Data is an ongoing challenge for the insurance industry as the amount of data received is vast. Thousands of spreadsheets are being presented each month, containing information on premiums written, premiums paid and claims made. Each spreadsheet can contain thousands of rows of data with multiple columns, so a single document could contain millions of individual cells of data. Technology is essential to allow organizations to get to grips with data to understand their business as well as comply with industry regulations.
VIPR is an award-winning provider of sophisticated software solutions for the insurance market. Its products help clients understand and manage their data efficiently and accurately. At the heart of the company is VIPR’s customers; through them, VIPR is able to develop products that meet their requirements. This is often done through user group meetings, where VIPR brings together its clients to share their challenges and insights. These events can often put the wheels in motion for the next VIPR product.
Flexible Solutions for Changing Demands
VIPR continually strives to provide the latest software offerings for an industry in need of modernisation. Many companies have been heavily reliant on manual processes, legacy systems, and inadequate or unreliable data, and with an increase in regulations, the market has no choice but to change. Over the years VIPR has created products to meet these changing market needs, developing solutions to enable insurers to standardize, cleanse and validate incoming data, quickly and easily. This, in turn, helps the way insurers transact business as well as providing an effective response to regulations.
VIPR now boasts six products in its portfolio, including: Active Underwriter; a quote and bind solution, Intrali; its data management product, Intarga; an online workflow tool, Active Reports; a reporting tool, Complaints Manager; enabling complaints to be reported online and Consensus; its latest product targeting group life insurers allowing them to standardize membership data.
Although technology has started to be embraced by the industry, another challenge is becoming apparent. Even with modern systems in place, there is still a need for human intervention and sometimes this can cause a problem in organizations that are under-resourced. In response to this VIPR now offer VIPR Managed Service (VMS). In conjunction with London consultants JDX, VIPR is able to offer a fully managed service, operated by trained staff to take the pressure off clients who don’t have the internal resource or expertise to manage their mission-critical systems.
Founders of VIPR
Richard Brown is the Director and Co-founder of VIPR. He co-founded VIPR in 2009 with his brother Bob. Prior to setting up the company this pair of entrepreneurs and businessmen had previously launched and subsequently sold Moneynet.co.uk, the first personal finance comparison site in the UK. At VIPR Richard oversees management of the business and is fully involved in the client relations, as well as product strategy and development.
“In order for us to provide the latest technology and stay ahead of the marketplace, we are constantly reviewing other products on the market, but above all we listen. We listen to the regulators, we listen to the industry and we listen to our clients. We often hear clients complaining about competitor products that don’t really do what they are supposed to do or what is expected of them. We believe in building products that are the very best, simple to understand and use and do ‘as it says on the tin’. We don’t overcomplicate things for the sake of it and we avoid anything that cannot be done quickly and easily explained,” asserts Richard while talking about their market understandings and uniqueness.
Process of Implementation
VIPR’s approach to implementation is centered around its customers. Even before implementation, VIPR works closely with its clients to understand their needs. In fact, the first step in the process is a needs analysis. VIPR will work hand-in-hand with a client to craft a solution to suit their exact requirements. They firmly believe that their best sales force is their existing customer network and they work tirelessly to ensure that remains the case. Once VIPR have assessed its clients brief and had sign off, they work quickly to integrate and implement its software solutions and streamline with the client’s business processes. Whilst most of its products can be delivered ‘out of the box’ they ensure each solution is configured and installed to a perfect fit. Implementation is fast and seamless, with adjustments made when and if necessary throughout the process.
Cathedral, a Lloyd’s Managing Agent was looking for a software solution for its delegated underwriting to allow it to assess bordereaux and fulfill reporting requirements from Lloyd’s. Through recommendations from other Managing Agents in the insurance industry and having been impressed with demonstrations from the VIPR team, Cathedral gave the go ahead for the installation. Lesley Townsend, Company Secretary at Cathedral commented, “From signing the contract it was just seven weeks before we were live with Intrali and we already have over 500 bordereaux mapped into the system. We are delighted with the progress that we have made at such an early stage.”
Another Lloyd’s Managing Agent, Advent recognized the need to understand the data they were receiving through bordereaux cleansing, validations, and accurate reports. They also felt it was time to automate the process and on-going management of their cover holders and binder book. Three of VIPR’s systems were needed to offer solutions to Advent’s needs. The VIPR team guided Advent through the different phases of implementation; coming on-site to help the underwriters to tailor the system to suit their needs. Bordereaux mapping exercises were also completed using VIPR’s extensive knowledge of the insurance industry.
David Pearson, Head of Delegated Authority and Client Management at Advent commented, “The implementation of the systems has enabled us to move from a paper driven process to an electronic solution within the required timescales set-out at the start of the project. The staff at VIPR, from top down has always been available when required to assist with the implementation program and their dedication has been outstanding. We are very pleased with the final product which has streamlined the process effectively.”
Future Prospects and Products
Richard discusses the future, “The landscape is constantly changing and to stay ahead, we need to be agile and ready to adapt. The insurance market still has a heavy reliance on Excel spreadsheets as a way to monitor business written. This needs to change and at VIPR we are working with our clients to deliver data in a more structured manner. We can now accept XML data straight into our systems which increases the reliability of the data and relieves a lot of the pressure. The next step is to extract data directly from third party systems.”
VIPR is also in the process of launching its new software platform called Consensus, which enables Group Life Insurers to quickly and easily manipulate the census or broker data they receive. This means that all the spreadsheets they receive can be quickly manipulated and standardized enabling them to be fed into their quote systems for quote production. This massively saves on time and cost for them.
Website:- VIPR Solutions