To compete, insurance companies need to accelerate workflows and improve existing processes in a way that helps them make faster and better business decisions. Modus, a digital studio in New York, designs and builds digital platforms to do exactly that. “We take pride in being able to help insurance companies efficiently serve consumers by simplifying critical operations,” comments Rick Levine, Partner and Chief Engineering Officer.
"When our larger competitors win a project, they often send an army of newbies. We send a select team of seasoned experts"
Specifically, Modus helps reduce the time underwriters take to process applications. It creates tools which automate data intake from multiple sources, integrate the aggregated data within a single interface, and leverage artificial intelligence to eliminate manual tasks.
Bryan Edwards, VP Information Technology at XL Catlin, worked with Modus on a workflow system. He recalls, “Modus sat with underwriters and other business users to observe how they interacted with various applications, and to identify pain points and manual steps that riddled the daily workflow. Based on this research, Modus redesigned the software, and now underwriters spend less time managing documents and workflow, and more time cross-selling and building new programs.”
When assessing applications for coverage, insurance companies collect data from various sources, be it brokers or other third parties.
We take the core information that we get from the source, translate it into digital strategy, and execute it with technology that can solve a challenge
By using technology to capture and standardize information submitted in a wide range of formats, Modus enables insurers to use algorithms to identify information most relevant to them. Modus allows companies to cast a wider net and aids underwriters in focusing their time on the new business opportunities of most interest to the firm. The platforms understand an insurance company’s appetites and respond to broker calls in an automated way. This eases pain points for both brokers and insurance companies. “Brokers spend less time submitting opportunities that don’t match the company’s appetite, and underwriters spend less time figuring out if an inbound request is a good fit,” says Graham Ericksen, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer. “This kind of tool can help cement the relationship between broker and insurance company.”
After operating in the sector for 18 years, Modus has also branched out into building marketing platforms for insurance companies that focus on lead generation and lead nurturing. Modus helps with marketing tools and strategies like segmented customer databases, lead-generation web sites, personalization strategies, and email communications.
When it comes to the customer experience, Modus creates customer portals for policyholders to inform and educate them about their risks, assess if the coverage that they have is sufficient, and indicate the areas for which they can purchase coverage. These portals are also an opportunity for insurance companies to cross-sell and upsell various products.
Modus also creates solutions for employee productivity. They design and build intranets for insurance companies, bringing a high-quality digital experience to the workplace.
With a practitioner-led approach, Modus is a class apart from the younger start-up agencies in the area. Their senior leaders bring decades of expertise and actively service their clients, which discerning customers enjoy. “When our larger competitors win a project, they often send an army of newbies. We send a select team of seasoned experts,” explains Levine. The company’s mature staff and processes allow them to have transparent, productive conversations with clients. Modus is committed to giving their clients solid recommendations that turn into benefits in the long run—which means not always giving clients exactly what they ask for.
While some companies approach Modus with a specific project in mind, Modus often takes a step back to look at the big picture, and validate that the proposed solution will truly meet business objectives. Modus will often embed one of its researchers or strategists with insurance companies and their customers to watch them work and ask questions. This ethnographic approach allows Modus to identify pain points, pinpoint the underlying causes, and make recommendations that will be truly effective.
“We take a strategic approach to problem-solving. We take the core information that we get from the source, translate it into digital strategy, and execute on that strategy with compelling creative and cutting-edge technology,” says Ericksen.
While Modus is proficient across technologies and platforms like mobile, chatbots, and artificial intelligence, it hasn’t abandoned more traditional methods entirely. Years of experience have given the company the ability to discern whether a technology is a fad or fool’s gold. Ericksen says that the company has been thanked by clients for advising not to pursue a technology which looked like a shiny object but in reality deliver less or no ROI.
Modus defines itself as a digital studio that is constantly innovating— and results-obsessed. With its deep understanding of the needs of insurance companies and their customers, Modus hopes to innovate in a way that will help them promote their brand effectively, recruit and retain top talent, work smarter, and keep their customers engaged.