Breaking down digital borders to meet international insurers' needs
In 2020, multinational insurers and brokers that distribute their products were faced with a problem – they were unable to provide multinational quotes seamlessly and effortlessly. Part of the issue was a siloed approach to underwriting and a lack of overlapping systems that enabled a true 360 view of the customer.
“Historically, insurance companies handled the needs of its multinational clients among various departments specializing on certain coverages, industry verticals or geographies,” says Chris Leisz, Nationwide’s vice president of E&S/Specialty Alternative Ventures. “This often led to disparate underwriting philosophies within the same company. Sometimes, even different business units within the company ended up competing on the same client/risk. This confusion led to a lack of a comprehensive client overview, which is fundamental when tailoring insurance solutions to specific needs.”
Leisz further explained that if a multinational client wanted to secure coverage, their brokers had to expertly navigate these multiple departments within a single insurance company or, multiple insurance companies, to get the necessary coverage for their U.S. and international operations. The process was time-consuming and not customer friendly. “In 2020, Generali and Nationwide formed N2G to solve that problem,” said Leisz.
In the early months of the company, N2G executives began to understand the technology problems that had plagued the international industry for years. They began work on building a first-of-its-kind underwriting platform – a system that could offer a single multi-option quote across all business lines through modern, tightly integrated systems.
“With the launch of N2G, both Nationwide and Generali aimed to build a client-centric entity, which provides U.S. and multinational insurance to corporate and commercial clients. Essentially, clients have a single source for their global insurance needs with access to a network of more than 165 countries,” says Christian Zwingel, N2G’s Chief Operations Officer. “Bringing together the value proposition of two large and renowned carriers into a single platform posed a significant challenge in terms of operationalization. To scale the business, it was important to design and build a system that allows distribution, underwriting and operations to work together on multinational quotes across various lines of business.”
N2G innovators got right to work and within 20 months had set up a system unlike anything the international insurance market had ever seen.
“Building a multinational platform that spans from submission management to document management, rating, quoting, and policy issuance is not an easy undertaking,” recalls Zwingel. “With a very strict deadline for delivery, setting achievable but relevant goals for interim releases was important.”
Adopting a mix of waterfall and agile project management allowed N2G to meet those goals. Zwingel feels the success of this project would not have been possible without the support from carrier partners and a strong effort from the team.
“When choosing our system vendors, we did not only look at the technical capabilities of the tools themselves, but especially into the culture and experience of the team dedicated to the project. In that sense, we have been fortunate to work with excellent teams at PS Advisory, Salesforce and Insurity,” said Zwingel.
Three years later, the N2G Underwriting platform is the industry quoting gold standard as it continues to provide a more efficient and compliant quote-to-issuance process (70% of users say the platform is easy to use), while also capturing key data along the process that allow N2G teams better insights into distribution management and the insurance portfolio.
“The seamlessly integrated process from submission intake to rating, quoting and policy issuance across multiple Lines of Business has been a game-changer for us,” said Ken Ratajczyk, N2G’s senior vice president of West Zone Underwriting. “Combined with a smart document management solution, we have been able to focus on analyzing our insureds needs and work with their brokers to identify creative ways to tailor our insurance solutions to their business. With the project going into a second phase, I am excited to see what is next.”
“From a carrier perspective, we are developing portfolio insights that give us a great deal of comfort that N2G is underwriting a sustainably growing portfolio of Property and Casualty insurance,” said Leisz. “Portfolio management is a fundamental activity which many carriers struggle with, given their legacy systems and processes. N2G’s underwriting practices really symbolizes both Nationwide’s and Generali’s philosophies of client-centric, long-term partnerships with insureds, rather than being just another capacity provider.”
The platform and the innovators that brought it to life caught the attention of Celent, who bestowed the platform its coveted 2023 Emerging and Digital Technologies Award.
The team recognizes their work isn’t done. As the needs of multinational insurers and their customers change, so must the platform.
“We have three main goals to take our platform to the next level,” said Zwingel. “One, adding a global property rate to issuance capability, complementing our domestic and foreign casualty solutions. Two, enhancing the system with smart automation and additional workflow management to capture ancillary, but important, business workflows. One great example is the management of risk engineering workflows. Lastly, we aim to build-out a solid underwriting desktop across all Lines of Business, which will allow our underwriters to pull all relevant information about an insured into one place and hence, give live insights into their program with N2G.”
To learn more about N2G, visit www.N2G.com.