May 16, 2014

In Canada's Quebec province, government regulation of the P&C insurance industry leaves little room for companies to compete on price and product in the same way as the U.S. That's why Promutuel Insurance, a network of 26 mutual P&C insurers in Quebec, decided several years ago to revamp its IT infrastructure to focus on the areas in which it can differentiate in the market, according to Benoit Duchesne, business project director for the company.

"You have to work on customer service as the place where you can stand out," Duchesne says. "There's not a lot of differentiation on pricing and product, so it's in claims handling or customer service where you can show where you're different."

Promutuel is announcing today that it has selected Guidewire policy administration and rating software as the standard platform for its networked companies. The selection comes after a successful rollout of Guidewire's ClaimCenter over the past couple years.

[More core systems news: Berkshire Hathaway selects Accenture]

"We started with the claim system because we had to work in getting the best business practice across the 26 (then 27) mutuals in our network," Duchesne explains. "Everyone had to change the way they were doing things a little bit. So we worked two and a half to three years on getting everyone to work the same way on handling claims."

ClaimCenter was selected, Duchesne says, because its architecture facilitated the customer-focused process the company was going for. Its goal, was to get as much information and progress on a given claim on the first phone call -- up to 80%, he explains.

"When you choose to call us at 1:00, it's because you have the time then to address your claim," he says. "When all you take is the principal information and then the adjuster has to call back, you get a kind of chase between the adjuster and client."

Another benefit of the ClaimCenter implementation, which was completed about year ago, was automation of a lot of the communication between the insurer and components of the claims supply chain like vendors and mechanics.

"If we're too busy answering our vendors and we're not answering our clients we're not doing the job," Duchesne says. The company believes PolicyCenter will further help it automate business processes to eliminate clerical tasks and synchronize its underwriting and policy administration efforts across its network.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, ...