JAVLN aims for better insurance technology

More time to spend with clients, improved efficiency, compliance made simple – JAVLN has a platform that moves the industry forward.

In a sector that is already seen as a laggard globally when it comes to adopting technology, the Australia/New Zealand insurance market is sometimes regarded as even more of a sleepy backwater.

“Our region of the world has been pretty underserviced from a technology perspective if you’re an insurance broker or an underwriting agency. Incumbent vendors in the market have underinvested in technology – it’s what’s holding the industry back from modernising,” says JAVLN founder and chief executive Dale Smith.

That’s why it’s refreshing to know that a local firm like JAVLN is leading the charge to bring the sector up to speed, and help set it up for future success.

“We’re effectively challenging that situation to unlock the value that technology can provide to our customers,” Smith says.

JAVLN offers a cloud-based insurance policy management platform that’s a one-stop shop where brokers can enter risk information just once in order to get quotes from a range of insurers.

“It might seem like a small thing, but it’s massive. Our customers can use JAVLN and get terms from multiple insurers by entering the information once as opposed to entering it half a dozen times across [different platforms],” Smith says.

A recent survey by ACORD (the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) showed that the role of non-traditional competitors in the insurance space is anticipated to grow considerably over the next 20 years. Nearly a quarter of industry professionals believe these competitors will capture significant material industry share and profits by 2040, while only a third of respondents believe the impact will be limited.

A stitch in time

Paper-based manual processes have been entrenched in insurance systems for a long time, and the sector is notoriously compartmentalised. This makes things slow, and that can have major repercussions for brokers in a hard market in which time is at a premium.

“The key problem that insurance brokers have at this very moment is the time it takes to process and place business with insurers on behalf of their clients,” Smith says.

JAVLN’s interface makes things much easier by reducing repetition and being highly intuitive to use. Rather than re-entering the same information into a legacy system for the fifth or sixth time on as many platforms, a broker using JAVLN can get back to the market faster to maximise that all-important facetime.

“It means that brokers can use JAVLN to improve their productivity, giving them back a whole lot more time that they can then invest in their client relationships,” Smith says.

Spending more time out in the market helps brokers keep their

ears to the ground in terms of opportunities and contributes to improving customer loyalty. “[Brokers can] make sure the customers see the value that they’re providing with the risk advice, and ultimately that makes them stickier to the broker.”

When the chips are down

Smith acknowledges that many types of insurance are now facing a hard market. But it’s during tough times that good advice counts for more, which makes providing a top customer experience very important to the broker community. By tapping into emerging technologies like JAVLN, brokers can better understand their customers’ needs during turbulent times and set themselves up to reap the rewards when the market improves.

“Insurance brokers’ financial performance is actually very good. [They are] doing really well from a financial perspective because they’re working really hard to place cover for the customers,” Smith says.

“What better time to [invest in technology] than when you are in a market that is yielding good financial results on the back of hard work?”

The market is also becoming more difficult to stay abreast of in terms of more risk complexity related to areas such as cyber or natural disasters impacted by environmental factors.

“We see the role of the broker becoming even more important for organisations or people that require some form of effort to place cover for the risks that they have.”

That’s one reason why any technology introduced must allow the parties to interact in a way that adds value.

Aside from the time dividend and lifting broker value for customers, the economic benefits are also large.

“The main incentive for brokers to adopt new technology is [that it benefits] their bottom lines,” Smith says. “We have customers that have been able to boost their customer base by 20% with the same number of staff. You can get more out of the same number of people.”

Compliance is another area that JAVLN’s platform nails down. All the compliance questions that brokers are required to answer when dealing with clients are built into the system.

“We can effectively ensure our customers are compliant just by using workflows and making sure that brokers collect certain required information as part of the process. A broker can’t progress through a particular process until a whole lot of specific compliance information is answered.”

Because the system covers compliance issues in a seamless way, brokers can focus their time on customers and rest safe in the knowledge that the system has taken care of compliance at every step.

“They may actually not even know that they’re answering [compliance] questions.”

A tool appropriate for the times

The pandemic laid bare the risks of not keeping up with tech solutions across a range of industries, including insurance, and the benefits of digital maturity across the enterprise quickly became apparent.

JAVLN made a deliberate decision to ensure that its platform is secure and accessible from any device at any time, whether that be while meeting a client for a quick coffee at the local cafe or when working from home.

“We do see a real need and desire to be able to take your tooling wherever you are,” Smith says.

Being able to access the tools from anywhere is just one of the upsides of JAVLN over existing competing products. Another benefit is the level of deep insight the platform provides brokers. For example, JAVLN gives brokers insights on risk information, such as limits of indemnity or sums insured. That’s something other products (which just capture high-level information on clients and risks, like classes of insurance, expiry dates and insurers) can only dream of.

JAVLN also fixes the age-old problem of reporting, which is often so rigid in other broking systems that brokers have to download reports to analyse any kinds of data points and parameters. By contrast, JAVLN’s smart report feature enables brokers to customise reports within the system itself and extract exactly what they need at the touch of a button. There’s even a push report feature that brokers can set to a cadence of their choosing to deliver reports automatically.

But the big plus side of JAVLN is how it manages claims, which is often the moment of truth in insurance. Too often, brokers don’t capture claims data within their broking systems, which makes it difficult later to see what kind of a position a client is in. But JAVLN has a strong claims management capability with rich data and reporting features, so brokers can easily extract claims histories on clients and even aggregate claims experience across different scenarios, like natural disasters.

JAVLN is doubling down on a bigger role for tech solutions in future with its recent purchase of Technosoft Solutions, which includes the widely used document management platform for insurance brokers, OfficeTech.

“It’s adjacent technology to what JAVLN has to offer. We see JAVLN and OfficeTech coming together to equal more than the sum of both parts – so you get the variable policy management platform, and you get the very best document management and storage platform,” Smith says. “We’ll make the integration really easy and beautiful to use, which will ultimately, again, mean that brokers can be a lot more efficient in terms of how they operate.”

JAVLN will be working with OfficeTech’s customers over the next six to 12 months to help them understand the benefits of its platform. In the first instance, JAVLN and OfficeTech will be demonstrating their integration during their inaugural

Innovation Summit in Melbourne on 31 October, and Sydney on 2 November. People who cannot attend will be able to join a virtual session on 2 November.

“JAVLN is a very safe pair of hands. We [work] every day with all sorts of businesses of different shapes and sizes. We can take our customers on a journey and make sure they understand the process … so that there aren’t any surprises.”

It also has robust support from two teams, one team a kind of trouble-shooting desk and the other to help with additions, moves and changes for things like new products or integration with another piece of software.

Looking to the future

It can sometimes seem that insurance is stubbornly resisting change as memories of the tech focus on the ascendant during the pandemic recedes and legacy systems continue to operate.

Smith says change has to come to insurance in order for the industry to retain talent. “You can’t put a twentysomething-year-old in front of a screen that looks like Windows 3.1. It just doesn’t work.”

Having easy-to-use, intuitive systems will help guarantee the sector remains an attractive option for the next generation.

“We’re built for brokers and underwriting agencies. We’re easy to implement and use. And we improve our customers’ businesses across the board,” Smith says.

“It’s really time to standardise and move this industry forward. And that’s the value we offer.”


This article was originally published by Insurance Business.

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