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The insurance industry’s ability to adapt to changing conditions, from economic shocks to new regulatory challenges, is part of what makes it such a vital resource for the organizations it protects. But insurers, brokers, and large MGAs can struggle to respond to changes if their core processing systems aren’t up to the task.

At the heart of the problem is a lag in the decision-making process. Insurers cannot respond effectively if they are unable to pivot quickly when new regulations, for example, force business changes. Information technology systems need to be able to keep up with the dynamic nature of the risk business and accelerate decision-making.

A trend we observed in 2019 and expect to continue this year is the Trump administration’s use of sanctions in non-financial sectors, such as manufacturing and shipping. These are critical industries, both for the global economy as well as the insurance industry. All U.S. companies and individuals must comply with sanctions, or they can face stiff penalties that include fines and imprisonment. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) last year issued more than $1.3 billion in fines for sanctions violations, the highest in a decade.

Knowing what sanctions require is only half the battle. Screening every policy to see which sanctions, if any, might apply, is the other half. Ensuring compliance calls for an organization-wide approach that delivers relevant information to support decision-making, whether underwriting or renewing an account, or delivering client advice. Fortunately, Insurity’s policy solutions incorporate up-to-date rate, rule, and form content from ISO, NCCI, AAIS, and more. Insurity’s industry content facilitates underwriting as well as compliance.

Sanctions screening is a fundamental task for the insurance industry, not only to meet regulatory requirements, but also to identify opportunities. For instance, knowing that a new sanction will force policyholders to switch suppliers, source materials from different countries, or enter new markets, the insurance industry can better prepare to serve those needs—and offer new products or additional services. The ability to anticipate changes in a customer’s risk profile also can give the insurers more control over growth and profitability.

As of January 2020, OFAC maintained more than 32 active sanctions programs as well as separate lists of specially designated nationals (SDNs), with whom U.S. individuals and organizations are generally prohibited from dealing. Searching these lists online is free, but enormously time-consuming when done manually. A much more convenient and efficient way is to create a sanctions-screening tool that integrates with core systems. Enter, easy-to-build apps.

Easy-to-build apps

Wondering if such an application takes a lot of technology prowess? It doesn’t. The good news for users of Insurity’s solutions is that our low-code/no-code development framework makes it possible to create business apps in a matter of minutes, without specialized programming skills.

At our Connected 2019 client conference, Ashraf Zaid, Insurity’s vice president of foundational technologies, demonstrated how to set up a sanctions-screening tool on the fly, using our DigitalXPerience Studio. He showed how easy and intuitive it is to create an app with a customized user interface, search for specific data in the volumes of industry content, quickly scan submissions, and get a nearly instantaneous “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down.”

That’s the power of low-code/no-code in a leading cloud-based platform. It empowers “citizen developers” to breathe life into business tools that they previously might only have imagined or that required significant help from skilled programmers. Low-code/no-code development enables business analysts to create their own tools, while freeing up IT talent to focus on other important projects. Sanctions-screening apps are just one example. With Insurity’s digital enablement, clients can visualize all kinds of tools and with minimal effort, create digital experiences that run natively on any device and interact with core and data applications through application programming interfaces (APIs).

While risk and uncertainty will always be part of the business landscape, we do know that insurance organizations in 2020 and beyond will continue to need flexibility, streamlined business operations, and improved customer experiences. Insurity is proud to be a partner with our clients in bridging the gap between their information technology departments and business units, optimizing their workflow, and achieving speed-to-market at scale.