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Get to Know the Insurance Data Model

Learning Objectives 

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the insurance industry.
  • Analyze the key considerations for reviewing the data model.

Introduction

The insurance business is ancient, vast, and labyrinthine. One of the earliest recorded evidences of its existence is in the famous Code of Hammurabi from circa 1750 BCE. Merchants traversing the Mediterranean would finance their shipments through loans, and they’d pay the lender an extra amount for a guarantee from the lender that the loan would be canceled if the shipment were pilfered or lost at sea. 

A relieved shipping merchant whose business is protected by insurance against unexpected losses.

The times have changed, but as an insurance provider you still have your hands full: You need to track your producers, policy holders, and the insurance coverage you provide to both your clients and their assets. The insurance business is a complex enterprise because of what needs to be insured. Nothing can be assumed or taken for granted, and every single aspect of the business needs to be written down and tracked, because it’s not just money at stake, but human life itself. This is why a thoughtful and comprehensive insurance data model is an essential success enabler.

Say Hello to the Insurance Data Model 

In this module, you learn how the insurance data model in Financial Services Cloud can help you track the key information related to your business and the activities of important users like your sales and service reps.  

The insurance data model helps bring all information related to insurance policies and claim summaries to Salesforce, so you can have a 360-degree view of your policyholders. 

The insurance data model is simply that—a data model designed specifically for insurance companies. Built in collaboration with Salesforce partners and customers, the insurance data model provides out-of-the-box functionality to organize your data in Salesforce. It helps insurance companies of all sizes connect with their clients, sales reps, service agents, and distributors in all kinds of ways. Think of the data model as a huge pantry with loads of different things inside. But, in the data model pantry, all your ingredients are perfectly organized. That way when you need something, you know exactly where and how to find it. Now who wouldn’t want a pantry like that?

Pantry with loads of different things inside.

Before the insurance data model, admins had to spend several months—and devote heavy IT resources—getting their pantry in order. They needed to create similar data architectures by hand and from scratch because no standard was available. Now with this data model, an admin can get up and running in half the time it normally takes to set up a traditional Salesforce deployment. Pretty amazing.

We go into more details about the insurance data model in the next unit. For now, know that this data model uses standard Salesforce objects such as accounts and contacts and custom objects such as policy payment methods and billing statements to track all kinds of connections. These tracked and organized connections make it simple to find the information you need in Salesforce. 

Let’s say that you need a consolidated view of all the insurance policies related to a particular household. You can use the insurance data model (and the related, larger Financial Services Cloud data model) to easily accomplish this task. 

Rachel’s car parked outside her home.

But wait, there’s more! The insurance data model also keeps track of a client’s premium payment history and all claims made against a policy. Want to know who all are authorized to sell the accident line of authority? Want to find out what happened to the eye witness of an accident scene? You can do all that and more with the insurance data model.

While the insurance data model gives you objects and fields out of the box, it also lets you define the relationships between different sets of data. It’s not a one-size-fits-all data model. Instead, it’s flexible and helps you manage enterprises both large and small based on business requirements. 

We know that, at a glance, the Insurance for Financial Services Cloud data model can look a bit overwhelming. So let’s follow along the staff at Cumulus Insurance, a nationwide insurance company that’s working on optimizing its digital transformation journey.

Meet Cumulus Insurance 

Cumulus Insurance, part of financial services giant Cumulus Cloud Corporation, is a large, well-diversified provider of insurance services nationwide. Cumulus has a loyal customer base who have been trusting it with their insurance needs for generations. But like many other industries, the insurance industry today is in the throes of a digital disruption. Younger customers demand exceptional experiences—and they will do business only with companies that offer them. That means companies like Cumulus need to pivot fast and rethink how they’re connecting with its customers at every touchpoint. They need to make digital investments that enable first-rate customer experiences.

The Cumulus logo.

Meet the Dream Team

Let’s meet the team at Cumulus. You may have already met some of them if you’ve earned the Insurance Agent Console for Sales and Service badge.

  • Zeynep Aksoy is a rockstar sales agent.
  • Zaw Aung is Zeynep’s colleague in customer service.
  • Matt Admin is the all-star Salesforce admin at Cumulus.
  • Karuna Bagh is the business architect tasked with setting up the insurance data model and reviewing effective relationships between objects to optimize operational performance. She wants to help sales and service reps like Zeynep and Zaw manage their client relationships effortlessly.

A picture showing Cumulus sales and service reps interacting with their clients.

Key Considerations

Data model objects can be associated with each other in numerous ways. What’s important to keep in mind is that not all associations are required for all scenarios. It depends on the scale of business, the operations you want to perform, and the kind of products or services you’re targeting. Karuna can keep the insurance operation flexible by choosing the object associations that work best for Cumulus. 

Here are a few points that she considers before working with the data model.

  • An insurance policy has many stakeholders: This goes beyond just the policy holder and can cover even casual bystanders, as is the case with witnesses to a road accident, for example. Karuna must find a way to make the data model work for all typical insurance scenarios.
  • Agents at Cumulus must be presented ways to organically grow the business and be better at their jobs while doing their jobs. Karuna must hone the data model so that agents get a 360-degree view of policyholders. Insights resulting from this can drive upselling and cross-selling opportunities to agents within the context of their daily jobs.
  • The data model must account for the complex ways in which people engage with risk protection. A client may want insurance for some of their assets but not others, and even when all assets are insured, they may want different types of coverage for specific assets, all within the same policy.
  • For an insurance sales agent, nothing is more valuable than being able to tie their sales pitch to a big event in their client’s life. And that’s the power behind the Life Events and Business Milestones features. Karuna must ensure that details of clients’ life events are delivered to agents in a seamless manner, thus maximizing new business potential.

Realizing she has a significant task at hand, Karuna starts her journey with the data model. She hopes that she can organize clusters of data that work cohesively. She has no doubt that with this insurance data model, she can help Cumulus and sales agents like Zeynep and service reps like Zaw achieve maximum business efficiency.

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