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Hartford Financial Services Inc.
HARTFORD GLOBAL ONLINE PORTAL
Multinational insurance programs require close communication among the client, the broker, the insurer and their various partners around the world, yet until recently the process was often managed by email.
In 2018, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. decided the time was ripe to automate the process and to offer a central resource for its multinational clients and those of its network partners to manage their policies around the world.
“It really comes down to coordinating a conversation,” said Kevin Strong, Minneapolis-based head of multinational at The Hartford.
For example, a multinational business operating in 50 countries may require 50 local insurance policies that might involve coordination among 150 people.
A transparent and efficient process was needed “so that implementation of local policies, collection of local information, premium data and premium can flow and be tracked. That’s something the industry has desperately lacked,” Mr. Strong said.
On the brokerage side, “the pain point” to placing multinational business was that there was no transparency or ability to see terms and conditions being implemented until far down the line, said Alfred Bergbauer, Philadelphia-based head of multinational captives and TPA services at The Hartford.
In addition, simple steps such as seeing whether invoices had been sent or premiums had been paid locally could not be tracked. This is key for contract certainty because “if the premium hasn’t been paid, the policy can’t be issued,” Mr. Bergbauer said.
In 2019, Hartford developed a network, seeking out top tier insurers in their respective markets to be its partners. “We lined up 93 partners in 220 countries. That served as a foundation,” Mr. Bergbauer said.
Hartford then built a cloud-based platform backing the network that allows it to share information in real-time, so that every party to the multinational program can see what is happening in local countries and participate actively.
“We then took it a step further, and we said all communication around the execution of insurance is transparent to client, broker and insurers. If there’s an issue, or a change that’s happening, any of the three parties can look at it and catch it,” he said.
Launched Jan. 1, 2020 and winner of a 2020 Business Insurance Innovation Award, the global online portal has allowed Hartford’s partners to issue policies and respond much faster, reducing the time it takes to issue a policy in certain countries from six months to less than a week.
“Risk doesn’t care about national borders. It moves across borders, perimeters, so having this basic capability one is rare and two is critical if you want to serve (multinational) clients,” Mr. Bergbauer said.
Insurers, brokers, technology companies and others continue to roll out new products and services during the COVID-19 pandemic and in many cases the new offerings specifically address issues that risk managers face due to coronavirus-related concerns and restrictions.