UCS Planning – Department Wish List 2023

Home / UCS Planning – Department Wish List 2023



  • Much of 2022 focused ‘inwards’ on People and Systems (new recruits, Claims Vantage and Lissia). 2023 will have an ‘outward’ focus on creating profitable growth, nurturing existing relationships and doing more with our clients.
  • We have a good range of products currently for the Irish and Global Market (GRS).
  • Key area of focus is brand awareness and what we want to be remembered for
  • Sales Target is c.€4million
  • Irish Market is clearly a retention market – aim to achieve sustainable, profitable growth.
  • Research what our competitors are doing and constructively tweak our product and service offering but no major revamps.
  • Create superior service delivery, we are ‘one’ Utmost, not individual teams or departments. We need to represent a united front and understand the consequences of every action taken internally.
  • Look at the profile of business we quote on e.g. number of lives etc. Are there further opportunities e.g. Guernsey, CI market.
  • Embed the technology we have now in-place and use it to drive efficiencies, growth and profitability.   
  • Need to update Colleague Connect and create some Team/Org Sheets that include contact details for our key audiences.
  • Develop and up-skill our people accordingly – focus on Succession Planning.
  • Need to become a more commercially focused business, choosing the best business opportunities for growth.

Addressing the challenges

  • Pricing – pricing review to realign to the market and remain competitive
  • Treat Client and Broker Feedback as a gift and address issues and communicate back
  • Need to understand ‘Why Utmost” – review our USPs – remain the same or update
  • Improve the market’s perception of our service delivery.
  • Small budgets so we must box-clever (Pick one or two worthwhile events per quarter but really understand what you get out of them).
  • Struggling on retention – loss of big clients in 2022.
  • Need to build strategic long term partnerships with end users e.g. Aer Lingus stayed with Irish life for a 15%/20% differential in price!
  • For our top 100/150, we need to understand the key contacts, what level of engagement we have with them and find the touch-points (new mini report or give them other info of value.)
  • Need to improve our clients Marketing Perception of us by getting closer to them.

Key Points for Sales

Brendan Lee – Irish Market

  • For 2023, regular contact programme and increased presence in the market.
  • Irish Brokers like to have a dedicated person to contact to channel through queries – this is a differentiator for us.
  • Repackage some of the existing resources we have and promote them regularly – Irish Life are good at giving the “innovation” message.
  • Continue to look at forms and literature – e.g. reducing the Irish IP Claim Form down to 3 pages from 12 has gone down well with the Irish brokers.
  • Promote Mental Health and Wellbeing.
  • Resolve the pricing issues, operation TATs and become more focused and efficient on service delivery.
  • Identify and prioritize profitable quotes.
  • Listen to the brokers needs and do more for them in terms of support.
  • Need to have more competitive life and IP rates.
  • Need to socialise the OSC with brokers and clients and promote the self-serve piece.
  • Look, once again at the AON enhanced commission request from a commercial perspective – this cannot just be an easy revenue stream for AON. GEB does not favour such an arrangement (ML).
  • Review the WTW Advantage product (For SMEs) – is it worthwhile, will it be profitable.
  • The Welcome Pack needs a thorough review and revamp.
  • For 2023, lots to do to improve the overall satisfaction score on the Partner Survey.

Tim Garner – International Market (GRS)

  • Potential opportunity in the Maritime Sector – would require a customised or tailored version of the product (attractive rates for larger numbers of lives e.g. 20k/30k). Review items like service and loss ratios (go to GEB or remain with us)
  • Events – IEBA and CIPD are preferable – Need to try and think of events that expose us to potentially new contacts (not just the same old faces).
  • Work with these key events to tie in themes like ISO 45003/ESG and show how this is relevant to a life insurance plan.
  • Local Life Integration – to be discussed with Hua in propositions (making use of local licences e.g. Singapore).
  • Review the secure portal and its usage – can we get feedback from the broker – features they like, dislike. Quick win is to look at what we have already in terms of supports and sales aids and tweak.
  • GEB’s eNomad quotes engine – currently in the pipeline for launch. Potential to co-partner with GEB and promote to brokers. 
  • Quotes tracking has been a challenge as we use excel sheets – tech would be preferable.
  • When Michelle returns, look at different ways of pricing and looking at things commercially
  • Refresh the PowerPoint Deck for GRS.
  • Cross selling opportunities – where Group Life Solutions could sit alongside Medical/Healthcare e.g. GEB have a partnership with Bupa Global in this space, could we do something similar.
  • Our main competitor is Zurich in the International space – Feedback from Howden suggests that neither UCS/Zurich are great – we have an opportunity to win on service here.
  • Look at while labelling and preferred provider opportunities.

Key points for Propositions

Hua Gu

  • Key message is that our product is fit for purpose, it remains legally compliant with the local regulator.
  • UCS are now been incorporated into the Group Overall Product Lifecycle Management Framework.
  • From the Technical Support side, a review of India has been concluded.
  • A review of Fair Value Analysis from the FCA has been concluded and we are satisfied that the newly launched new consumer duty from FCA will not have an impact on UCS
  • Nearing the end of the Irish Product review.
  • Working on Gaps on the Reinsurance Treaty (alignment of Terms and Conditions).
  • A second resource, Jessica Brady is managing the review and update of UCS Literature and Forms.
  • A goal for 2023 is to clarify the jurisdictional guidance matrix, we will work closely with Compliance and Pricing team for this.
  • Support the Sales Team in terms of exploring local licence options, what we can and cannot do in terms of European counties (concluding the review of 12 EU countries currently) and any market research required.
  • Looking at Master trust impact on our life book on the Irish market.
  • No major review or rationalisation of literature is planned for 2023.

Key points for Claims and Medical Underwriting

Kevin Nolan

  • Grow in house Early Intervention investment – 78 claims “Declined-Policy conditions” YTD. 160% uplift YOY.
  • For 2023, we want to leverage off the Technology – Claims Vantage creates internal efficiencies but can these be extended to the customer.
  • Make use of Lissia and its functionality now that both books of business sit on the system.
  • Servicing – done well in 2023. The team were commended for their handling of a high profile case in the high court (taken to the Ombudsman) and even after it was taken to the Court of Appeals, UCS retained its ‘Win’ status.
  • Very strong Positive feedback received from the Head of the Dispute Resolution, that UCS are currently the best in the market with regard to handling Ombudsman cases.
  • To improve the client offering and service, we will review the roles of senior people across the department with the aim of reaching out to clients (in person / Online) more frequently.
  • Get to know the HR people in companies as many roles changed throughout the pandemic – know who the key decision-makers are.
  • Improve the internal culture of UCS – building morale and developing people and resourcing in a more structured way – e.g. succession planning.
  • Review the overall Claims and Underwriting function in 2023 – ensure that the ‘Claims Assessors’ are given the right (admin) support to be an assessor of claims, not just an administrator.
  • Focus on the Rehab programme offering for 2023.
  • Review what we outsource, is it necessary, is it worthwhile doing, what do we get out of it?
  • Claims decision to remain in the claims area.
  • Extend and develop our Early Intervention offering e.g. could this be done in the International market (global offering) e.g. FlourishDX options.
  • Have a Compliance Champion in each area so that we remain a step ahead if there are changes that affect us from regulatory and jurisdictional perspective (talking with Paul Kelly on this point).

Key Points for Pricing

Laurna McEvilly

  • Continue to upskill and train the three new starters – team will be in a good position in terms of resourcing and resilience in 2023.
  • Audit – closure of some Audit points with ongoing work on those outstanding.
  • Would like to agree and refine target markets for new business quotes, reviewing current parameters in place and whether they’re still appropriate for those markets. Focus on more targeted, competitive pricing.
  • Would like to lose some non-pricing related activity such as checking on-boarding documentation, policy schedules.
  • Investigate how volumes can be reduced (triggered reviews), look at some template development, and improve macros to reduce time on quoting.
  • Focus on reporting.
  • Try and get ‘meaningful’ feedback if the quotes don’t turn into new business – why did we lose, how can we do better. Some brokers are better than others at giving us information.
  • Achievement of new business targets as a result of reviewing the pricing assumptions and mythologies.
  • Support all team members on their path to actuarial exams.

Key points for Client Services

Nathalie Balette-Pepe and Susan Echebima

  • Overall, need to look at the TOM again – look at each individuals responsibilities, who needs to do what and improve the overall communication with teams and departments.
  • Lissia training for all staff.
  • Using Enate to automate functions – does everyone understand it, know how it works e.g. automating reminders.
  • Align Operations, workflows and clients services better – align where possible the things we do in Guernsey with the way they are done in Ireland and vice versa.
  • Look at the overall Service Centre and any enhancement that can be made – for example having premium debtors on the OSC, providing brokers with access to view their commission statement.
  • Look at creating an overall broker dashboard on the OSC, similar to what the wealth side have.
  • Understand why some brokers use it (Mercer) versus those that don’t (Aon).
  • Overall, be more proactive with the brokers, we are currently very reactive – start providing more information of value – look at the welcome back, the pre-renewal and renewal stages.
  • Look at NB Application form and see if the authorised signatories can be dealt with in a different way.
  • Need to review our product offering in terms of minimum pricing, minimum number of lives for quotes. Full admin versus simplified – for instance do clients understand this and know its benefit?
  • Schemes with unit rated and single premium costed coverages such as Voluntary cover sold on simplified Admin basis.
  • Build healthy relationship with the Pricing team to work closer together – goal to improve overall TATs.

Key Points for Life and Disability Operations

Susie Brown.

  • For 2023, build and strengthen team capacity and developing knowledge.
  • Roll out more training for the team on the new systems and workflows.
  • Revisit the Process Maps.
  • Automate pre-renewals.
  • What support is needed by Pricing, Underwriting and Finance from Operations? – this will help us use the technology to become more efficient.
  • Teams to take ownership of processes – take a solutions based approach.
  • Need to thoroughly understand the OSC and its capabilities for all user types – staff, brokers, clients e.g. it’s not end to end.
  • Make better use of Enate for Operations functions by getting a better understanding of the system – training has been very high level and ‘light’. For example, reporting, introducing Enate work streams etc.
  • Guernsey as an untapped market – can we change the minimum lives (100) needed as 90% of businesses on the Island employ 50 people or less.
  • Look at renewals –Ireland process differently then Guernsey – need to co-ordinate this better as you could have one company but getting different Comms from us at different times – does not represent a united UCS.
  • Reinsurance reporting – where these roles and responsibilities  lie – actual submission to GEB is an Operations responsibly but in preparation, supports are needed.

Projects and Initiatives

Corporate Applicators Manager (IT)

Phil English

  • Lissia is the policy admin system for UCS and it comes along with a digital suite which is essentially a workflow engine and a document generation engine. Extend the use of this.
  • Need to update the latest versions of Lissia and the digital suite – it’s out of sync currently, this will give better automation capability and efficiencies.
  • Understand the different tool-sets we have, rationalise based on what works well, what doesn’t.
  • However, need to consider the different treaties (underwriting) for GEB, Score etc. so there would be a development piece involved in this.
  • Sapphire clean-up and refinement in 2023
  • Strategic consideration: Need to consider the functionality of Lissia, OSC, and Enate and ensure that they do not overlap – consider the cost elements and the resources needed.