Lincoln Financial Group’s Executive Benefits division has been providing advanced non-qualified deferred compensation products and plans for more than 15 years.
The company’s products and riders are distributed exclusively through specialized brokers, all of whom spend 100 percent of their time focused on the non-qualified benefit marketplace.
Lincoln Executive Benefits has a sterling reputation, thanks to the quality of its COLI/BOLI products (VUL, UL and general account BOLI), its outstanding client service and its knowledgeable, experienced broker base.
Seeking a Partner to Streamline and Automate Business Offerings
Seeking a way to present increasingly streamlined and results-oriented offerings to distributors and end clients, in addition to creating internal efficiencies, the division partnered with Andesa Services to develop an automation toolset to support pre-issue enrollment sales activity, new business submission processing and post-issue policy administration activities.
A Framework to Enter New Markets
The two tools that were developed – the New Business Processing Portal and the Policy Owner Self-Service Portal – make it possible for interested parties to manage a Lincoln NQDC policy’s entire life-cycle, including online or on-site enrollment, submission of new business information, policy administration and self-serve maintenance. In addition, the new automation toolset supports the ability to upload and maintain intelligent, data-enabled PDF forms that utilize a rules-based engine for various types of enrollment situations and plan designs, ensuring In-Good-Order submission and processing.
Perhaps most important, the New Business Processing Portal and Policy Self-Service portals give Lincoln a robust, automated framework to enter new markets without significant additional overhead.
“Our core business is strong, but we’re always looking for growth opportunities,” said Emma Ladd, Lincoln’s Vice President of Executive Benefits Operations. “A key market segment that has developed is corporate-sponsored, but individually owned, policies.”
“Dealing with end participants represents a new paradigm for us, which required us to examine how we can best service this client-base. With the New Business Processing and Policy Owner Self-Service Portals, we’re able to provide both brokers and end clients with a streamlined enrollment experience, advanced self-serve tools and access to detailed policy information, any time.”
Leveraging Industry-Leading SaaS Technology
The New Business Processing Portal and the Policy Owner Self-Service Portal are fully integrated with Lincoln’s illustration and policy administration platforms, which are hosted in Andesa’s secure, cloud-based environment. Users access the new suite of tools through simple pass-through links, all under the Lincoln banner. The underlying technology is structured using an N-Tiered Scalable Architecture that employs an Oracle database management system and internet-based Java, Java 2EE and HTML presentation layers.
New Opportunities for Automation and Cost Savings
The Andesa solutions present Lincoln with a number of opportunities for significant cost savings. These include:
- Simplified high-volume new business submissions supported through the intelligent management of more than 350 nationwide and state-specific applications, forms and correspondences.
- In-Good-Order processes and eliminated manual form compilation.
- Automated tracking, monitoring and approval of enrollment and underwriting.
- Enhanced policy consent, enrollment, submission and maintenance capabilities.
- Prevented the need for creation of a call center.
Improved Efficiency with Self-Serve Electronic Data Portals
In years past, paper applications consistently resulted in increased work load, due to sub-optimal levels of In-Good-Order data gathered during the sales and application process. The In-Good-Order upload feature and intelligent rules engine built into the New Business Processing Portal ensures that Lincoln receives 100 percent In-Good-Order data electronically. This simple efficiency has given the company a jump-start on determination and gathering of underwriting requirements. Cycle times have been reduced, in many cases from weeks to minutes, and case management at Lincoln is now more efficient than ever.
“Leveraging modern web tools and self-service technology enhances Lincoln’s status as innovator. These portals are just two of a number of tools we’ve deployed with Andesa that have helped us become more efficient, retain customers and gain an edge,” Ladd said. “The brokers are enthusiastic, and so far, it’s a win for all parties.”