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8 traps to avoid when migrating insurance system data

Moving your entire client data to a different system is something you need to get right. History is littered with examples that required lots of rework, hard missing data and generally caused more difficulties. Importantly, a poorly managed move can severely impact the quality of service you provide your clients and damage your reputation.

In 20 years of migrating insurance data, BAIS insurance technology has compiled the top eight traps to avoid when moving client data:

Get a set of fully balanced financials - outstanding debts, trust accounts etc. So, when you start your new system they can be easily verified against the old system.

Avoid having to run concurrent systems – if you are forced to run your old insurance system alongside the new one you will struggle to have a view over client interactions during the period between the system transition. It is better to have a migration process that enables you to move instantly from the old to the new system.

Remember third parties – most insurance organisations use other third parties to help run the business, for example document management providers such as Officetech and organiseit. Make sure your conversion changes flow through all the systems to keep the links and the ability for the systems to keep communicating.

Copy custom fields – some systems, such as WinBEAT, allow you to create your own custom fields for client information. Do not forget these fields when migrating data, as basic extractions may not include them. BAIS had to develop its own extraction routines to ensure these are correctly copied across.

Maintain DEFT/BPAY references – for outstanding payments. If the references that have been issued to clients are not copied across successfully when a client payment is made the file upload will fail.

Check codes are consistent - where brokers have had to rekey client codes from their insurance system into SVU (now SCTP) for example then make sure they are consistent. If you are migrating from WinBEAT this can be a particular issue. Better still, use a system, like iBAIS, that does not require rekeying in the first place.

View a test conversion – carry out a test conversion and get it checked by your main processing team. This gives you the opportunity to check whether the data looks right – do not forget you will know your client’s data better than anyone.

Also, if you are merging a book of business into an existing database make sure creditors and debtors, policy classes and insurers are mapped correctly to the existing data.

Always remember the data you are migrating is the lifeblood of your business. A successful migration to a system that can easily handle all the needs of your business will deliver clear internal efficiencies and client servicing improvements.

If you are running into problems, or have any questions about migrating data, then BAIS will happily answer your questions, free of charge, regardless of which system you are migrating to or from.

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