80%Signatures collected within 5 minutes
90%Straight-through processing rate
↓Completed policy changes have decreased from days to minutes
“Not many people would describe insurance as ‘delightful,’”said Tim Hays, vice president and chief information officer at Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance. “We’re tackling that by creating an experience that’s convenient, easy and frictionless. DocuSign is a part of that.”
Mountain West was founded in 1948 to provide quality insurance and risk management solutions for farmers and ranchers in largely underserved areas. Its portfolio and footprint have expanded significantly since then to include comprehensive auto, home and small business coverage to clients in Wyoming, Montana and Colorado.
As the industry faced its Uber moment, with increased demand for fast anytime, anywhere services, the insurer knew it had two choices: embrace change or risk being left behind. Mountain West chose to transform from the ground up, building a strong foundation for the next 75 years.
Investing big in the digital insurance experience
“Our relationships are what make our company great,” said Adam Necklason, senior operations manager. Fueled by the desire to elevate the customer and agent experience, Mountain West moved its entire business to the Guidewire Cloud in 2021. One big perk of going all in with Guidewire was gaining access to hundreds of pre-built integrations with market-leading applications, including DocuSign eSignature.
“We went with DocuSign because of its market reputation,” said Necklason. “Using a tool our clients recognize and trust was important to us.”
By taking wet ink signatures out of the equation, the DocuSign Accelerator for Guidewire PolicyCenter helped speed quote-to-bind-to-issue time while eliminating the need for agents to fax, FedEx or chase after paperwork. With a monthly volume in the thousands, the ROI was immediate.
Before, it took an average of 3-5 days for headquarters to receive signed applications, change requests and other policy-related documents. “And we had to trust that our customers’ personal information was safe,” said Necklason. Now, it’s a secure, trackable, and near-instantaneous process, which is a win for everyone. “We collect over 80% of signatures within the first five minutes and 96% the same day, so it's a massive improvement in turnaround.”
On the corporate side, DocuSign Admin Tools provide additional security and oversight. By centralizing management, admins get streamlined visibility into all account activity while preventing agents from creating rogue accounts under the business domain.
Making zero-touch processing a reality
Not long after automating the policy lifecycle with Guidewire and DocuSign eSignature, Mountain West achieved an industry holy grail: straight-through processing across all five lines of business. “We went from zero to 90%, meaning we only touch one out of every 10 applications we receive,” said Hays. “Everything else is fully automated.”
The integration enables a seamless flow from PolicyCenter to eSignature and back. Once customers decide to purchase a policy, the full application packet goes out in a single DocuSign envelope. For added security, they’re sent a one-time code via SMS so they can access their documents from anywhere. Signed packets automatically return to Guidewire with complete transaction details.
Whether they’re hundreds of miles apart or face to face, agents and customers are reaping the benefits of a frictionless, digitalized onboarding process. “It’s enabled an experience where our agents can sit across a desk or restaurant table from someone, ask questions, input answers, and give them a quote. And if they like the quote, we can collect the signature, collect the payment, and deliver the documents—all in one sitting,” said Hays.
Cultivating future success
Though Mountain West surpassed long-term goals in just a matter of weeks, Hays and team said they’ve yet to tap the full potential of Guidewire and DocuSign. The company’s short-term roadmap includes leveraging the integration in other areas of the business to cultivate a two-way digital customer communication journey.
As industry trends lead more insurers in pursuit of zero-touch processing, Mountain West’s success helped clear a path. “We proposed to Guidewire, and they agreed, that DocuSign eSignature should be a part of the integration package available to future customers,” said Hays. But when it comes to frictionless insurance, Hays has one small wish: “I hope we do it better than anybody else so we continue to gain market share in the places we do business.”
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