To survive amongst industry giants, mutual insurance company Humania Assurance Inc. has upped its digital strategy and placed client experience at its heart.

The Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.-based business developed a business rule engine (BRE) to automate complex decision-making processes of an online life insurance purchasing platform (HuGO) in 2015. While it once took 21 days to issue a life insurance policy, Humania can now do it in a matter of hours with this system that “asks the right questions and interprets the answers in real time,” Eric Levac, vice president of IT and digital strategy, tells IT World Canada.

HuGO is a web application written in Java, using a Liferay portal, from which information entered is immediately inputted by Humania’s BRE. The company wanted to focus on technological innovations like artificial intelligence to offer “quality, quick delivery and affordability…a rare combination in the insurance market,” he says.

“By relying on our business agility, HuGO’s goal was to place Humania Assurance to the top of the industry as the first Canadian life insurance provider to develop a solution that cut out the underwriting process and delay for about 60 per cent of complex life insurance contracts,” Levac continues. “To this day, HuGO issues decisions in just 15 to 45 minutes for up to 65 per cent of applications submitted. It cuts back the number of underwriting requirements, such as those related to lab tests. It also enhances our independent advisor network’s productivity.”

HuGO was developed and delivered in 22 months. So far, its commercial success has been “impressive,” Levac says.

“Since November 2016, close to 800 independent brokers across Canada have opted to use it. As of March 6, 2017, more than 2,500 transactions had been performed. We reached $1 billion of face amount coverage by mid-April,” he explains.

The company, which has 142 employees is nominated for ITWC’s Digital Transformation Awards, being held June 14 in Toronto. We’re covering all the nominations we’ve received ahead of the big event. Nominations for this year are now closed.

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