Technology Tools to Optimize Your State Filings Process

By Patrick Light and Khushboo Jashnani

Though submitting and tracking state filings has improved dramatically over the last decade, many insurance companies are not yet taking full advantage of state filings software and technology that could further improve efficiency and visibility.

Many processes are still locked in emails and Excel spreadsheets on individual computers, decreasing visibility for business partners and other stakeholders. In addition, the lack of a standardized, centralized, and easily accessible repository for state filings increases the workload on insurance companies’ state filing teams.

As consulting and state filing support leaders for some of the nation’s top insurance companies, we have developed innovative state filings software to help our teams increase visibility and control. This industry-leading software,, is available for our clients to license.

A Streamlined Workflow was designed by the state filing experts at Perr&Knight. This advanced, intuitive software streamlines the state filing workflow, enabling greater transparency, accessibility, and efficiency.

Here’s a process demonstrating how this tech-enabled workflow helps state filings departments:

Business Partner Creates a Project

Business partners have a designated role with specific permissions in Business partners are generally “read-only.” However, they can enter a new project and hand it off to the state filings unit. Business Partners cannot submit filings or add or edit any other data in the system. A business partner-specific view streamlines their ability to monitor multiple project statuses simultaneously.

Adding and Sharing Documents

Next, the business partner can add documents they want to hand off to the state filings unit. Using the project attachments feature enables the uploading of Word and Excel documents, which can be shared and edited by multiple users simultaneously. Business partners can also create a form template in the exact format that a filer would file it.

Sharing a template with business partners eliminates a manual handoff — the state filings unit can apply the template to a filing instead of re-typing the information into the system.

Read more: 5 reasons why state filings are rejected.

A Smooth, Instant Handoff

After creating the filing template and attaching relevant documents, the business partner changes the project’s status to “Submitted to Filings Unit.” From this point forward, the business partner can no longer edit the project — they are read-only. The system then automatically fires an email to the state filing unit. A state filing analyst can then accept the project and change its status to “Assigned” to begin their review.

Tracking Work in Progress

Once documentation is finalized, the state filing analyst can create filing drafts and change the project status to “Work in Progress,” indicating the filings have started. The analyst can apply templates to multiple filings simultaneously, saving time by eliminating the need to enter form data manually. The state filings software further streamlines the process by enabling analysts to submit numerous filings to SERFF at once.

Authors can include important information and track the status of each filing in real time. Each submission contains inputs for the following:

  • Filing requirements
  • Project expectations (TOI, form/rate/rule, etc.)
  • Peer review tracking and feedback notes
  • Filing submission dates
  • Objection tracking and corresponding follow-up and due dates
  • Approval communications and dates
  • And more

Automated Objection Handling

When an objection is received, built-in email functionality proactively fires an email to all authors, eliminating the need to proactively monitor SERFF. stores all past objections, enabling data mining and specific information searches. Two-way integration with SERFF allows authors to issue a response directly from Consolidation of all filing-related communications saves time by eliminating the need to track down disparate emails.

Automated Approval Notifications automatically notifies authors when SERFF issues an approval. API integration enables companies to update external systems upon SERFF approval, further streamlining the workflow and supporting stakeholder visibility.

Advanced State Filings Software Improves Efficiency

Homegrown systems like Excel, email, and hard drive storage may have been cutting-edge technology in the past but are now outdated. Companies still using these non-centralized technologies compromise efficiency and increase the risk of crucial information falling through the cracks. consolidates all data to eliminate manual handoffs and improve tracking visibility. Collaboration in a shared platform enables business partners, analysts, and other stakeholders to keep current on all filings while working together toward a common goal.

See how can improve your filing process. Contact the experts at Perr&Knight to schedule a state filings software demo.

South Dakota Springing Forward with Innovation Waiver

Set to take effect on July 1, 2021, Senate Bill 55 will allow a waiver on some requirements for regulated access to South Dakota’s insurance market to allow insurers to test innovative insurance products or services.
The changes are primarily for property & casualty. Currently, the Department is not granting waivers for life insurance, health insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, or title insurance. The full list can be found in Senate Bill 55.
To participate in this market, interested parties need to submit an application to the Director of Insurance with information specific to the testing and provide the information detailed in the bill. A $2000 non-refundable fee applies to the application but, at the discretion of the director, may be reduced or removed if the applicant holds a license.
The term “innovation” and other key phrases are defined in the Senate Bill to avoid any vagueness.
Other states with similar enactments include Utah, with its “regulatory sandbox” program, which also allows for certain laws or regulations to be waived, and Arizona. Arizona’s House Bill 2277 is similar to South Dakota’s but is specific to the health care market and caters to individual and small group markets.
The concept of the sandbox is to allow new and small businesses the opportunity to test new and innovative ideas without all the heavily enforced regulation.
As we are seeing more states allow for modern initiatives such as the innovation waiver and regulatory sandbox, this is a pretty clear indication that this is a step in the right direction for the future of the insurance world. This provides some relief for start-ups and small businesses that took a hit during the pandemic by allowing trial and error to test insurance products or services without as much regulatory restraint.
Interested in finding out more about our services? Please contact Perr & Knight for guidance and assistance on all your insurance needs including but not limited to state filing submissions and actuarial services.

The Race to Autonomous Vehicles

The $2 trillion global automotive industry is ripe for disruption from autonomous vehicle technologies that make driving safer, more energy-efficient and more convenient. Driver error causes more than 9 out of 10 crashes.  Autonomous vehicles are robots on wheels that eliminate driver perception, distraction and incapacitation errors. While cybersecurity risk poses a safety threat, there is little doubt that robots can drive better than humans under normal conditions. Most autonomous vehicles are powered by eco-friendly, zero-emission electric batteries, and they are designed to drive safely and efficiently. Autonomous vehicles offer limitless opportunities for convenience by changing the driver into a passenger.
Following several years of product and strategy improvements along with making progress in gaining regulatory approvals for road testing, the major players are emerging in the race to commercialize fully autonomous vehicles. To name a few, Waymo started as Google’s self-driving car project and is a self-driving taxi service currently operating in Phoenix, Arizona with a pilot program for employees in California. Waymo is the largest active self-driving company in terms of daily miles driven. General Motors’ Cruise provides an autonomous ride-hailing service for its employees in San Francisco and recently unveiled plans for its fully autonomous Origin with no steering wheel or pedals. Volkswagen and Ford have made large investments in self-driving software company Argo AI with plans to implement Argo AI’s software in new vehicles in the early 2020s. Uber is heavily investing in replacing its human fleet with a driverless fleet. Startups like Optimus Ride and have launched self-driving ride-hailing services in designated areas of cities like Brooklyn’s Navy Yard.
These companies have really smart people, breakthrough technologies and deepening pockets. And they are all watching Tesla whiz by in the race to commercialize autonomous vehicles.
Here are several reasons why.


Tesla’s autonomous vehicle system primarily uses cameras to identify stationary and moving objects in the vehicle’s surroundings. Radar and other sensors are used to help see in dark and adverse weather conditions. The Autopilot system is a standard feature and currently qualifies Teslas for SAE Level 2 Automation, which means it can handle all aspects of driving under certain conditions, but the driver must be ready to intervene at all times. Tesla deploys the hardware needed for self-driving in all of its vehicles sold to consumers, and they use the hardware to train artificial intelligence systems called neural networks that are designed to automatically improve with new data.
Virtually all major players except Tesla are using LiDAR technology to build autonomous vehicles. LiDAR is a sensor system that measures reflections from laser pulses to build a 3D representation of the environment around the vehicle. Geofencing is used to define spatial boundaries, and detailed maps of the terrain and objects within the geofence are developed. The self-driving car projects the sensor data on top of the map to gather information and determine the safest path.
Proponents of LiDAR argue the technology is crucial to reliably assess and measure the environment around the car in all conditions. Argo AI describes a “street-by-street, block-by-block” mindset[1] underlying their LiDAR-based technologies to make self-driving vehicles safe and accepted by society. The goal of this approach is SAE Level 4 Automation, which does not require any human intervention in limited spatial areas.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder and CEO, criticized the use of LiDAR in autonomous vehicles at Tesla’s 2019 Autonomy Day event. “In cars, it’s freaking stupid. It’s expensive and unnecessary…once you solve vision, it’s worthless. So you have expensive hardware that is worthless on the car.”[2] He has a point. Although the per unit cost of LiDAR is dropping, it still costs a few thousand dollars per vehicle. Researchers at Cornell University found that cameras can detect objects with near the precision of LiDAR at a fraction of the cost[3]. Also, developing capacity for LiDAR use by geofencing and mapping communities is costly and slow whereas camera-based systems can be employed in cars anywhere in the world.  Musk’s goal for Tesla is SAE Level 5 Automation, which does not require any human intervention with no spatial limitations.


Training a self-driving car requires a lot of data. Tesla has over 3.3 billion Autopilot miles and 22.5 billion miles in Tesla vehicles[4] from its fleet approaching 1 million units sold worldwide. On an average day, Tesla collects approximately 650x more driving data than Waymo.[5] Tesla feeds the vast amount of data it is collecting into its advanced neural networks, which use the data to improve the vehicle’s ability to predict common behaviors as well as behaviors for rare situations that are difficult to simulate. Although Autopilot is currently intended only for use on highways, Tesla is using the data it gathers in all environments to train its cars how to handle intersections, traffic lights and pedestrians.


Many autonomous vehicle companies are partnering with automotive companies to implement their self-driving platform into new vehicles. Waymo has equipped several types of cars with its self-driving equipment. Argo AI partnered with Ford and Volkswagen to roll out its autonomous vehicle technology in both the U.S. and Europe. Daimler has partnered with Baidu to equip Baidu’s Apollo program, an open-source autonomous vehicle platform, onto Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz vehicles to test self-driving vehicles in Beijing, China.
Tesla is an automotive company and an autonomous vehicle company, allowing the company to fully integrate hardware and software autonomous vehicle specifications into its vehicle design and build processes. Large automobile companies typically source their parts from suppliers all over the world who can meet their quality demands at the lowest cost. Tesla learned the dangers of a global supply chain the hard way when its Model X deliveries fell far short of demand in early 2016 caused by a shortage of parts from a supplier. Tesla has moved many parts manufacturing operations in-house, which has led to new types of batteries, seats, motors, windows and other parts that differentiate Tesla from the competition. Bringing parts manufacturing in-house allows Tesla to be flexible and nimble in pushing improvements into its products. Musk noted Tesla pushed 20+ improvements per week into the product development process of Model S[6]. Tesla’s culture of continuous improvement is key for automation where iterative development is required to make driverless cars safe.


Most autonomous vehicle companies are intending to provide ride-hailing services. These companies are making big bets on the future of shared vehicles, but they don’t have much choice. Consumers do not want to buy a personal automobile that doesn’t operate outside of the town’s geofence, and the LiDAR-based system is costly equipment to pass on to the consumer. A vehicle-sharing model makes sense in highly congested urban areas where parking space is limited, but it will not displace personal automobiles anytime soon. Car owners value the accessibility and independence of having their own vehicle. Also, in the new era of social distancing and extra health safety precautions, vehicle sharing and ride sharing faces serious headwinds.
In contrast, when Musk and the regulators determine Tesla’s fully autonomous vehicle technology is safe for use, a simple over-the-air software update can transform Tesla’s automobile fleet into a fleet of driving robots with human-driver capabilities.
In 2019, Musk predicted Tesla’s self-driving vehicle technology will be feature-complete by the end of 2020. While this timeframe seems overly aggressive, I hesitate to doubt Musk. After all, one of Musk’s other companies, SpaceX, just became the first private company to send humans into orbit, and the company is seeking to send humans to Mars and beyond. Compared to space travel, teaching robots to drive safely at 55 miles per hour is a manageable problem.
In reality, there will be room for many winners in the autonomous vehicle market. Global automakers like Volvo, BMW, Nissan and Toyota have stumbled out of the gates in building self-driving vehicles, but they continue to invest and will not be far behind. Ride-hailing startups could shift consumer preferences on car ownership if people are able to order a ride on their phone anytime, anywhere. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to be used for a multitude of purposes including for commercial cargo transportation and in vehicles used for urban commuting or long-distance transit.

The time is now to start planning your insurance needs for the autonomous vehicle age.  Contact our product development and product design experts for help.


Monitor Agent Licensing in Real Time with License Reporter

Maintaining current licensing information for insurance-producers is a crucial but time-consuming task. Many agencies are still tracking upcoming renewals and expirations on spreadsheets housed on internal servers or individual computers. This approach might work reasonably well, provided agents are licensed in a limited number of jurisdictions.
However, when more agents are added to the roster (or an agency expands their services into more territories, or the one person who has been tasked with monitoring renewals for the last decade leaves the organization), keeping track of the details can quickly devolve into a paperwork nightmare.
Perr&Knight has been offering renewals as part of our insurance licensing services for years. Our team submits, monitors and tracks producer licensing in all jurisdictions across all lines of business. Eight years ago, we developed software enabling us internally to track and monitor licensing status. We have recently released an updated version that our insurance licensing clients now have the ability to access via online portal.

Introducing the new License Reporter is Perr&Knight’s online license reporting solution for our current insurance licensing services clients. This web-based software permits clients to log in via any web-enabled device to check the status of recent, past, and upcoming renewals. While our licensing department team continues to manually manage the submission of forms to state Departments of Insurance (DOI) on behalf of insurance agents and agencies, enables our clients to access a transparent view of the various licensing processes.
Using, license and appointment data can be searched by a range of key criteria, including:

  • Agent Name
  • Agency Name
  • Agency & Affiliated Agents
  • State
  • Expiration Dates (date range)
  • Line of Authority
  • License Type

Increase transparency, reduce risk provides a new level of transparency into the insurance licensing and renewals timeline on a nationwide scale. By increasing insight into the licensing process, agencies establish more control, thus reducing the risk of information falling into a black hole or becoming trapped in administrative purgatory upon in-house staff turnover. was developed to increase efficiency for Perr&Knight’s insurance licensing services teams, but also provides the following valuable benefits for our clients:
Eliminate email back-and-forth Answer questions immediately by letting HR managers or licensing analysts view the current status of all submissions, 24/7, from any web-enabled device
Reduce the risk of accidental expiration – Ensure all agents are operating with current licenses
Become aware of upcoming renewals – Monitor upcoming renewals
Ensure correct jurisdictional licensing  – Confirm agents are properly licensed in all areas before expanding business into new territories
Access proof of current license – enables us to attach relevant documents, including a copy of the agent’s current license, or web verification from the state, saving space in the file cabinet and the time required to access a copy of the license, if necessary

Who should use Perr&Knight’s producer licensing and appointment services?

We manage licensing services for agencies of all sizes and scope. However, for certain agencies, our licensing services (including can be especially beneficial. These agencies include:

  • Insurance start-ups
  • Insurtech companies
  • Agencies with limited in-house support
  • Agencies operating in 5 or more states

Peace of mind managing license renewals

We developed to solve an important issue that drains valuable time and resources from insurance agencies. By offloading the licensing process onto Perr&Knight’s experienced producer licensing services team then monitoring progress via online portal, insurance agencies can make sure all agent licenses are up to date while freeing their internal teams from managing minutiae.

Is your agency staff getting buried by license renewals? Let our licensing department lighten your burden.

Gap Medical Products: What They Are–and Why They’re Increasingly Going to Be Needed

As major medical insurance regulations remain in a state of seemingly constant flux and medical inflation continues to rise, Gap medical coverage is emerging as an important product for insurance consumers. Even with major medical coverage, steep out-of-pocket expenses can strain the finances of average households. By offering Gap medical products, insurance companies can provide a layer of protection against large expenses not covered under high deductibles and out-of-pocket medical plans.
Here’s what you need to know about these useful policies and why they are starting to play a crucial role for major medical consumers.

First off, what exactly is a Gap medical product?

In the marketplace, the phrase “gap plan” is used loosely for various products, many of which are not entirely accurate. Certain supplemental health plans may pay flat amounts for particular services, which can sometimes be referred to as “gap”, but these plans are more like hospital indemnity or limited medical-type products. They may be used to cover gap expenses but aren’t necessarily designed to explicitly cover those costs and therefore may fall short of the insured’s need.
True Gap medical coverage is a supplemental health insurance product that covers out of pocket expenses for an insured who is already covered by a major medical insurance program. It’s designed to “fill in the gap” between coverage from a major medical policy and the final cost to the insured.  The product is designed to reimburse the insured person directly, covering expenses up to the plan’s annual out of pocket maximums. The product is analogous to Medicare Supplement Insurance, although Gap medical coverage is targeted to an active working population, not retirees.
The first generation of these products usually required that the insured pay the out-of-pocket costs upfront and then the insurance company would offer reimbursement. The second generation of these policies has started to see a change in payment structure that is now allowing for the insurance company to pay the healthcare provider directly. The insured incurs no out-of-pocket expense for a covered service.

What is needed to sell Gap medical products?

These insurance products are designed to be offered in conjunction with an employer-sponsored major medical plan. There is no need to develop or use existing provider networks, as any A&H insurance company can enter this market. Claims generally are adjudicated based on the insured’s Explanation of Benefits (EOB) of covered services and a claim form. However, as the sophistication of this product evolves (i.e. the second generation of Gap products), administration will become more complex.

What types of services do Gap medical products typically cover?

These policies usually cover the out-of-pocket costs for medical services that are commonly considered to be both infrequent and generally unavoidable. Most plans provide coverage for out-of-pocket costs related to (but not limited to):

  • Inpatient hospital admissions and stays
  • Outpatient hospital, surgery, and diagnostic services
  • Outpatient chemotherapy/radiation
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Durable Medical Equipment

These plans are not meant to cover every out-of-pocket expense.  They generally do not reimburse for an insured’s cost sharing related to Physician’s office visits, Emergency Room/Urgent Care visits or Prescription drugs. By limiting the types of expenses these policies cover, insurance companies can ensure that the policies are utilized in the manner for which they were developed: to protect insureds from unexpected financial hardship while keeping premiums affordable for the policyholder.

What advantages do Gap medical policies provide?

Gap medical products provide protection at low cost to consumers and low risk for insurance companies. For customers, these plans work better than health spending accounts (HSAs) because they provide coverage for similar expenses without having to worry about fund management. For insurance companies, these insurance products result in low exposure to financial severity since they are limited to a policyholder’s annual out-of-pocket maximums.
Regardless of changes to the Affordable Care Act, Gap medical coverage is becoming increasingly necessary for policyholders. The ACA and its impending reform do not address medical cost. Therefore, as medical inflation goes unchecked and major medical plans become less affordable, more and more out-of-pocket costs will be pushed onto the consumer.
If you are thinking of developing a new Gap medical product for your insurance company, it’s smart to work with an insurance product development company that has experience providing advice for these particular products. Not only do jurisdiction requirements vary by state, but it’s also important to know how your product will dovetail with the ACA and any proposed legislation changes. Partner with experts who can help you successfully navigate these specifics.
To discuss Gap medical product pricing or insurance product development, contact Perr&Knight at (888) 201-5123 ext. 3 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions or discuss solutions that are best for your company.

Predictive Analytics: Why You Should Care

Insurance companies have long based their estimates and decisions on analyzing data to help predict future events. However, with increasingly available data and faster processing power, more sophisticated algorithms designed expressly for the insurance industry can be used to augment their data analytics. By applying machine learning and modeling algorithms to historical data patterns, insurance companies now have a more powerful tool set to anticipate future outcomes with greater accuracy than ever before.
The results of predictive analytics for insurance can yield immediate improvements across your entire operation. Whether you are just starting to apply predictive analytics or you are already using it for multiple areas of your business, predictive analytics can help you:

Remain competitive in the marketplace.

More and more insurance companies are adopting predictive analytics to increase profitability and gain an advantage over competitors. Smart companies are already harnessing predictive analytics tools to select risks and price accurately. Therefore, the gap continues to widen between companies who are maximizing their data usage and those who are being left behind.

Make data-driven decisions more quickly.

By advancing your analytic capabilities through the use of sophisticated algorithms, you are using current technology to its fullest capability. This enables your team to base conclusions on accurate and reliable analytics and accelerate data-driven decision making.

Become more proactive.

Traditional data monitoring methods require a tremendous amount of time to uncover patterns and take necessary corrective steps. Even while working at maximum speed, your teams are still reacting to issues as they arise. Once in place, predictive analytics enables your team to anticipate issues and make decisions before they become full-blown problems. Monitoring of predictive models allows for proactive action as your business changes.

Create more accurate pricing and underwriting structures.

This is where most companies are already using predictive analytics: to better segment their business and develop more accurate pricing. Rely on predictive analytics to a greater degree, and ensure that your company is charging the correct price relative to risk.  By running quality data run through a reliable predictive analytic model, you are giving underwriters a tool to better select desired risks and achieve greater precision in discretionary pricing.

Detect fraud faster.

Appropriately developed algorithms can highlight anomalies in data, increasing the speed in which your claims department can reveal fraud incidents. This reduces the number of fraudulent payouts and immediately improves your bottom line.

How to get the most from your analytics model

Models can never replace the expertise of an experienced underwriter but they make the job more efficient and improve results.  However, the biggest mistake we see insurance companies make is not soliciting upfront input and feedback from the end users – the underwriters and agents who will be expected to use these models. If developed correctly, predictive analytic models can become invaluable tools that enable teams to do their jobs faster and more accurately. Involve your end users in meetings with your predictive analytics development team to ensure that the model captures and interprets the data which will be most helpful to your organization.

The importance of maintaining data quality

Analytics are only as reliable as the quality of data they capture. Because effective predictive analytics models use very detailed policy and claim information, be sure to work with a company who has expertise in the insurance field and understands the significance of certain anomalies. When you evaluate your data capture in detail, you can improve your data quality moving forward.
The power of predictive analytics for insurance is not limited to the pricing and handling of the insurance product. Once the correct tools are in place, predictive analytics can improve many other internal and ancillary aspects of your insurance company’s business. Finance departments can apply predictive analytics to collection strategies. Human resources departments use analytics to narrow down a range of potential candidates, selecting those with desirable characteristics that will best support the company. Marketing departments can use predictive analytics to gauge the effectiveness of communications, increasing marketing ROI. The applications of predictive analytics for insurance can extend as far as the questions you ask about how to advance your business.
If you would like to enhance your insurance business and develop more powerful models for pricing, reserving, underwriting and/or internal operations, contact us at (888) 201-5123 Ext 3. Our predictive modeling experts can help you develop solutions that apply analytics to boost your company’s performance.