How one company is tackling brokers’ pain point of repetitive data entry

Typing on the keyboard

One Canadian company is taking a unique approach to deal with repetitive data entry, a major pain point for brokers. Vancouver-based Quandri uses software bots to automate certain portions of a brokerage’s operations, such as the renewal review process.

Quandri co-founder and CEO Jackson Fregeau (who founded the company with his brother Jamieson) told Canadian Underwriter he saw many small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) in Canada struggling with high-volume, repetitive data entry, but with no solutions. So, they started experimenting with whether they could offer a solution as a business, and began building bots, or ‘digital workers,’ for different industries — healthcare, retail, legal, financial services, and then insurance.

“We realized pretty quickly how massive of a pain point there was around this type of work in insurance — this high-volume, manual data processing work that we looked at and really thought should be automated,” Fregeau said in an interview. “But there are no tools right now to help brokers do it… It leaves brokerages needing to hire more staff to do more processing work, to push that across the line of what’s kind of a ‘hair on fire’ problem in the insurance industry.”

After conducting more research and speaking with brokers, Fregeau pivoted the company to focus entirely on deploying software robots for insurance brokers, which it has been doing for about two years.

While the bots saved time, there is no standard amount of time saved by eliminating brokers’ double or triple entry of the same data. It largely depends on the size of the brokerage, Fregeau said. For example, a small brokerage may save the equivalent of one-and-a-half to two full-time staff, while a larger brokerage may have the bots doing the equivalent work of six to eight full-time staff.

Quandri currently has three pre-trained robots to help automate things like the renewal review process and eDocs. The goal is to add more and more capabilities into the automation suite, “ideally getting to the point where you sell a policy and then 90% of the work up until that renewal is automated in the background,” Fregeau said. “Brokers can spend their time selling, talking to customers, making decisions, requoting — doing the work that you really need people to do and having the bots take care of all that processing work in the background.”

The bots use robot process automation combined with optical character recognition and machine learning, Fregeau explained. They are trained so the outputs are concrete and tangible, along with testing and manual spot checking to ensure information is accurate.

Using the example of automating the renewal review process, Fregeau said the bots look at a variety of factors, such as this year’s policy compared to last year’s policy, endorsements, how much of a rate increase there was, if any new coverage qualifies the client for discounts, if any discounts dropped off, if another market could offer better coverage for the same price, etc.

Say it takes 20 minutes to manually review a renewal and a brokerage has 20,000 policies. “You have entire teams of people dedicated to this work.

“One of our robots will go into their system, identify upcoming renewals, extract all the data out of those policies, scan the customer profile to understand if there are open claims or other things that it should be aware of,” Fregeau explained. “It takes all of that information and puts it into short, little report.”

That report goes directly into a producer’s existing BMS to show them a quick summary, upsell and cross-sell opportunities, risks of churn, rate increase, gaps in coverage, and missing discounts, among others. “So, they have all that information right at their fingertips,” Fregeau said. “They can then decide whether they want to requote it, whether they want to call the customer, whether they want to auto-renew, but they then are focused on the decision-making on the customer instead of actually processing that data.”

This frees up the broker’s time to focus time and attention on the 20% of policies, for example, in which there may be cross-sell or upsell opportunities, or a risk of churn.

Fregeau reports the company has gained more traction over the last three or four months. It receives referral-based business from brokers, and is starting to do more outreach.

“I think what…brokers really hate — and I totally understand why — is when your doing double-entry or triple-entry of the same data,” Fregeau said. “It’s not just that you need to do the data entry — you need to enter in one place and then it’s gone to the other place. You need to enter it again, which is really a waste of time. And there’s also a high risk of errors when you’re doing that, which can be quite costly.”


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