iPipeline: Putting Insurance in Good Order

Tim Wallace, CEO, iPipelineTim Wallace, CEO
Life insurance is an industry built on market intelligence, but which lagged behind other data-centered verticals in logistics and data consolidation. iPipeline changed all of that, delivering multiple award-winning technology platforms which drive astonishing improvements in the way companies market, process, and support life insurance businesses.

“On average, a policy that’s done electronically cuts at least $200 out of the supply chain, from a cost standpoint,” says Tim Wallace, CEO of iPipeline. “But most importantly, we’re saving them time. Sales cycles that—if they’re done in paper—average fifty-two days. Some of our carriers can underwrite within an hour.”

Under Wallace’s watch, iPipeline’s solutions have expanded to support all stages of the life insurance industry, from hundreds of thousands of independent and captive agents to over 120 major carriers and 875 distributors. Individual agent productivity is increased up to 25 percent, while the consolidation and portability of data offered by their iGO®(in Good Order) application alone means a 75 percent reduction of policies delivered Not in Good Order(NiGO)—an improvement that, by itself, has netted over 80 industry awards for iPipeline customers.

Two nominees for this Novarica Impact Awards—Fidelity and Guaranty Life, and Erie Family Life Insurance—rebuilt their processes around iGO, an intelligent data gathering and insurance application solution developed by iPipeline. Erie Family Life brought their point-of-sale approval rating up to 50 percent and reduced the time required to close new business to fifteen minutes. Fidelity and Guaranty Life, which won the Impact Award this year, reduced their NiGO rate by 75 percent and exceeded their target return of $300 million within weeks of implementation.

These results are fairly representative of the improvements iPipeline platforms offer. The global research and consulting firm Celent studied the move to iGO and similar solutions, determining that carriers save $2.1 million dollars per 10,000 applications processed.

On average, a policy that’s done electronically cuts at least $200 out of the supply chain, from a cost standpoint

With most carriers handling 10 or 20 times that volume in a year, iGO’s benefits quickly scale into tens of millions of dollars annually. Electronic application, sales, and approval aren’t the only elements of the industry iPipeline stepped into modernize. Secure electronic delivery of policies, alone, is a game-changer in this paper-centered vertical. “When a carrier prints a policy on paper,” Wallace explains, “They’re printing, collating, binding, and then mailing it to a bank, or distributor. The distributor reviews it, they may add some material, and then mail it to an agent. The agent reviews it, adds material, and either mails or drives it out to a customer.”

To a professional class moving at the speed of modern IT, this is maddeningly inefficient at best. “Approximately 10-15 percent of all policies are issued incorrectly and need to be reissued,” Wallace says. “That process can take between 10 and 30 days.”

iPipeline’s DocFast® platform reduces this processing time from weeks to seconds. “Our first customer, Standard Life Insurance, delivered their very first policy electronically to a customer with an error in it.” While Wallace was mortified, Standard was thrilled; DocFast enabled them to correct, reissue, and deliver the policy within an hour, rather than weeks.

Wallace continues to spearhead iPipeline’s re-construction of insurance industry processes with offerings at the agent level—their AgentOne® platform combining iGO with robust Salesforce integration and consolidated data from multiple insurance carriers—and through improvements in business intelligence, such as better scoring of consumers for underwriter review and integration of third-party data.

In time, iPipeline’s platforms could facilitate the complete transition of life insurance—one of the earliest big data businesses, still mired in paper—to a purely online model.