5 Questions to Ask When Looking for an Offshore Partner for Outsourcing Insurance Services
When Luke Eagle started his own company in 2017, he saw an opportunity to grow his “one-man band” operations into an insurance brokerage firm that provided a holistic approach in fulfilling various insurance needs. To focus on expanding the business, he looked into outsourcing options for administrative and customer service functions.
“I explored it, I researched it, and went in-depth on work environment, cost, benefits, training, the role requirements, and the providers,” said Luke. This also included data security concerns and financial service requirements. Luke’s efforts paid off as he was able to expand his operations in Australia, thanks to the support of a dedicated offshore team based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Since 2014, the insurance BPO industry has seen a consistent yearly growth of 9-10%. The key to outsourcing success lies in choosing the right offshore staff provider who can meet your specific and most stringent requirements. Here are the top questions to ask your potential offshore partner so you can make a more informed decision before you outsource your insurance services.
1. How can your offshore services expand my business?
A common reason why company leaders prefer to offshore insurance services is that they need to focus more on their core duties to grow the business. The offshore staffing company should have the resources – from highly qualified talent to the latest IT infrastructure – to support your initiatives for business growth. More importantly, they should be flexible enough to scale their services according to your needs. Make sure they’re able to keep up with quick turnaround times for staffing solutions.
Luke recounts, “We’ve positioned (our first recruit) as the team leader and manager in the business, and she has then grown her team from herself to four, whilst we then expanded in the Australian operation and our numbers at the same time. We’ve been on a significant growth curve and had a number of changes and acquisitions in the business.”
2. What tasks can I outsource to your offshore team?
Make a list of the tasks that you plan to outsource to an offshore staff. Ask the offshore company if they have experience finding talent to handle these tasks. Enquire about their talent acquisition process so you’ll know how they can find the best talent for the job roles that you’re offering and your involvement in the recruitment. Finding the best fit for your business will greatly reduce the risk of having attrition or retention issues in your company.
Here are some of the different insurance-related functions that can be fulfilled by an offshore team:
- Broker administration
- Client renewals
- Case management
- Actuarial Support
- Claims Auditing
- Claims Processing Support
- Claims Relations
- Compensation and Benefits
- Customer Service Support
- Data Capture & Analytics
- Data Entry
- Lead Generation
- Occupational Rehabilitation Assistance
- Policy Renewals and Management
- Administrative work
3. How can you assure trust and governance?
Another common concern among company leaders is whether they can trust the offshore team well enough to accomplish their assigned tasks. Understand the details of how the offshore staffing company manages the remote team.
Is there presence of an experienced account management team dedicated to support you beyond the onboarding process? Since your core concern is to focus on the business, the offshore partner’s account managers should act as your eyes and ears on your behalf. They can take care of performance evaluations, personal development plans, coaching, maintain operations budgets, HR concerns, and more. Whilst you still have full control over the offshore team’s tasks, your offshore account manager must be able to follow through with any of your instructions about your staff’s employment.
As Luke explains, “I definitely recommend to others – if possible, visit the offices, go and meet your potential offshore team members. I needed to see the environment that they worked in, and how they’re being managed. We didn’t go down a path of micromanaging and surveillance, and we didn’t need to. We got to know our staff really well, and we trust them.”
4. How do you secure your data?
Information management and data security are crucial aspects in outsourcing insurance services as it deals with handling sensitive data from your end-users. Ask the offshore staff provider about their data security policies and procedures. Do they have any industry-level accreditation that certifies their data security? How do they implement it and how often? How will they ensure that the information you share with them will remain secure?
When selecting an offshore staff provider, check if they are able to integrate your information technology, security, and compliance needs in a bespoke manner so they can accommodate your particular requirements.
5. What are the inclusions within the management fees?
Partnering with an offshore staffing company allows you to invest more efficiently on highly skilled talent, operational expenditures, and employee benefits. Enquire about the fees and what will they cover. It should include everything you need to run your business smoothly so you can concentrate on activities that will lead to business growth and revenue.
Australian offshore solutions with AS White Global
After careful consideration, Luke chose AS White Global as his company’s offshore staff provider. “Since the start, ASW has taken the time to understand what I’m looking for, what my needs are, and how you can deliver on those needs. The management of the people, the overseas trip, the incentives, the HR management, and the culture inside the offices over there is incredible because it’s very difficult to match the culture that we’ve got in Australia.”
Having regular monthly meetings with ASW and receiving the required reports enabled Luke to fully secure the management of the offshore team, including their KPIs, time management, and the like. He also adds, “IT data security is very important to us. I have relied on and used IT services within ASW outside of my local IT providers.”
He highly recommends that insurance company leaders should “take the time to understand the roles within your business and the requirements to get a jumpstart on offshoring. Consult with ASW to let them understand what you’re looking for. ASW has been very helpful, very beneficial to us.”