Managing Policy Documents: Options and Approaches for Insurers

August 06 2014 | Mark Breading

Producing policy related documents is a foundational capability that every insurer must have. In the early days of automation, the policy administration system was really the only option for creating the policy declaration pages, endorsements, renewal letters, bills, and other customer documents. Today this is still a viable option, but the emergence of customer communications management solutions offers new approaches to the creation of policy documents and the management of their delivery. A new SMA research report, Managing Policy Documents: Trends in Using Policy Administration Systems (PAS) and Customer Communications Management (CCM), investigates how insurers are currently using PAS and CCM solutions, the strengths and limitations of each approach, and the challenges and issues associated with the production of these vital documents.

Before highlighting the key trends uncovered in the research, it is instructive to understand the impetus for change. Why are insurers considering or making any changes at all to the way they produce policy documents? The answer can be traced to two overarching industry trends: improving the customer experience and leveraging innovation. Many insurers have major initiatives focused on the customer experience.

One important element of a policyholder’s experience is the policy documents they receive. The bar has been raised considerably by other industries in terms of their communications with customers. Personalized, visually appealing, easily readable, multi-color documents, available via print or e-delivery are now the norm. The black and white, densely packed, mass produced documents traditionally created by the industry do not contribute to the kind of customer experience that policyholders have come to expect. So, insurers are looking for ways to improve the design and personalization of their customer documents. The second major trend is innovation.

Many insurers are embarking on initiatives to rethink their businesses, to create cultures of innovation, and to investigate every aspect of their businesses, including how they communicate with prospects and policyholders. Innovation and enhancing the customer experience are leading many insurers to reconsider their options for producing policy documents.    

As usual in insurance, the approaches vary considerably by line of business, company size, and the unique aspects of each company. However, there are a few trends that characterize the activity in the marketplace.

Integration of PAS and CCM solutions

Changing the software and processes for producing policy documents takes time. For an individual company it is an evolution that will take place over a number of years. Because of this, there are no dramatic, rapid shifts in how documents are produced. However, there is a discernable trend toward greater integration of PAS and CCM solutions. More insurers are recognizing that CCM solutions are strong at enabling personalization and creating the types of visually appealing documents that are common today. At the same time, the PAS are the systems of record and have access to all the data that is required to populate policy documents. Our research indicates that more insurers are beginning to use PAS and CCM systems in combination to create and manage these documents.

Increased vendor partnering activity

In response to insurer needs for PAS and CCM integration, the last two to three years have seen a heightened level of partnerships developing between PAS and CCM vendors. These partnerships take different forms. Some are embedding the CCM capability into the PAS, while others are maintaining separate solutions, but providing varying levels of pre-integration of their solutions. SMA expects additional partnerships to be announced and existing partnerships to be strengthened over the next two to three years. 

Producing the main policy documents is complex due to the regulatory environment; product complexity; and the necessity to synchronize with rates, rules, and forms. There is no one-size fits all approach for insurers in the management of policy documents. However, one thing is certain – this is likely to remain an interesting and active space over the next few years as insurers look to up their game and support customer experience and innovation initiatives.

For more information, read SMA’s new research report, Managing Policy Documents: Trends in Using Policy Administration Systems (PAS) and Customer Communications Management (CCM). Contact Mark Breading for further information at


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