Taking insurance products online, onward and upward.

For a leading life insurance company, making their products accessible to as many as of their potential customers as possible is of utmost importance. Traditionally, and until recently, many of their most essential insurance products were only available by calling or meeting with an agent or responding to a direct mail campaign. One of their most important offerings, Guaranteed Issue Whole Life (GIWL) was suffering from this fate. RIIS partnered with them to bring GIWL online and into a new era of technology, not to mention a whole new era of unprecedented growth.

Our client is a leading national life insurance company currently servicing more than 1.3 million active policies that is dedicated to providing high-quality service along with their life insurance and annuity products. In an independent life insurance beneficiary survey conducted by LIMRA, a life insurance research organization, they received the highest overall satisfaction score for claims practices in 2015, among eight major life insurers.

The MVP was Agile development.

It’s not marketing rhetoric; this insurance company stands for customer service and they really mean it. From quotes to claims, they make it easy to do business with them. So, when their Guaranteed Issue Whole Life product wasn’t reaching the people who needed it most, they wanted to get it online as fast as possible. One of the tenets of Agile development we adhere to is Minimum Viable Product or MVP. Following these principles, we embraced an aggressive timeline, and had an early version of the GIWL product online in a matter of weeks.

Software improvements lead to improved revenues.

After launching the initial GIWL product online, we immediately started improving it. Many of the potential customers for this product are older and less technically inclined. Keeping this in mind, we began by integrating the quote process into the experience from day one. Previously this was a tedious task for many. Next, we focused on a fraud protection system that interacts with external databases to verify identity. UX improvements were next in line. We also made it possible to accept EFT/bank payments and specify beneficiaries. And, with each new feature the product continued to outperform expectations. Today, GIWL is one of the company’s star performers with a sophisticated user interface and continually increasing revenues.

Silos: great for farmers not developers.

This has been such a rewarding partnership for RIIS thanks to an unparalleled level of collaboration. Our developers and their developers are embedded not only together, but also directly with their marketing team, eServices and online Live Chat support. This allows for essential brainstorming sessions and cross functional teams can deliver more quickly. With the barriers broken down, improvements come more easily. With no more walls, nothing is thrown over for someone else to deal with. This holistic approach has proved invaluable.

Improving everything we can find to improve.

In our quest to help, we started by bringing one product online. Then, we continued improving it and never stopped. We expanded the relationship to include their website, their agent portal, their marketing team and more. Together, we’ve added modern technologies, instituted A/B testing and conversion rate optimization, payment integration and other microservices. Everything is about high performance and constant analysis. For both RIIS and our client, it’s about CICD−continuous integration continuous delivery.

Key technologies used.

We use Redux for managing state in GIWL and some other applications like eServices, and lit-html to render views for some parts of GIWL, as well as React for rendering views in more recent work for the site and eServices. For quick frontend builds, iterative development, and enabling latest trends in frontend tooling we use Webpack. Cypress allows for quicker automated front end tests. We also use Jest for JavaScript unit tests. We introduced centralized logging using Elastic Stack, as well as some structured logging principles. Docker is something we continue to advocate. Linux development environments are a more recent objective to improve developer efficiency and to help adhere to modern development principles.

How did we do it?

To bring Guaranteed Issue Whole Life online we used Scrum and Agile methodologies with daily scrums and two-week sprints until completion. Further, we continue to make continual incremental improvements to products and sites all across their digital platform, as well as their software development process. We’ve moved from once a week in person code reviews to seamless continuous async reviews through merge requests.

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Key Services Provided:

Agile Methodology

Architectural Guidance

UX/UI Strategy

Web Design

Quality Assurance

Automated Testing

Software Development

Staffing Support

What can we develop for you?