How QBE NA Is Digitally Transforming Underwriting with RiskOps

Steve McOrmond
December 1, 2022

What does meaningful underwriting transformation look like in the real world, and how can insurance companies engage with the right insurtech partner to implement that change with speed and agility? Tom Fitzgerald, president of Commercial Insurance at QBE North America, and Greg Puleo, vice president, Digital Transformation at QBE NA spoke with Carrier Management about how QBE is accomplishing a large-scale, business-led underwriting transformation in months not years with Federato’s RiskOps platform. Our friends at QBE sat down with Executive Editor Susanne Sclafane for a behind the scenes look at the rollout and how they measure success. At the time of the interview, QBE NA was in the final stage of a multi-phase implementation and user acceptance testing period. They are now in production with 200 middle market underwriters working in the RiskOps solution to transact more and more business on the platform.


When embarking on a journey to transform their underwriting operations, insurance companies often struggle with where to start, how to align portfolio strategy and business goals with underwriting action, and how to measure the success of the implementation. In this interview, QBE North America’s Tom Fitzgerald and Greg Puleo take us behind the scenes of a best practice digital underwriting initiative, providing a textbook case study on how to work with an insurtech partner to drive innovation and achieve meaningful results in a short timeframe. 

"From a business perspective, we weren’t looking for a vendor. We were looking for a partner. We were looking for somebody who could ultimately come in and understand the myriad needs that we had, and had the flexibility and the agility to come along on a journey with us…. Federato’s team really put a tremendous amount of effort behind learning QBE before they began to whip up the solution." 

– Tom Fitzgerald
President of Commercial Insurance
QBE North America

When choosing a modern underwriting platform, flexibility, configurability, and the ability to rapidly integrate new third-party data sources were at the top of QBE NA’s list:

“This is the power of that [RiskOps] platform. We now have the chassis that we can start to bolt other things to, and all those other data providers now just become an API integration seamlessly in the workflow. The underwriters can make better decisions using that data without having to do extra steps.”

– Greg Puleo
Vice President, Digital Transformation
QBE North America

The solution also had to transcend the capabilities – and limitations – of traditional underwriting workbench solutions by embedding powerful portfolio management capabilities within the underwriters’ day-to-day workflow: “If you can’t get your underwriters into a single platform and onto that single pane of glass, you don’t get to reap the benefits of the portfolio management, the integration of AI models to look at propensity to buy or renewal…,” said Puleo.

Measuring Success

When asked how QBE NA measures the success of the RiskOps platform, Fitzgerald identified four key success criteria:

  • The ease and simplicity with which an underwriter can transact business.
  • An increase in underwriter productivity through the ingestion of more relevant data.
  • Improved risk selection decision making – when a better risk selection framework is applied to even a single large account, the cost savings can “pay for tools in IT transformation for decades…”
  • The ability to aggregate and analyze data across many lines of business to ultimately build a more profitable insurance company.

Puleo adds that seamless underwriting workflow is the key to empowering underwriters and teams to be more successful:

“For me, the measure of success is probably when the platform fades into the background and the underwriters can focus on making good risk decisions and interacting with their agents or brokers.”

– Greg Puleo
Vice President, Digital Transformation
QBE North America

Read the Full Article

To learn more about QBE North America’s RiskOps deployment, read the full Carrier Management interview here.


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