Infinity Property and Casualty Insurance turned to SAS® for streamlined financial planning
Numerous underwriting companies and a favorable regulatory climate has made the auto insurance industry one of the most competitive sectors in consumer financial services. But with the ability to build accurate plans and generate detailed analytics with SAS, Infinity Property and Casualty Insurance has been able to steer the business on a profitable course.
Infinity Property and Casualty Insurance has forged an enviable track record of customer satisfaction and financial performance. With the help of streamlined financial planning from SAS, the insurer has become the fourth-largest writer of non-standard automobile insurance through independent agents in the nation.
According to Gena Woodfield, Assistant Vice President of Management Reporting, the previous planning process wasn’t fast or comprehensive enough to support the firm’s growth. "With different people in different locations, it was very disjointed," she said. "We had to manually gather information and consolidate data across dozens of spreadsheets and enter that information into the legacy system."
For Pricing Manager Vijay Chennur, the challenge revolved around efficiently contributing to the planning process. "Before, we had to submit this data using Excel spreadsheets, which was a lengthy and error-prone process," he said. "That data was then passed to the management reporting team for rollup in the centralized system."
One crucial requirement for Infinity was the ability to perform extensive overhead allocations across multiple departments. "Expenses are allocated among underwriting, claims and so forth," Woodfield said. "This data is further subdivided by product group, state, company, product, etc. We end up with about 1,500 allocations, but our data volumes and processing intensity were outstripping the abilities of our legacy solution."
We're now able to create a truly bottom-up, detailed business plan that reflects all expenses and efficiently rolls up into a single, unified budget. Vijay Chennur Pricing Manager Infinity
Seeking a better way
Infinity wasn't able to manage its increasing data volumes in Microsoft Access or other ad hoc applications. It began searching for a solution to strengthen data access and manipulation as well as aggregation, modeling, reporting and distribution.
"We felt that additional revenue growth could be targeted and captured with qualitative data handling and analysis backed by smarter pricing strategies," said Chennur. "Solving these challenges was the top priority for our management teams."
The search led Infinity to SAS Financial Management, a comprehensive solution for enterprise planning, budgeting, consolidation and reporting. With a proprietary calculation engine and accounting logic, SAS Financial Management consolidates planning and historical information, ensuring the latest data is always available for decision makers.
Infinity – Facts & Figures
A faster, more efficient and accurate planning cycle
The annual planning cycle at Infinity often lasted months. "Last year, we cut it by two months," said Woodfield, "and this year, we're aiming to improve on that record. We would like to periodically reforecast our expenses, and plan to use SAS to keep our business on course."
"We now create a truly bottom-up, detailed business plan that reflects all expenses and efficiently rolls up into a unified budget," said Chennur. "With more granular information, our 75 users can create more accurate forecasts. And we're doing it faster so executives can make decisions sooner."
According to Woodfield, SAS has been an ideal fit for Infinity's budgeting process.
"We were looking for a tighter process and a tighter outcome," she said. "We are now able to extend the process to more users and capture their data. SAS helps us shorten the budgetary process while improving the results. Our ROI in productivity improvement is strong enough. But it really grows when you factor in the softer components: earlier access to financial data that enables smarter and faster decisions. It's clear that SAS has been a key enabler of our business as we pursue top-line growth."