Pitfalls of Online Web Aggregation model


What insurance POSP portal taught me in last two years?

Over three years, i was fortunate to work B2B , B2C & POSP insurance online systems for few prominent brokers. Industry has welcomed POSP B2B with open arms. I know of at-least 15 reputed brokers that have jumped the bandwagon and probably well prepared with technical proficiency, thinking minds, good funding to keep themselves afloat for few years till the system stabilizes.
Today we look back with wonder what worked and what didn’t work. Two and half years of crazy working hours and incessant learning ( lets call hard knocks ) and customer feedback realized into the system acceptable to the POS KE BOSSES (POSP’s).
we always believed POSP as business is extension retail channel instead of replacement. This is supposed to be enabler rather than exclusive.

There are many aspect of business / development / Dev Ops that at beginning seemed unnecessary but over the time realized how important it is to build the sync between the three.

“Great works are done by the individuals or small team” . the biggest learning experience for me was handling projects in both environments. in the first organization it was compact team of three people for entire process.
There was no direct intervention of any departments. Respective departments let us do the job and had faith to bring out the best of market and customer feedback-feedback was consistent, at times very direct feedback. This lead us to take responsibility and improve the system basis on continuous feedback.
Here my experience in DevOps came handy where CI / CD pipeline is critical. We kept the team dedicated to take the responsibilities. Continuous integration and continuous delivery was our moto.
Fast forward to next organization- when i moved to consult them it was new learning experience of people and expectation management that was such huge team that everyone had the best of the opinion.

Above the fold i may have discussed organizational structure require for the startup (Creating a new mode of business is startup) within the organization.

Below the fold technical learning’s over last two organizations in understanding & setup of business / Technology profile.
Here is our learning after multiple successful deployments.

What you need to be successful technologically in the POSP portal.

1) User Interface
I can not much emphasis how important the UI UX is . We started with blue print of the UI. Our initial investment was UI / UX designer and endless nights debating the eternal markeing
question “WHAT USER WANTS”. Beside the user requirements, UW guidelines were critical to be incorporated. Taking manufacturing month and year as example, we assumed initially that
we should maintain the manufacturing year by subtracting registration year by one. However this was struck down after our consultation with UW.

Few points which guided us during our UI process
a) We should provide quote with bare minimum details from POSP
b) UW Guidelines- Quote page should have all the validations as per maximum UW guidelines. We made sure UI is so tightly knit that there is no leakage. i would give example of one of the major pos portal which never asks for NIL Dep validation ( if not available in previous policy) . i am very sure that allowing pos to issue policy without informing the NIL DEP condition will lead to disastrous customer service and claim would be rejected.
c) Allow as many payment modes possible – We were absolutely sure that there is at least 20 percent of Cash and cheque requirement. cheque specially in cases of corporate vehicles & cash for small ticket items.
2) Mapping– i cannot thank much my work obsessed colleague. He gave his heart and soul mapping 40 thousand make models. Trust me; you need the best guy and strategy for mapping.
3) Using masters smartly- Every insurer is as unique as individuals, their requirement of the proposal to an extent and different. Use the master smartly to input the details which you could probably ask from the user. Make life simple for all and use the master smartly. For example some insurers may ask for vehicle body type on the proposal request, Make sure you don’t ask for the body type from customer because rest assured 90% of time they will get lazy and wrong input will pile up endorsements.
4) Robust CRM for Your POS– Consider the POSP as in-house team of distributed places. Give them access to each information and notification. Enable them to schedule quotes, Notices, birthdays, planning and notification.
5) Admin PANEL for your Support team– POSP support team is critical and backbone of POSP architecture. Enable them with all the technical and business related details on the go. Let every MIS / Payment details / Technical requirements accessible to POSP Support team.
6) User Signup – POS Signup and training is on-boarding process. Make sure everything is Made as per the compliance / IRDA Guidelines / Training guidelines
7) Accounting systems– Integrate your accounting system with the POSP portal for the Payout rates / real-time business data punching.