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A Personalized Needs Oriented Approach to Insurance Product Sales

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015604D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jan-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 5 page(s) / 95K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Introduction

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A Personalized Needs Oriented Approach to Insurance Product Sales

Introduction

This article presents a new approach to insurance product composition and sales that has the potential to reduce the cost of sales while also improving the quality of customer service by ensuring that individual customer needs are reflected in the products offered. The approach is suitable for all but the most individually underwritten classes of business, and therefore includes all personal lines (life and non-life) as well as many commercial lines products that are suitable for a 'packaged' approach to sales and marketing. The described approach is not only suitable for direct sales to customers via the internet. The system described here can equally be used by a company's own sales force or call centre agents, or by representatives, agents or brokers, as well as potentially by direct customers seeking offers via the Web. The technology can be deployed within company intranets, among a closed group of partners (an extranet) or publicly across the World Wide Web.

Today, most insurers expect a customer, be it the prospective insured or a broker interacting on his or her behalf, to request a quotation by selecting a product configuration (coverage, deductible etc.) and providing all the parameters needed to drive the quotation engine. Many insurers have developed interactive systems to obtain this information, and some have used web technology to allow customers to interact with quotation engines directly over the internet, as illustrated in
figure 1.

QuotationWeb Server

RatesEngine

Figure 1

This approach, whilst enabling customers to obtain quotations via the internet, does have a number of drawbacks:

1. It assumes that the customer can express their requirements in the language of the product and its quotation engine input parameters

2. It often results in a large number of questions for the customer to answer before any feedback can be given, as most quotation requests require many input parameters

3. It provides no help for customers who do not know how to express their needs in terms of a product configuration

Here a more market oriented approach is presented that allows the customer to describe their needs and uses advanced matchmaking technology to map those needs

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to one or more dynamically generated product configuration.

Symmetric matchmaking

The matchmaking engine, facilitates the matching of complex entities. The entities are described as a rich set of characteristics known as properties, and customers can search for entities that meet their requirements by specifying their needs as a set of rules. The matchmaking engine has the unique ability to support symmetric matchmaking, which also allows for the customer to provide a set of properties describing themselves, and for the entities to be matched to be accompanied by a further set of rules. In this way, the matchmaking sp...