As far as insurance services include many tasks to carry out and there are 40 employees in the company it would be a good decision to computerize the company’s activities by introducing a well designed database and automating some tasks performed in a manual mode. Computerization of the company will provide lots of advantages for the company, its overall productivity and will make the performance of basic procedures and tasks much easier and quicker.
As far as insurance services include many tasks to carry out and there are 40 employees in the company it would be a good decision to computerize the company’s activities by introducing a well designed database and automating some tasks performed in a manual mode. Computerization of the company will provide lots of advantages for the company, its overall productivity and will make the performance of basic procedures and tasks much easier and quicker. Consequently, the employees’ burden will decrease and they could be able to increase the quality, speed and performance of their day-to-day duties. This paper is devoted to the research of the main advantages, issues and analysis of computerization of the insurance services company considering that its employee perform the following tasks: renewal of policies, collecting payments, motor insurance quotes, mortgages and investment plans.
Scope of electronic tables (spreadsheets)
Spreadsheets can make all the paperwork much easier, quicker, more comfortable and reliable. Even a little database or simple electronic table is suitable for efficiently keep the models of the main documents which are in the documents circulation of the insurance company. Taking into consideration that insurance business implies many kinds of insurance (such as insurance against accidents, life insurance, fire insurance, endowment insurance and so on) it is obvious that there is the same amount of model documents in the turnover and each client signs the documents in order to be insurant. Of course the performance of the employee, searching the necessary model document in a pile of them, and the performance of the computer, searching the same document in a database, can differ in thousands times.
Of course, insurance company can have thousands clients and keeps their personal data. This data may change and it will be inconvenient to compose and sign in new contracts with every client who want to change the name or address. In addition, all the employees can share the documents with each other opportunely. It will be a good practice to store the insurance payments history of the clients and consider it in the calculation of the risk coefficients, monthly payments etc. The collection of payments will become more efficient also because computer can calculate all the payments automatically for each insurance type and for each client.
So the probability of mistake will also decrease. In general computer can calculate everything – for instance when a potential client comes to the office and want to become insured or get a mortgage but not sure yet because he or she doesn’t know a lot about that and is interested how much it will cost (monthly and yearly payments, interest rates or insurance premium amount), the computer can calculate all the indicators and present it in a readable and understandable way – so the client will not be confused. It is difficult to imagine that a human can quickly and correctly calculate the interest rates or monthly payments for a mortgage for 40 years. So first scope of the database is keeping all kinds of documents and providing the ability of instant access to any of them, and making all necessary calculations.
Insurance implies different risk coefficients for different clients depending on different factors which vary for every individual (for example – driving record, age or case history). These coefficients depend on the insurance statistics and are subjects to change on a year basis. So it will be a good practice to keep the statistics in a spreadsheet which can calculate the coefficients in an automatic mode. Moreover, there are plenty computer programs that master the main statistical methods and tools, and thus the statistic department’s burden will decrease significantly. This in turn allows performing more tasks by the same amount of employees or shortening this amount to minimum.
Of course there are lots of other advantages of introducing a database in the insurance company but they are special cases and their consideration can take dozens pages.
Guidelines considering legal and social effects of insurance service computerization Of course business computerization leads to certain social and legal effects which are closely interconnected depending on the type of the business. The most important effects are the following:
1) Security of the database – as far as the database can contain personal information of the clients, business information for internal use, financial indicators and much more important data, if this data is lost or stolen it would bode ill. From the legal aspect if clients’ personal data would be receive publicity they could condemn the company and this would lead to significant financial payments. From the social aspect such case will provoke distrust to the company, the clients and the potential clients choose another company.
2) Computerization can make some employees useless because their work will be processed by machines. So these employees can be cut down or transferred to another department. In both case there will be significant expenditures. In addition, cut downs lead to social discontent. So in order to evade potential problems it is necessary to think about them in advance, make corresponding decisions and take preventive measures: provide a good security in the computer network, organize control over the network, develop considered network policies regulating the users’ privileges (do not allow all users to change records in the database, give certain users only needed privileges etc); of course all the employees need to take computer courses in order to achieve the desired effectiveness in practice.
In order to achieve the best effects the most loaded departments should be computerized in the first turn and the database must be well-designed and normalized – escaped from redundant data doubling and rationally structured.
Potential benefits from computerization
As far as insurance business swiftly grows, especially in the United States (by the way USA is the world leading insurance country as it is stated in the International Insurance Factbook), insurance companies must constantly increase the quality of their services, optimize expenditures’ structure, mobilize assets, build up the clients base and invest wisely and carefully. Computerization will give certain benefits to the company in achieving these goals.
The first benefit is increased labor productivity. So the company can serve more clients and thus get a competitive advantage on the market over its rivals. The proper use of this advantage will help to increase a market share for sure.
The second benefit is a decrease of the expenditures and thus company will have more surplus earnings which can be used for different purposes (investments, mortgages etc).
The third benefit is employees’ mobility – they can access the database from the internet and thus offer company’s services in any part of the world virtually. So computerization gives the opportunity to significant expansion of target auditory and marketing segment. Moreover, clients can be served right at home or office, or any other place they like. The fourth benefit is that company can develop a database of swindlers and sell this information to other companies or even combine efforts with its rivals in order to evade frauds. Thus fraud risk will significantly decrease and potential expenditures will also decrease.
Finally I would like to briefly summarize my points. Certainly computerization of insurance services company would give many competitive advantages: allow increasing total market share and expanding target auditory, improve service quality and speed, decrease load of certain departments, decrease expenditures etc. However, in order to achieve desired effects company has to follow considered and well-grounded policies developed in advance, and think about potential social and legal aspects of computerization.