Computers have helped to streamline the insurance industry, making it possible for insurance companies and the agencies that represent them to take on more clients and provide them faster service. Computers serve a variety of key functions within the insurance industry, and will likely continue to do so in the future.
Computers provide insurance agents and their staff members with a convenient way to store customer records. Their ability to encrypt data and store it in a database lets the companies keep client records strictly confidential. The days of needing stacks of file cabinets for storing information have long since passed. Computers save space and also make data available to agents and underwriters with the touch of a button.
Because of the instantaneous speed at which computers provide information to the insurance agent, agents can provide quotes for various products to clients or potential clients upon request. Computer programs used by insurance companies provide potential clients with instant information regarding what kind of policy the client is purchasing and how much the policy will cost. Because of the needs of clients to often meet with agents at times convenient for the client's schedule, insurance agents may utilize laptop computers to access client information, print off paperwork and provide instant quotes.
The insurance industry relies heavily upon actuarial science in order to assess risk that clients or potential clients may present to the company. Insurance companies use computers to conduct extensive research to produce computer programs that assess risk automatically. These dynamic computer programs take into account various risks that a potential client may cause for the insurance company. The insurance company provides clients with quotes for policies based on this risk assessment.
Insurance underwriting also depends heavily upon computers in order to create efficiency within the industry. Even though a client my receive a quote from an agent, written policies go through an underwriting process whereby a professional underwriter determines whether or not the policy can be written based upon risk assessment. Underwriting often proves to be the most important with life and health insurance policies. Computers help automate this process--using complex databases and formulas--so that underwriters need not engage in guesswork or make value judgments on their own.