What Results Can You Expect with Modern Straight-Through Processing? (STP Blog Series #4)

A woman in a business setting smiling looking at her phone

Call it a straight-through processing (STP) renaissance.

Nearly 15 years ago, STP revolutionized the life insurance and annuities industry. But yesterday’s revolution is today’s fixer upper.

Industry regulations, sales process complexity and client expectations have laid more demands at the feet of the modern sales experience. We as an industry must expand the scope of STP to be useful in the modern insurance process.

In previous articles we discussed the hurdles you have to clear to achieve true STP. As well as the features you should focus on to reach modern STP standards. This includes factors like:

Some modern technology solutions can offer most—even all—of these features. But a few questions remain: how do you know if implementing true STP is worth it for you? Are modern companies doing this? And are they seeing results?

Real-World Examples

Modern STP is not one of those big ideas that just looks good on paper. Carriers and distributors who focus on achieving true STP through modern technology solutions are seeing real results.

Here are a few of the best examples.

Accelerating Application Processing
Advisors Excel

Distribution firm Advisors Excel cut application review time by 50% and achieved more than 95% e-signature adoption with strategic digital solutions.

Advisors Excel needed to move away from outdated paper processes. They realized most of their carriers were already using FireLight, the sales platform they were most interested in. This, along with promising benefits like reduced NIGOs and faster application processing, was enough to tip the scales in their decision. They implemented FireLight.

Advisors Excel’s new solution came with suitability intelligence and e-signature built in. These factors, along with the ability to automate processes with rules, led to unprecedented levels of efficiency. It also made FireLight a hit with their advisors.

Unifying Workflows with Embedded APIs
Signal Advisors

True STP eliminates workflow speedbumps. Signal Advisors gave their advisors a single, integrated sales workflow using embedded APIs.

Signal Advisors is one of the fastest growing independent marketing organizations (IMO) in the United States. To continue that growth, they needed to offer advisors a frictionless workflow. They provided this by embedding their e-application experience inside Signal’s own platform. In their words: “It is an irreplaceable benefit to be able to work out of one system.”

National Western Life

National Western Life increased their speed of form changes by as many as five weeks by managing their own e-application workflows. This also helped increase distribution partner adoption of their digital solutions.

A key factor in modern STP is flexibility and control over your digital workflows. National Western Life took advantage of an e-application solution that offers self-administration capabilities. For the first time ever, the carrier had complete control over their forms and rules. There was no need to delay the process by relying on the vendor for changes.

Efficiently Converting Paper to Digital
American Equity and Investors Heritage

Insurance carrier American Equity estimates they save 8.5 hours each week using a new technology-powered process. Plus, they slashed their NIGO rates.

American Equity already offered their products through an e-application solution, but paper apps still came in regularly. Efficiency suffered as a result. Their solution was to modify the product packages in their e-application solution for their sales and back-office environments. This gave their new business team an efficient one-to-one data entry experience.

Another insurance carrier, Investors Heritage, faced the same situation. They solved it with a similar one-to-one form-to-screen data entry experience. Their results? A 70% faster application process.

Modernizing STP for Real Results

It is no longer enough to solve for just one aspect of the insurance sales process. Achieving true STP requires solutions that support data flowing through each step seamlessly. It means all key sales components are connected through a single sales platform for simple and cohesive sales—for any line of business and through any channel.

It will no longer do for the insurance industry to use broken, paper-based processes. Not while the rest of the world unlocks new levels of success through digital transformations.

The time to move forward is now. Companies that achieve true STP will enjoy a clear competitive edge in the years ahead.

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