Rethinking Document Management: Three Principles

by Nicolas Michellod, December 15, 2010
Product Trends/ Reviews
Global, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, Latin America, North America


Document management is complex, due to the high volume of documents insurers generate as well as the need to adapt to new communication vehicles and distribution channels. Insurance companies need to address a number of issues when creating and handling documents.

Insurance companies face a high level of complexity when it comes to document management. In a new report, Rethinking Document Management: Three Principles, Celent examines this complex issue, starting with considerations around internal organization and document compliance. This report also analyzes the business case for moving document and communication outputs to portals, proposing an architecture that fits Celent’s vision.

Policyholder portal features are listed in the following table.



Customer(s) information

·          List of customer and policy information

·          Feature allowing insured to change their personal information (address, email, telephone numbers, etc.)

·          Feature allowing the policyholder to change password and other identification keys

·          Feature allowing family view to get a single view of policies within the same family

·          Feature allowing customers to choose a preferred language for communicating with the insurer


·          List of all documents (we recommend insurers to create a specific tab for policy and general conditions documents)

·          Search features to help customers find a specific document

·          Document archive feature

Financial information

·          List of premium invoices with indication of status (paid, pending, reminder) and link to the original invoice document

·          Account statement listing all financial movements (premiums, claims reimbursement, out-of-pocket payments, etc.) with link to related documents

·          List of claims with indication of status (paid, pending, etc.) and link to related original documents for instance claims statements

·          List of reminders related to premium and out-of-pocket payments with link to the original reminder document

·          Search features to help customers find a financial movement


·          Forms:

·          Provide PDF or ideally HTML forms that can be filled in and sent online by the insured (request to change a bank account, claims form, complaint form, question about a specific invoice, etc.)

·          Sort forms by status (available, sent, other types of status)

·          List of personalized correspondence with link to the original document (these documents are generally individualized documents specific to a particular case for instance an invoice missing in a claims)

·          List of general communication including promotion documents for new products, changes in claim process affecting insured habits, special discounts or offers, etc.


·          List of documents archived by customers with link to open the original document

·          Features allowing customers to tailor organization of the archive files


·          List all questions a customer can have on insurance products, claims process and guidance on the policyholder portal

·          Feature allowing a customer to contribute to the Q&A section


·          List of further links for instance the insurer’s website, the Facebook community, etc.

Source: Celent


“Portals are great tools to communicate with the insured, while also providing a great opportunity to save costs in the long run,” says Nicolas Michellod, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Insurance Group and author of the report. “Sophisticated policyholder portals have the advantage of streamlining all communication and document flows to a unique point of interaction.”

This is the second report Celent published in 2010 looking at document management in insurance. The first was The Market Dynamics of Document Management, September 2010.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary


Document Complexity in Insurance



Industry Trends


Three Principles to Improve Document Management



Principle 1: Rethinking the Internal Organization and Document Compliance



Principle 2: Taking Full Potential of a Policyholder Portal



Principle 3: Simplifying Architecture


Final Thoughts


Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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