies; and specialized property insurance. The company has 1,500 employees throughout six domestic locations and an operation in London, and its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the call letters MKL.
THE SITUATION: Markel wanted to enter the new business year with a forward-moving plan. The company was relocating its Illinois office (Shand Morahan, A Markel Company) to a new building and used the move as a catalyst for improved customer relations company-wide.
Because Markel is such a large company and services a myriad of industries, it uses independent insurance brokers (aka producers) as its sales force. With Markel’s then-current order system, a broker would contact one of Markel�8364;”s underwriters to purchase a policy. Once the order was placed, a member of Markel’s underwriting team would review the request and either accept or decline the order based on several risk variables. The risk factors, as well as any files relating to the order in question, were located in paper files.
According to Mark Morton, senior manager of the E-Docs system at Markel, locating the correct information in a timely manner was an increasingly daunting task because of the volume of paper files. The company reviewed its business practices and found that in the Underwriting department, employees were spending between 50- and 75-percent of their time on file related activities.
In addition, Markel found that brokers often had to access several of the company’s underwriters to transact business because the department was set-up on a structured product line basis and information was not easily accessible to Markel’s representatives.
Says Morton, “SWith our old system, a broker would call Markel to purchase a policy for a doctor and speak to one underwriter, who would then complete the necessary paperwork and place a paper file in a review box. Underwriters were aligned by product line rather than by brokers, and in order to process two types of requests the broker would have had to talk with two separate underwriters to complete the transaction, which often meant making multiple phone calls to Markel. As a result, we were not always providing our brokers with personalized customer service.”
“An hour later,” continues Morton, “the same broker would call Markel, speak to a different underwriter – who had no knowledge of the previous request – and place another order. There was no consistency; and we found that, even though we are a solid leader in the specialty insurance industry, brokers often did not have a close relationship with our company. We were worried that because of this they would not think of Markel as their first choice.”
THE SOLUTION: Markel needed a document management system that would reduce the amount of paper it was using while providing employees with the ability to quickly act on brokers’ requests and to efficiently process all aspects of a submission.
But first, the company needed to restructure its internal operations. To better serve its brokers, Markel reorganized into teams by creating standard contacts for each region of the country. Each of the teams, known internally as SourceOne teams, has its own administrator, technical assistants and between two and 18 underwriters, based on the size of the region.
Incorporating a document management system was the second step of the reorganization. To further improve Markel’s efficiency and create even stronger bonds between the company and its brokers, Markel worked with Hyland’s Integration Services Group to implement a document management system that would put the insurance files at the fingertips of the SourceOne team members and underwriters. Says Morton, “We needed a system that because of its out-of-the-box capabilities, would allow us to rapidly build specialized applications. And of course, it had to be affordable.”
Markel implemented an OnBase document management solution using several OnBase modules, including Imaging, COLD / ERM, EDM Services, Document Import Processor, Host Application Enabler and Workflow.
THE RESULT: With its OnBase document management solution in place, Markel was able to automate its entire underwriting process. The system also provides all members of the SourceOne teams with instant access to policy information regardless of where it might be in the review process, so any member of a specific team is able to intelligently respond to inquiries from brokers.
With OnBase, requests for policies are received via mail, fax and phone. Mailed requests are scanned into the system while faxed requests go to a fax server and are automatically imported into the system at various times throughout the day using DIP.
Each SourceOne team has its own OnBase Workflow lifecycle. Once requests for policies enter the system, OnBase Workflow routes the requests to the appropriate team based on a set of predefined parameters, such as fax number, area code, etc., and sends an email notification to the teams’ respective underwriting assistants indicating that requests are waiting for risk assessment.
In addition, OnBase works seamlessly with PROFIT, Markel’s underwriting software, allowing employees to work inside their familiar interface while simultaneously being able to review each new request for policy electronically on the desktop. Any other documentation needed to evaluate the request is available instantly by single clicking on specified fields inside of PROFIT. The employee enters data into PROFIT, which in turn determines risk. And to eliminate the need for double entry of information, data from PROFIT is captured and used to further index requests in the OnBase system.
Once a request is approved, it is automatically routed to the proper underwriter based on workload balance maintained by Workflow. Underwriters can then issue quotes from their desktops via e-mail and fax. Any correspondence with brokers or policyholders is stored in OnBase and is available throughout the enterprise for future inquiries.
Says Morton, “With our old paper system, underwriters were spending up to four hours a day looking for files and information. But now, because we can track a request for policy no matter where it is in the process, our underwriters are able to answer questions and act on information immediately. But it’s not just our underwriters who have access to the information. Because of OnBase, it’s available to each member of the individual SourceOne teams, so a broker calling with questions can talk to any of the team’s representatives and receive an answer. And that ability to immediately serve a broker is enabling Markel to develop the relationships we craved.”
“In a nutshell,” concludes Morton, “the implementation of OnBase allowed Markel to realize its goals of improved customer service and increased efficiency in an affordable manner. Markel’s E-Docs Group is OnBase!”
About Hyland Software
Hyland Software, established in 1991, is a recognized leader in the document technologies industry. As a customer-driven organization committed to providing world-class service and support, the company is dedicated to developing integrated document management solutions that are deployable at both the departmental and enterprise levels.
Hyland develops OnBase, software that offers the full spectrum of document management capabilities in a single, web-enabled application. OnBase is used by thousands of commercial organizations and government agencies worldwide to streamline operations, reduce costs and share information with employees, partners and customers. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Hyland has offices located throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. Visit www.onbase.com for more information.