by Jessica Mann of Tinubu Square Americas
Long reliant on paper contracts and manual processing, the surety industry is evolving. The pandemic expedited digitization across the industry, and we’re now utilizing technology in new ways to facilitate underwriting, simplify the bond placement process, and automate workflows. While wet signatures and mailed contracts were once commonplace, digitized processes are becoming industry standard with digital signatures, seals, and electronic powers of attorney that are taking over the pen and paper aspects of our industry.
Taking advantage of the conveniences that technology has to offer gives your firm an advantage over the competition. For surety carriers, producers, and their clients using digital platforms to manage business processes, they’re uniquely positioned to respond to the needs of the marketplace more quickly and efficiently. Carriers are benefitting from a ”one stop shop” for underwriting accounts, managing the issuance of bonds, and streamlining billing and invoicing with the brokers. The Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that nearly 60% of mid- to large-sized firms use cloud-based applications to drive business transformation and gain a competitive edge. Companies doing business with cloud-based apps are benefiting in a variety of areas. They report seeing an increase in sales performance, employee productivity, customer engagement, and operational efficiency—all of which ultimately provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Additionally, they are increasing efficiencies across their organizations because, rather than operating in siloed information channels, they’re all doing business together, in one figurative “place”—on the cloud.
As a result of this transition to digitization, business is happening faster. Carriers and producers are able to learn more about their customers and unlock new insights and analytics. Firms that reduce and eliminate time-consuming offline manual processes both internally and with clients are now able to rely on automation to improve efficiency and workflows. It allows carriers, producers, and their clients to benefit from automated underwriting processes, increased sales productivity, and streamlined workflow management that frees up valuable resource time to focus on strategic marketing, forecasting, and portfolio management initiatives.
For businesses, the insureds, connecting to brokers in real time while on a digital platform saves them time and money and requires fewer resources. During a time when organizations might be struggling due to resource or manpower shortages, they are able to streamline their ability to connect to brokers and manage their contracts in one simplified location.
If you’re looking to incorporate the ease and efficiency of technology into your surety underwriting and bond management practices, you will want to utilize a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS). Make sure it includes specific features like e-bonding, an underwriting workbench, and top-notch digital security. Also consider selecting a service that provides document creation and storage, account and bond management tools, financial analysis tools, and correspondence with other internal and external systems for reporting. Lastly, of great importance, you want your system to be safe, secure, and in line with industry leading protocols established by the SFAA and NASBP. Cybersecurity and encryption are critical in a digital environment where cyber attacks are all too common.
There are several factors to consider when your organization is looking to embrace a surety digital transformation project, but with the right partner and platform you can benefit in a variety of areas. The surety industry is on the precipice of change, moving towards a more digitized environment that’s allowing for more adaptability and resiliency in a secure digital environment. It’s exciting to see how technology is transforming the way we work and how it will evolve over time, allowing the industry to work more efficiently and effectively than ever before.
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Access free NASBP Podcast episodes on this topic here: https://bit.ly/3VAZWaU; https://bit.ly/3kTc5Ix. Access all NASBP Podcasts here: https://letsgetsurety.org/episodes. Keep up with the latest news on technology in the surety industry by signing up for the free NASBP SmartBrief weekly e-newsletter: www.smartbrief.com/nasbp.
Jessica Mann is EVP, Chief Revenue Officer of Tinubu Square Americas. She has been Tinubu’s General Manager since January 2022 and is leading the implementation of the group’s business strategy in the Americas. Her mission is to grow Tinubu’s market segments and products, nurturing the dynamism and innovative spirit of the group in the western hemisphere. Mann has over a decade of surety experience, most recently as VP, Head of Commercial Surety at Everest Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected] or 434.825.5168.