Pro WFH Diaries.

Legacy under lockdown

Maintaining the orderly run-off of legacy portfolios has come naturally to the Pro team even under lockdown conditions, says Alan Metzger, Head of Technical Claims at Pro Global

How have you found the transition from office to home working under lockdown?

 

The global legacy re/insurance market is facing a number of impacts as a result of the pandemic crisis, ranging from a possible increase in run-off portfolio transfers, to industry-wide digitilisation of the day to day management of existing legacy portfolios, including legal processes and remote working.

 

It was quite interesting in that a couple of our clients got in touch in the early days and said they thought there could be hiccups in Service Level Agreements and offered extensions – but we haven’t needed this.

 

I think it’s a combination of the technology we had in place, the great team and the brilliant support of our HR function that have made the transition so seamless.

 

I think the key thing is making sure that everyone still feels connected to the business. And we’ve actually had a new senior team member join us during this time – all negotiated during the lockdown environment – which I think is such a testament to the drive and adaptability of everyone.

 

What has surprised you most?

 

I think the biggest test has been how the technology we have in place would adapt to remote working conditions – conditions they weren’t designed for. And they’ve proven not only resilient but capable of processing high volumes of digital business.

 

Legacy insurtech systems like ours – which we affectionately dub Pelican because we occasionally feed it microfiche from particularly historic legacy files – have proven not only resilient but capable of processing high volumes complex liability and legacy claims, allowing us to cut costs, drive indemnity savings and ensure claims are managed promptly and paid in good time.

 

Of critical significance has been our ability to use Pelican to absorb historic data from legacy systems, paper based and green screen systems, intelligently link multiple policies from multiple insurers against individual claims, and automatically provide compliance and audit reports.

 

This allows in-depth portfolio and claims trend analysis, improved financial planning and cash flow management, while governance and oversight functions have facilitated enhanced security and disaster recovery processes.

 

Surprisingly, the larger books of business we work on have paradoxically been the simplest to process remotely, due to the fact that the legacy technology systems we have in place were a key part of us winning the contracts to manage those portfolios in the first place.

 

On the other side, we’ve worked hard to overcome challenges on some smaller paper based accounts but are working closely with clients to help them streamline and digitise their processes.

 

The crisis has demonstrated for everyone to appreciate the very real practical challenges of having paper files in offices when the workforce is remote. Particularly challenging is performing any kind of audit or review of a portfolio without technology in place, let alone ensuring continuous compliance with regulations such as GDPR etc.

 

What is your biggest WFH distraction?

 

With two teenage children at home, I would have to say their frequent loud music and quest for food, although generally not before midday!

 

What lessons would you like to see the legacy sector learn from this challenge?

 

The challenge of remote working is one that some in our corner of the industry have found themselves better prepared for and able to adapt to than others.

 

It’s not just about holding meetings via video call, of course – it comes to the very heart of efficiency and processes in the legacy market. Using innovative technology such as the Pelican claims management system has proven invaluable, allowing  Pro to continue servicing clients on a business as usual basis.

 

If we didn’t use systems like Pelican then we simply would not have been able to process legacy business nearly as efficiently or completely as we have been under lockdown conditions.

 

We understand that some others have not found the process of adapting to remote working so seamless.

 

COVD-19 has graphically demonstrated the benefits of electronic file management and storage and I’d like to send a strong call to action for our industry to embrace digitalisation, have robust contingency plans in place, whilst developing resilient, adaptable and secure technology infrastructure.

 

By storing and processing legacy documents electronically you can allow security access to areas that are relevant for each user, and backup systems effectively to avoid the nightmare scenario of losing a critical paper document containing sensitive information.

 

Making sure that all the data is where you need it, and can be accessed securely by those who require it, and extracted and reported on accurately and in a timely manner is critical to the future productivity of our sector.