Can you believe we hosted our 27th annual TAI User Group in May! Every year we strive to make it bigger and better for our attendees. Thanks to your feedback we ensure we are delivering the highest quality of content and insight to help you achieve your business objectives. This year was especially monumental as we launched two brand new products to our suite of software; CONNECTOR and INSIGHTS. Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends Daniel Burrus, who led an intriguing discussion on technological innovation. We are always eager to keep things fresh by introducing new elements to User Group but also maintain the segments you look forward to most. Whether you had the chance to attend this year or not, I’ve pulled together the top highlights from the 2016 TAI User Group below!
From my last blog you know that planning a reinsurance system migration is similar to hosting a dinner party. I walked you through the key stages of planning to ensure you have the resources, budget and stakeholder objectives in place to execute a migration successfully. Now it is time to go through the key ingredients that will make it all come together.
Great food, tasty drinks and even better company – sounds like a perfect dinner party to me! But have you ever hosted one yourself? If yes, you know how much work goes into serving an incredible multi-course meal, (that is perfectly timed) within your budget all the while making sure your guests are having a great time! So what exactly does this have to do with reinsurance system upgrades or migrations? Well you might be surprised to learn that the steps that go into planning and creating a multi course meal for guests are similar to the steps that go into migrating from one system to another. I’ll show you exactly how below.
Have you ever tried booking a flight or vacation that was advertised for a great price, only to find out at check-out that an error occurred with their system and it was showing the wrong price? What about something as simple as going to a restaurant and getting served the wrong meal despite being specific when you ordered? In both instances, at some point in the process, the wrong data was transmitted in the system, creating a disappointing experience for you. Now imagine this data mishap occurring in a reinsurance setting. What would happen if treaties were set up incorrectly and policies weren’t being administered according to treaty parameters? This could lead to incorrect Net Amount At Risk (NAR), product mapping, reinsurance premium rate and allowance percentages. And if you aren’t already thinking it… THERE COULD BE HUGE FINANCIAL IMPACT that compromises your ability to manage risk effectively. That is why data quality and compliance is so critical to all parties involved in reinsurance. So how can you reduce the risk of major financial disasters and ensure data accuracy? By investing in quality control processes. Here is why.
Earlier in May, I had the pleasure of attending TAI’s annual user group meeting. For those who have been long time clients of TAI, you’ll come to appreciate that this is one of the premier reinsurance-centric meetings in North America, and a fantastic meeting to network with peers and discuss trends & challenges encountered in reinsurance administration. As head of Marketing, I always encourage staff to speak at meetings and conferences, it is a great way to develop public speaking skills and also share our success stories and learnings. Brittainy and Lisa from our Reinsurance team delivered a breakout session that can act as a great resource to managers or new hires as they tackle the first weeks of their recently hired reinsurance administrators/analysts.
As a reinsurance pro you know that working with data is an integral part of your role. Many of you are using either a homegrown or professional reinsurance system to process data on a daily basis to maintain and administer reinsured policies. For assumed reinsurance, when a policy gets processed and data is received from the ceding company, the system attempts to perform several actions on it that range from Renewals, Status Changes, Face Changes, Terminations and more. But what happens when the action isn’t successfully carried out and the policy is not processed? The answer: An error occurs. BUT not to panic. Part of being a reinsurance analyst is dealing with error management. Today I’ll share with you three common errors I encounter when processing specifically within the TAI reinsurance system and how to overcome them. Regardless of what system you use, these may also be helpful to you.
A question that I often hear from life insurance and reinsurance professionals is ”what happens at the end of a term life insurance product?” Well, the answer is that once it comes to an end, you may have the option to convert it to a permanent product. Converting a policy happens quite often and in reinsurance, it is important to adhere to the terms of the treaty, otherwise, it will cause a downstream impact when claim time approaches. As a reinsurance analyst, we all struggle with administering conversions from time to time, especially in scenarios where there have been many amendments to a treaty or treaty information is difficult to identify. When I administer term conversions like these, there are three questions I typically ask myself to ensure I’m following the guidelines of the treaty. (PS – see here for a great overview of what a Reinsurance Treaty is as well as Seven Essential Components!)
Data integrity is the foundation of a reinsurance analyst’s job. In a general setting, data integrity means maintaining and assuring the accuracy and consistency of data over its entire life-cycle. As it relates to the entire life insurance business operation, data integrity means ensuring there is no mistranslation of transactional data between the insureds, life insurance companies, reinsurance companies and retrocessionaires. Imagine having your life insurance application rejected because your stated income was not filled in correctly. Imagine being charged a higher insurance premium than expected because your insurance rating was not translated correctly into the life administration system. Imagine only receiving 10% of your stated benefits because a zero was missing at some point in time during the transmission of your information between insurance and reinsurance parties
If you are in the realm of business, regardless of your field, you’ve more than likely read about, discussed or researched the topic of data and its impact on you. I know I have more than a handful of times! In our digitally driven world, the topic of data has been prominent over the past few years. Recently, I came across an article that, at least for me, discussed data with a fresh perspective. The author described data as a language that is used to tell stories – and not just in the business world but in everyday life. Running an upcoming marathon? The distance, your level of fitness and goal for time will inform the amount of training you need to do. Saving for retirement? Your standard of living, current income and family size are just some of the data that will inform how much you need to save annually. I could go on, but the point is, almost everything you do involves some kind of data that is used to tell a simple story. But so often in business we can get overwhelmed and caught up in data overload. This inspired me to think about how you can use data to tell a simple story about your business.
Administrative audits are a certainty in today’s reinsurance industry. And whether you’re a seasoned veteran auditor or a first time auditee, you’ll likely have the same question crossing your mind; “What are the findings going to be?” In many cases, as a reinsurance auditor with new staff or an untested or unproven audit program in place, you want to ensure that your audit team is providing an appropriate attestation of the auditees control environment. Whatever the context, to help you prepare for that upcoming audit, I’ve included a list of five common control gaps that our team of administrative audit experts have come across when auditing on behalf of our Reinsurance clients.