December 20, 2013

New Zealand-based fire and general insurer AMI, subsidiary of Insurance Australia Group (IAG), recently announced its successful rollout of a systems package from Exigen that includes auto policy administration, billing, and claims solutions.

AMI decided to replace its 30-year-old legacy system because it lacked modern features such as efficient claims management, workflow processing, and IT maintenance – all of which posed an inconvenience to consumers.

“The primary factor was customer service,” says Allan Dornan, chief operating officer at IAG, when asked about the systems switch. “With Exigen, we have one way of doing things for our customers.”

[ More on core system revamps: Capital Taps Agencyport for Distribution Overhaul. ]

AMI sought a solution that included policy administration, billing, claims, and customer management, which Exigen provides in addition to business activity monitoring and online customer service. AMI also wanted to collaborate with a provider that suited its company culture. Exigen was willing to work with AMI to achieve a solution specific to its business. “There was a mutual benefit in Exigen and AMI working together,” Dornan says.

System implementation took longer than expected due to two earthquakes that shook New Zealand and damaged AMI’s offices. The process from system selection to implementation took approximately three years.

Because AMI is based in 70 locations, Dornan explains, educating employees on how to use Exigen’s system proved a challenge. Instead of gathering all the employees in one location, AMI developed 40 hours of computer-based training, which most of the staff utilized to become familiar with the system. The system is still used to train new employees.

Despite its success so far, Dornan says that it's possible that AMI spent a little too much effort actually changing the system to suit the company’s needs, when it could've gone another way.

“In hindsight, we should have changed the business to fit the product rather than changing the product to suit the business,” he says. There were lots of little things AMI implemented that were not critical to its needs, and the company could have saved money by sticking to the original platform, he explained.

Though employees more accustomed to the older system initially struggled to work around the new one, Dornan notes that overall staff reaction has been largely positive. New hires are especially comfortable with learning the Exigen platform. “It gives us confidence that we’re on the right path,” he says.

Kelly is an associate editor for Insurance & Technology. Prior to joining InformationWeek Financial Services, she was a staff writer for InformationWeek and InformationWeek Education. Kelly has also written for trade ...