Insurance Distribution

ICTA Nomination: Brokers Trust Digitally Transforms Payments to Insurance Companies

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2017 ICTA Nomination.   Technology by ClearPay and Applied Systems.

ClearPay is currently being utilized by the accounting department within Brokers Trust to automate the payments process to its insurance company partners. The ClearPay technology was adopted in June 2016 and is used to pay the majority of its insurance companies and MGA partners.

Key Features of ClearPay:

  • Functionality from Applied Epic: Payment generation by Brokers Trust is done directly from within Applied Epic.
  • Payment governance and approval: ClearPay system seeks appropriate approvals for all payments from designated signing officers for payments that have been generated from within Applied Epic and are marked as a ClearPay payment.
  • Remote Approval: ClearPay application automatically notifies signing officers that their approval is required on payments until they have authorized. Approvals can be done from any device with an internet connection.
  • Payment notification and immediate provision of a standardized remittance advice: Upon approval of each payment, the carrier is notified automatically of the pending payment and provided immediate access to important remittance information that each carrier requires with each incoming payment.
  • Lockdown feature of payment: Once a carrier has received a pending payment notification, Brokers Trust cannot alter the pending transaction. Essentially the notification takes the form of an electronic post dated cheque.
  • Automatic communication with the banking system and direct transfer of funds: ClearPay application automatically queues approved payments and communicates with banking system for the direct money movement between Brokers Trust account and carriers' account on the value date specified by Brokers Trust. There is no activity required by the brokerage accounting team, signing officers or carriers for funds to move.
  • Payment dashboard: At any time, Brokers Trust and carrier personnel can access a dashboard view of payments, including payments already made and a view of payments that have been authorized but not yet transacted.

Benefits

  • Efficient payment generation: The once and done payment generation from within Brokers Trust's Applied Epic is done utilizing existing workflows prior to adopting ClearPay.
  • Eliminates the need to notify carriers or generate remittance reports: This saves Brokers Trust employees time in no longer having to manually notify or generate remittance reports.
  • Saves notifying signing officers: Brokers Trust personnel no longer have to chase down signatures or authorizations for payments as ClearPay continues to notify signing officers until payment has been duly approved.
  • Assurance of payment date and amount: Brokers Trust is always in control of how much to pay and when to pay. In contrast with cheques, ClearPay payments are only executed on the value date selected by Brokers Trust or next upcoming business day. As well, there are no payment delays due to postal or courier disruptions.
  • Efficiency gains by carrier partners: With funds coming in electronically and remittance advice standardized, carriers are able to conduct reconciliation sooner and faster, thereby making it easier to do business with Brokers Trust.
  • Reduced communication between accounting departments: With the dashboard view of payments, there is a direct reduction in inquiries between carriers and Brokers Trust as to payment status.
  • Enhanced security: electronic deposits are a more secure way of moving funds than cheques. Also, remittance data is only accessible by carriers through a designated site that is fully traceable as compared to potentially sending remittance reports via email.

Business Impact

Three main areas that ClearPay positively impacts operations at Brokers Trust:

  • More efficient issuance of payments: The time required to issue a single carrier payment has been reduced from 3-4 minutes to less than 1 minute per payment. With this 2-3 minute savings applied over 35 payments, Brokers Trust is saving 70-105 minutes. Further, this time saved will be multiplied by 3 once Brokers Trust uses ClearPay to replace 100+ broker cheques they send to insurance companies on behalf of insureds on a monthly basis for premium payments and NSF replacements. As well, cheque purchase, clearing and mail costs are eliminated to a total of ~$100 per month. Once this is applied to direct bill advances, the savings will increase to ~$400 per month.
  • More efficient delivery of remittance advice: Each time a remittance advice was issued previously, it required the manual generation of a report, saving of a file and email delivery. With this the time to deliver a remittance advice has been reduced from 3 minutes per report to 0 minutes. Applied to over 35 payments per month, Brokers Trust is saving at least 1.75 hours. The above time savings does not take into consideration the additional time saved due to email and courier delivery issues and the follow-up correspondence required to correct these issues.
  • Increased efficiency with communication with carriers: Prior to ClearPay, cheques would need to be printed, signed, couriered, sorted, delivered to account departments or underwriters and then matched with reconciliation statements and or client A/R statements, requiring follow-ups with insurance underwriters and accounting staff to insure payments have been received. Having a fully electronic medium for payments of all types to insurance providers creates the most hassle free, communication friendly process. ClearPay application mediates any issues related to information delivery, which can vary greatly month to month, further freeing up Broker's and Insurer's time. With carriers currently using ClearPay through their office, Brokers Trust has essentially eliminated all requirements for direct accounting communication with the exception of client specific one off issues.

About Brokers Trust

Brokers Trust Insurance Group is a leading and truly independent Ontario insurance brokerage delivering expertise in a full range of insurance products and services. For more information, visit brokerstrust.ca.

About ClearPay

ClearPay is a web based application which simplifies the collections of premiums and reconciliation data from insurance brokerages. For more information, visit www.clearpaycanada.com.

About Applied Systems

Applied Systems is the leading global provider of cloud-based software that powers the business of insurance. Recognized as a pioneer in insurance automation and the innovation leader, Applied is the world's largest provider of agency and brokerage management systems.

For more information, visit appliedsystems.com.

SOURCE: Brokers Trust Insurance Group


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