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Model Migration

This project took place in the nine-month period from April 2022 to December 2022

Background

Our client was a large composite insurer that wanted to migrate all of their general insurance pricing tools from Excel to Renew, a more flexible software platform that uses Python for back-end calculations while providing a user-friendly front-end.

Though APR did not have extensive experience working with the insurer previously, APR’s existing relationship with the developer of Renew allowed APR to leverage its existing expertise and made our staff a great fit for the project.

Project Aims

  • To migrate around 20 pricing tools, each corresponding to very different lines of business
  • To develop user-friendly tools that were intuitive to use for underwriters
  • To train underwriters to use the newly-built tools and test price outcomes against the old tools
  • To improve the efficiency of calculations during the migration process

APR's Role

APR sent over three members of staff to join the client’s Pricing Team, where the migration was beginning to take shape. Quickly adapting to the role, they each took charge of multiple tools while also offering numerous improvements to them.

The migration process for a typical tool began with a specification document for the tool’s user interface. This involved scoping out the best way to use Renew’s toolkit to reframe the features of the old Excel tool, maintaining a familiar layout wherever possible whilst staying within the constraints of the UI elements available. This front end design would be presented to the underwriters for approval before development continued.

After this, most of the work was then directed into the backing algorithms. As well as accuracy and efficiency of code, another important factor was the ease with which members of the Pricing Team could introduce updates in the future. To this effect, our staff were involved in developing ‘libraries’ – standardised code that could be shared across the tools, improving efficiency, maintaining consistency, and streamlining the process of future development.

After thorough internal testing, our staff then delivered training to the client’s underwriters in a number of hands-on workshops. These underwriters were subsequently involved in doing their own ‘user acceptance’ testing of the tools, a process which required a lot of additional oversight from members of the Pricing Team to generate and review the test cases produced. Feedback from underwriters was invaluable, as underwriter buy-in to the new tools was vital for the ultimate success of the project.

Outcome

Underwriters had been particularly sceptical of the project in its initial stages. However, the quality of training from our staff and the wider team, as well as the user-friendly nature of the tools, allowed them to recognize the tool’s time-saving potential.

The client was delighted that the migration was completed within their planned deadlines, especially because they had anticipated these would be particularly ambitious. All 20 pricing tools were live within the 9-month period since the team started their specifications.