How Customer Communication Tech Improves the ISO Form Experience
By David Squibb, Chief Marketing/Sales Officer of Xpertdoc

For insurance carriers, achieving compliance is critical and, for most carriers, the use of ISO forms is technically an option, but it’s usually a necessity.

Continue Reading from eInterpreter...

Insurers must build products that comply with state regulations and proven best practices, and ISO services create the coverage forms that are typically used as is or as a starting point for customizations.  This is a huge benefit because it saves the member carriers from having to create it all from scratch. However, one could say that this shortcut could use a fast-track of its own.  Achieving compliance isn’t a one-time investment; the real cost is the resources it takes to remain compliant over time with the constant rate of regulatory changes and product adjustments to these forms. In fact, insurers often devote entire teams to this task. With the advances in customer communication technology, the internal struggle to keep up with compliance can be streamlined and the human capital costs and compliance nonconformities can that have long been associated with it can be minimized. 

Remaining Compliant is a Marathon not a Sprint

Traditionally, insurers obtain ISO forms via paper or electronically through ISOnet and then determine the changes they want to make to those forms to support their business.  Once identified, these intended deviations must be filed and approved with the respective states.  Once approved, the carriers then have to implement them by the approved effective date to avoid compliance non-conformities and potential fines. This process has a lot of potential failure points that create a major challenge for carriers.  

And just when you thought you were finished, this arduous task is only the beginning of a long process. The carrier must constantly sift through the many ISO circulars and form updates to identify needed changes to the forms that they are using and then file, update and deploy the updated versions of the correct forms for their product or offering.  And without the proper technology, finding specific changes and comparing to the prior customized version is an time consuming, error-prone, manual process.  This is easier said than done with ISO typically making in excess of 8,000 forms changes in a typical year. This causes unwary companies to fall out of compliance quickly. And beyond noncompliance fines carriers could become liable for a claim that a minor adjustment to a new version of the form may have prevented. 

How tech makes it easy to keep up with ISO

Through modern customer communication management (CCM) platforms like Xpertdoc, insurers can easily and intuitively stay on top of ISO compliance without the tedious manual interventions. Once an insurer opts into the ISO service, they can download all current ISO forms directly from the ISOnet website into a digital repository and convert them into smart document templates with pre-fill capabilities and automatically compare the new updates to their prior customized version to determine which updates they want to adopt.  Once the decisions are made on what will be the new merged “customized version, those changes, including data mapping and business rules can automatically be rolled into the updated version of their template eliminating the manual compare and redundancy. These self-service forms can also capture important metadata such as “last update”, which products it’s associated with (i.e. “commercial auto”), and whether the info is mandatory, conditionally mandatory, or required. By having access to this metadata, insurers can search for keywords to locate the correct documents rather than manually scanning the comprehensive list on the ISOnet website. Additionally, insurers can request specific metadata to be pulled from all forms in order to make it simpler for reporting purposes.

Perhaps the most significant component of using a CCM platform for ISO forms is the recurring automated scan of the ISO website to make sure all the latest versions of each form are captured and shared with the insurance carrier in real-time. There are indicators that clearly identify the differences between versions so they can amend as needed.

Between the InsurTech revolution and rising consumer expectations, carriers need to put their best foot forward with improving the customer experience to remain competitive. Trying to reinvent themselves on the front-end is difficult to prioritize while regulatory pressures are taking valuable time away from employees. Removing tedious and time consuming tasks like optimizing ISO services allows companies to spend more time on the end user.