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Two of the top young professionals under 30 are making life easier for claimants.

The Insurance Accounting & Systems Association (IASA) annually recognizes young professionals under the age of 30 who are driving positive change at their company and in the industry. In 2018, two Commerce Bank team members were named: Mike Long, PreferPay® product manager, and Danielle Reigelsberger, a PreferPay® project manager. Through their work on PreferPay®, provided by Commerce Bank, they’re addressing insurance industry challenges with their fresh perspective, curiosity and strategic thinking.

Mike was on the CommercePayments™ team at Commerce when he was asked to help launch PreferPay®. He set to work learning the insurance industry, reading Property and Liability Insurance Principles and attending trade shows. He also helped form an advisory council of representatives from insurance companies to talk about industry challenges, needs and opportunities.

The product that resulted, PreferPay®, helps insurance companies send payment to claimants faster. If someone’s roof caves in, or their car is totaled, they can log into the PreferPay® platform from a mobile device or computer and choose how they’ll receive their insurance funds. They can select from several options, including direct deposit to their bank issued debit card.

“If catastrophe happens, and they can’t go to the local bank to cash a check to get money to stay in a hotel, they can use PreferPay® to access their funds a different way,” says Mike.

Several large insurance companies have rolled out the offer to their customers. As a project manager, Danielle works with the insurance clients to implement the platform and train adjustors. “Adjustor adoption is huge,” she says. “We need to make the experience comfortable for the adjustor while making it as easy as possible for the payee.”

Though the product has launched, Mike, Danielle and the rest of the CommercePayments™ team continue to tailor the tool to clients’ needs and improve customer experience. Mike continues to regularly meet with the advisory council and visit clients on-site to gather opportunities to improve the tool. They’ve released consistent updates using Agile methodology. Every two weeks, they commit to working on a priority issue from a backlog of tasks, in what are called “sprints”. They’re able to estimate when the next update will be ready based on the number of tasks. Once they release the update, they get feedback that informs the next update.

“I’m motivated by problem solving,” says Mike. “Every pain point or problem is an opportunity to improve our solution, and that pushes me to find a way to make it better.”

The team is also looking for ways to solve other industry problems. For instance, insurance claims are often complicated if the property has a lien on it. Lienholders need to be able to sign off on insurance checks, which can often slow down the process and leave claimants wondering about the status of their payment. The CommercePayments™ team is working on an update that would enable lienholders to approve insurance checks easily within the platform.

“You don’t think of insurance or banking as fast moving, so to be at the intersection of both industries and pushing something along that speeds things up and takes minutes is exciting,” says Danielle.

There are many exciting things happening at Commerce Bank, and that includes PreferPay®. Most people have had to file an insurance claim at some point, and we all know how frustrating it can be. Mike, Danielle and the rest of the team are trying to change that, and their fresh perspective – combined with curiosity and an eagerness to solve problems – is a strength.

Learn more about PreferPay®.

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