Science fiction has speculated about robot workers joining the workforce for decades. While brokerages have been using chatbots for years, a new breed of robots are helping brokerages take the next step towards that promised future. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a form of software automation that automates processes by simulating a person working—software robots execute time-consuming and repetitive processes.
One of the companies offering RPA services within the insurance space is the Vancouver-based startup Quandri, co-founded by brothers Jackson and Jamieson Fregeau. Quandri started by working with companies across a few different industries, but after working with insurance brokers they realized how much of a need there was for this technology in the broker channel.
“Sandwiched between carriers, technology vendors and customer demands, brokers are being saddled with more work than ever but are getting a smaller piece of the pie,” said Jamieson. “Digital workers are a way to offload the administrative burden of this work and focus on increasing revenue and driving profitability.”
RPA primarily navigates over the user interface of an application rather than through a back-end API. It simulates clicking, typing and reading text from the screen and can log into a software application with a username and password. It’s most effective for high-volume and repetitive work you can build rules around and is best suited for more traditional industries where software applications have limited or no API functionality.
Successful Broker Use-Cases
- Electronic Data Interface (EDI) download
- Comparing renewing policies and creating reports
- Preparing renewal email templates
- Managing inbound leads and associated data entry
- Commercial lines change requests (driver changes, vehicle changes)
- Running reports and issuing them to the appropriate people
- Managing broker activities (matching, closing, removing duplicates)
- Renaming policies and renewals
- Moving data between different applications (BMS, carrier portal, excel, email, rating tool)
“Digital workers can cut process costs by over 50%, reduce error rates and allow brokerages to reallocate the workloads of their brokers and administrative staff,” said Jackson. “Instead of doing data entry tasks all day, they can focus on what they do best and bring more value to the business—talking to customers, up-selling, cross-selling, requoting policies and making decisions.”
“Ultimately, digital workers make brokerages more tech-enabled, scalable and profitable,” said Jamieson. “Brokers typically see improved morale and higher retention among their staff once their most mundane and time-consuming tasks are given to a digital worker.”
Excalibur Insurance has had a good experience adopting RPA technology into their operations. “Integrating it into our workflow was a relatively seamless process,” said Jeff Roy, President & CEO. “Within one month it was up and running and each time it ran it got smarter and more effective. We have two digital workers. The first goes into our system and runs our EDI, prints reports, runs our automatic document invoicing and searches and attaches clients that weren’t automatically attached during the EDI process. Our second bot goes into the download, deletes duplicate activities and renames our attachments and invoicing. This saves each of our account managers 20 minutes a day and saves one person from babysitting EDI every morning, which equates to $32,000 and 1,800 hours saved a year.”
RPA has become more popular in recent years, and more popular with insurance brokerages as they realize how useful this technology can be to drive bottom line growth. While RPA digital workers might not have the charm of the Jetsons’ Rosey the robot, it’s easy to see why brokers would want to have a couple on their staff.