Protector Plans has taken advantage of many of National Programs’ shared services to increase productivity, improve the customer experience and drive growth. Protector Plans represents multiple professional programs including those for dentists, lawyers, physicians and optometrists. Their house of brands also includes event cancellation and parcel insurance.
Several areas underwent significant improvements in the last year and a half, using National Programs’ Technology, Operations, Actuarial, Data Science, Project Management, Business Systems, and Premium Accounting teams.
We sat down with the some of the leaders from Protector Plans: Rachel duCille (Operations Leader), Laura Simon (Program Leader), Craig Grant (Chief Underwriting Officer), and Ben Davis (Director of Finance & Operations) to discuss their experiences with National Programs’ shared services.
“We’ve only had positive experiences when tapping into these teams to help us grow,” duCille said. “Not only did they help us streamline our processes, but, more importantly, we’ve laid a foundation for growth with a clear roadmap for the future.”
Prior to the pandemic, Protector Plans’ teams were functioning with legacy technology. It all came to a head when the pandemic forced them to close their offices and move everyone to working remotely.
“We tried getting everyone connected to the network from their homes. We had several different ways they could log in, which made it difficult for IT to troubleshoot and caused frustration for our teammates. On top of that, even prior to the pandemic, we had more outages than we care to remember, taking us offline for a few hours, or even up to a day-and-a-half. Whenever teammates couldn’t connect to the network, they couldn’t get to their shared folders and most agency management systems, and their work was practically at a standstill, “ duCille recalls.
National Programs’ and corporate’s technology teams stepped in to assist them in moving their network files onto Microsoft Office 365’s SharePoint and OneDrive. They also moved the team onto Microsoft’s Teams Voice phone system and shut down an outdated data center. “This old data center was the cause of a lot of outages due to old equipment and lack of maintenance, not to mention costly. All of our servers are virtual now and backed up to the cloud,” she added.
Enhanced workflow with help from National Programs’ shared services
The Tampa leaders named other achievements supported by National Programs’ shared services teams:
Operations: Surplus lines filings and payments, as well as management of agent and entity licensing is now handled by a team of experts, rather than their internal team who lacks the expertise and time to dedicate to these important functions.
Actuarial: Once outsourced, these projects are now handled in-house by the National Programs’ actuarial team. Working closely with actuarial teammates, they created a growth strategy that focused on maintaining carrier profitability. “We were not just handed a 100-page study, loaded with triangles,” duCille recalls.
Data science: National Program’s data science team built a submission grader for the Lawyers Protector Plan, which predicts the likelihood that the team will win a submission. Simon explained, “If you have 100 submissions, which do you work on first? That’s what the grader tells us – focus on these six first, because they meet our criteria and look to be the most promising. It also provides us with insights into our marketplace competitiveness and how we can better design our program to compete in a highly competitive market.”
Project management: After joining Brown & Brown just a few months ago, Grant learned that the Protector Plans team had never worked with project managers before. “We quickly tapped into the resources from the Project Management Office. The project managers have been invaluable in helping us properly plan projects by assisting to clarify project goals, keep us on track, hold us accountable to deadlines and scheduling meetings around our otherwise busy schedules. Without a project manager, these projects would always get pushed to the back burner because they’re our ‘second’ job, and more pressing daily needs always seem to jump to the front of the line,” Grant notes.
Business system analysts: This team worked with the teammates in Tampa to document their current state workflows and then suggested ways to be more efficient, removing manual processes and automate where possible.
Premium accounting: “The premium accounting team cost effectively supplemented our accounting team when we had a teammate retire. We brought billing & collections in house from a third-party processor. These changes would have otherwise required additional staff,” Davis explains.
“We’re still building on this new foundation that we’ve started,” duCille adds. “We’ve directly driven value to the business through increased productivity, cost savings and an enhanced teammate experience.
“At the same time, some of our systems are 20+ years old, so we’ll tackle those next. The progress that we’ve made is the groundwork that will get us to where we want to be in the future. And the future is looking very bright.”