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Blog Post

2018 Duck Creek Platform Enhancements: A Year in Review

January 22, 2019

As my colleague Andy Dey recently pointed out, we see the P&C insurance industry in an era where continuous delivery is a requirement to rapidly and nimbly handling change, and as such, we are moving away from traditional software releases to regular updates to the Duck Creek portfolio. We believe the era of giant waterfall releases holds back the P&C industry, and we are determined to get all of our customers to true continuous currency.

The speed of new features available to Duck Creek OnDemand customers is one of the key benefits of SaaS – in stark contrast to monolithic releases that can lag for years. Duck Creek OnDemand enables our customers to take advantage of new capabilities and market opportunities, with regular code enhancements being made available on an ongoing basis. In particular, we have made a quantum leap in the power of the Duck Creek Partner Ecosystem through both our commitment to open APIs and the continuing introduction of Anywhere Managed Integrations.

Our teams already add functionality into the Duck Creek Suite throughout the year, with new enhancements added every month. We want to highlight some of the latest new capabilities, as well as provide a look back at some of the enhancements to our Platform made available throughout the year.

Policy: Duck Creek Policy customers can now correct policies faster and easier with reduced re-work. Our policy restart enhancement allows carriers to cancel and restart the original policy with the necessary corrections. This helps increase efficiency and reduce errors. New policy restart capabilities include:

  • Keeping the existing policy number
  • Reducing redundant information – no more canceling and re-entering a policy from the beginning
  • The ability to change the policy term, effective date, or expiration date
  • The ability to select a new product version based on effective date

Billing: we’ve rolled out enhancements targeting key business requirements for managing and servicing agents’ commissions. Duck Creek Billing continues to improve the agent experience by enhancing insurance providers’ abilities to promote commission incentives and marketing strategies supporting agent retention and growth. These enhancements enable insurance providers to:

  • Reduce expenses and further incentivize agents by automating the ability to augment their current portfolios with the sharing of receivables for the purpose of calculating commission
  • Enhance servicing of an agent’s account and reduce confusion by more accurately reflecting commission payment activity in their commission account
  • Increase financial reporting accuracy and clarity through the configuration and categorization of commission entries as advance commission

Claims: Duck Creek Claims enhancements rolled out in 2018 affect the ability of some of the most common activities to drive greater claims staff efficiency with persona-based workflow enhancements that assist claims handlers with navigation. Enhanced file note management allows claims handlers to quickly sort through notes and attachments and have access to filtering capabilities to assist in faster claims handling, resulting in greater efficiency, lower claim costs, and enhanced customer service. Benefits of these and other Claims enhancements include:

  • Greater claims efficiency and the ability to view and filter tasks and attachments for quick access
  • Consistency of user experience across the Duck Creek Suite
  • Improved customer experience

Insights: Duck Creek Insights includes iterative monthly enhancements to Duck Creek Data Hub (SSIS Packages, Extract Mapper, and Data Management Platform); Duck Creek Business Analytics and Reporting (Data Mart, SSRS Reports, and Power BI Reports); and Balancing and Controls areas, in addition to supporting documentation links and enhancement-specific updates.

Digital Engagement: we’ve rolled out tighter integration between Duck Creek Policy and Duck Creek AgencyPortal, delivering a unified insurance data store that standardizes and organizes data from Duck Creek, internal, and external sources. As agents prefer to place business with carriers that deliver efficient quoting, these enhancements provide agents with seamless quote and inquiry for personal and commercial lines of business, including workers compensation.

Underwriting Workbench: introduced in 2018, Underwriting Workbench is an add-on module for Duck Creek Policy that extends its underwriting functionality, providing the ability to group quotes and policies into accounts – giving underwriters holistic views of policies, billing, claims, and other information relevant to underwriting. It is specifically designed to maximize efficiency in high-touch environments where underwriters are directly involved in the evaluation, negotiation, and pricing of risk.

Distribution Management: also new for 2018, Duck Creek Distribution Management lets insurers automate historically onerous tasks like ensuring licensure compliance, compensation management, and producer onboarding, letting them instead focus on working with their agents and brokers to build their books of business.

Industry Content: as always, bureau circular updates are made available 90 days prior to effective date, and implemented across applications, with templates made available monthly. These updates continually enhance the ability to work with all lines of business, including business owners (BOP), commercial auto, commercial property, crime, general liability, inland marine, umbrella, workers compensation, and more.

Content Exchange: new accelerators, samples, and Anywhere Managed Integrations are launched frequently; 2018 was no exception, including:

  • An AssureSign electronic signature integration for Duck Creek Claims, Billing, and Policy. In Duck Creek Policy, this Anywhere Managed Integration provides an out-of-the-box workflow to securely collect an electronic signature from an applicant during the new business process or from other configurable points within the policy lifecycle.
  • LexisNexis CLUE Auto integration for Duck Creek Policy. This direct integration with LexisNexis provides out the box workflow to provide up to seven years of loss data for personal auto policies. A configurable button is provided with this integration to retrieve, view, and add loss history records to a personal lines policy.
  • An Alexa SDK accelerator. This extension to the Duck Creek Platform enables Author-configured ManuScript-based dialogs to be exposed through Alexa custom skills. Carriers can apply natural-language user interface experiences using a chatbot and Amazon Alexa to provide policyholders with information requests and simple activities.

In all, more than 100 enhancements were rolled out in 2018 alone. And we will continue to deliver new capabilities, both to improve the technical foundation of the Duck Creek Platform and to add targeted functional enhancements to our applications. For our current customers, full documentation on everything we do is made available in our Solution Center as soon as it is ready, and we will of course be updating this content regularly. We look forward to a productive and successful 2019 as we continue on our mission to transform the P&C insurance industry with customer-centric SaaS solutions.

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Jeff Wargin
As Chief Product Officer, Jeff Wargin leads the direction of Duck Creek’s P&C insurance solutions, responsible for strategy, direction, release planning, and roadmapping of these products. Jeff has spent 20+ years in the P&C Insurance software market, focused on bringing innovative, future-proof products and solutions to insurers and others in the value chain. Jeff’s background is in technology, but his work experience has provided him with a deep understanding of the complexities of the P&C Insurance industry.