Underwriting manuals: strategic dilemmas (part 3)

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Previously in this series on underwriting manuals we have considered: Maintaining and resourcing a manual Issues of access, security and usage Training content, and A supporting evidence base. In the final part of this trilogy we look at the use of calculators and consider possible future developments. Calculators The use of calculators to produce a decision is growing in popularity. But does the use of a clever ‘black box’ reduce the need for the traditional skills of the experienced underwriter? Or is there a place for both art and science in the underwriting process? A number of manuals now feature…

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Underwriting manuals: strategic dilemmas (part 2)

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In part one of this series of articles we considered maintaining and resourcing an underwriting manual. In this second part we look at how access rights are granted and managed, how manuals can work as training resources, and consider briefly the hot topic of evidence-based ratings. Access On the Web, a manual usually has secure entry because the owner wants to protect its intellectual property. It wants to deny non-clients the benefits of its efforts and to avoid competitors downloading material, benchmarking ratings and plagiarising content. Secure entry also means that the producer can analyse usage, enabling a sharper focus…

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Underwriting manuals: strategic dilemmas (part 1)

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Here we consider some of the strategic dilemmas faced by those companies who produce and maintain underwriting manuals. Manuals have been around for many years, first as paper manuals, then on floppy disk and CD, although now almost all are on-line. But where do they go from here? The creators of these reference tools (often reinsurance companies) face a number of dilemmas in terms of where they take them next. What is important is to have a well considered and documented strategy for the manual that fits not only with the underwriting strategy but corporate strategy too. Important questions to…

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