Researchers Submit Patent Application, “Policy Consolidation System”, for Approval (USPTO 20220164889): Patent Application – InsuranceNewsNet

Date:


2022 JUN 15 (NewsRx) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Daily News — From Washington, D.C., NewsRx journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Cottrell, Troy (Chenoa, IL, US); Harrison, Tyhad (Bloomington, IL, US); Lam, Daniel (Bloomington, IL, US); Musser, Byron (Chenoa, IL, US); Polukonda, Hari (Bloomington, IL, US); Poppen, David (Gridley, IL, US); Stalter, Evan (Normal, IL, US); Wagner, Lynne (Normal, IL, US), filed on November 18, 2021, was made available online on May 26, 2022.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “Individuals, companies, and other entities often hold insurance policies with insurance companies. For example, insurance policies can include automobile insurance policies, fire insurance policies, and other types of insurance policies. Insurance companies can use computer-implemented policy management systems to store information about insurance policies, create new insurance policies, change existing insurance policies, and/or otherwise manage insurance policies.

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“In some cases, a single entity may have multiple insurance policies of the same type with the same insurance company. For example, if an individual owns multiple automobiles, the individual may have multiple automobile insurance policies that cover different automobiles.

“However, it can be inefficient to separately manage multiple related insurance policies for the same insured party. For example, a policy management system may need to create, store, and manage separate digital records for each of the different insurance policies. Separately managing distinct records for related insurance policies can be complex, and/or use large amounts of storage space in databases. Additionally, in some examples, records for different related insurance policies may be stored in databases of different servers or server clusters. Accordingly, an instance of the policy management system executing in a first cluster may not be able to access data about related insurance policies that are stored in a second cluster.

“As another example, each related insurance policy may have a different policy number. This can lead to confusion and/or frustration for customers, and/or lead to an inefficient use of resources for the insurance company. For example, the insurance company may routinely send letters, emails, or other notifications to insured parties regarding their insurance policies. However, because each related insurance policy may have a different policy number and be considered a different insurance policy, the insurance company may send a customer numerous copies of essentially the same notification for each different insurance policy associated with the customer. For example, if an individual has two insured automobiles, the individual may receive two emails and/or two letters in the mail about the insurance coverage for each automobile that explains the same type of regulatory notice, because each automobile is covered under a different automobile insurance policy with a different policy number. It can be inefficient for the insurance company to send numerous communications with substantially duplicated information to the same individual in such cases. For example, an email server associated with the insurance company may use extra processing cycles, memory, and bandwidth to generate and send multiple email messages containing similar content to the same individual. It can also be frustrating or confusing for customers to receive substantially duplicated communications that may be similar or identical in content, except for the associated policy number.

“As yet another example, different related insurance policies may have different terms, and thus come up for renewal at different times. For instance, if an individual has two insurance policies that cover two different automobiles, the term of the first insurance policy may end in July while the term of the second insurance policy may end in September. Accordingly, the first insurance policy may come up for renewal months before the second insurance policy. This may be confusing for the individual, who may expect that both insurance policies would renew at the same time. It may also be frustrating or confusing for the individual to receive renewal notices for the first insurance policy, and then receive separate renewal notices for the second insurance policy a few months later.

“It can also be inefficient and/or complex for the insurance company to separately manage terms and renewals for different insurance policies that are related to one another. For example, an email server associated with the insurance company may use extra processing cycles, memory, and bandwidth to generate and send multiple renewal notices to the same customer via email in association with related insurance policies. As another example, the insurance company may use digital records to store information associated with insurance policies. However, separately managing related insurance policies may increase the amount of computer memory used to store corresponding digital records, and can increase the amount of processing cycles and other computing resources used to manage and process the digital records.

“The example systems and methods described herein may be directed toward mitigating or overcoming one or more of the deficiencies described above.”

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent application: “Described herein are systems and methods that can consolidate information about different insurance policies into a combined insurance policy. A policy management system can identify database records for related insurance policies, such as a first automobile insurance policy for a first vehicle and a second automobile insurance policy for a second vehicle owned by the same party, and can consolidate the information into a single database record that represents a consolidated insurance policy. For example, the consolidated insurance policy can cover both the first vehicle and the second vehicle. Such consolidation can simplify management of the insurance policies. For example, the insurance coverage for both vehicles can renew at the same time going forward after the consolidation, which can lead to more efficient renewal of the insurance policies and/or reduce customer confusion that may occur when related insurance policies renew at different times. For instance, consolidating multiple related insurance policies can reduce bandwidth usage by reducing the number of email messages or other electronic notifications that are sent over a network in association with renewals of the insurance policies, and/or reduce the number of processing cycles used to generate and send such electronic notifications. Additionally, consolidating information about multiple related insurance policies into a single database record can decrease the size of a database, and/or reduce the amount of processor cycles and other computing resources that are used to process the digital records.

“According to a first aspect, a computer-implemented method can include identifying, by a policy management system, a first record in a database, the first record corresponding to a target policy representative of a first insurance coverage. The method can also include identifying, by the policy management system, a second record in the database, the second record corresponding to a source policy representative of a second insurance coverage. The method can further include determining, by the policy management system, that the first record is characterized by a set of attributes, and that the second record is also characterized by the set of attributes. The method can also include adding, by the policy management system, and based on determining that the first record and the second record are characterized by the set of attributes, a set of policy data from the second record to the first record. The adding can cause the first record to represent both the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage, and cause renewals of the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage to occur in association with the first record. The method can further include withdrawing, by the policy management system, a pending future renewal of the source policy in association with the second record.

“According to a second aspect, a policy management system can include a database storing records of insurance policies, the records comprising at least a first record corresponding to a target policy representative of a first insurance coverage, and a second record corresponding to a source policy representative of a second insurance coverage. The policy management system can also include a policy consolidator configured to determine that the first record is characterized by a set of attributes, and that the second record is also characterized by the set of attributes. The policy consolidator can also be configured to add, based on determining that the first record and the second record are characterized by the set of attributes, a set of policy data from the second record to the first record in the database. The adding can cause the first record to represent both the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage, and cause renewals of the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage to occur in association with the first record. The policy consolidator can also be configured to withdraw a pending future renewal of the source policy in association with the second record.

“According to a third aspect, one or more computing devices can include one or more processors and memory storing computer-executable instructions that, when executed by the one or more processors, cause the one or more processors to perform operations. The operations can include identifying a first record in a database, the first record corresponding to a target policy representative of a first insurance coverage. The operations can further include identifying a second record in the database, the second record corresponding to a source policy representative of a second insurance coverage. The operations can also include determining to consolidate the target policy and the source policy based on determining that the first record and the second record have a common client identifier, and determining that the first record and the second record share a set of additional attributes. The operations can further include adding, based on determining to consolidate the target policy and the source policy, a set of policy data from the second record to the first record. The adding can cause the first record to represent both the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage, and cause renewals of the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage to occur in association with the first record. The operations can also include withdrawing a pending future renewal of the source policy in association with the second record.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. A computer-implemented method, comprising: identifying, by a policy management system, a first record in a database, the first record corresponding to a target policy representative of a first insurance coverage; identifying, by the policy management system, a second record in the database, the second record corresponding to a source policy representative of a second insurance coverage; determining, by the policy management system, that the first record is characterized by a set of attributes; determining, by the policy management system, that the second record is also characterized by the set of attributes; adding, by the policy management system, and based on determining that the first record and the second record are characterized by the set of attributes, a set of policy data from the second record to the first record, wherein the adding causes: the first record to represent both the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage, and renewals of the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage to occur in association with the first record; and withdrawing, by the policy management system, a pending future renewal of the source policy in association with the second record.

“2. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein: the target policy has a bound status in the policy management system, due to an initiation of a first renewal process associated with the first insurance coverage, and at a time at which the adding occurs, the source policy does not have the bound status in the policy management system due to a second renewal process for the pending future renewal not having begun.

“3. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising: determining, by the policy management system at a first time, that a renewal process associated with the first insurance coverage has not yet begun in the policy management system in association with the target policy; determining, by the policy management system at a second time, that the renewal process associated with the first insurance coverage has been initiated; determining, by the policy management system, that the target policy has obtained a bound status in the policy management system in response to initiation of the renewal process associated with the first insurance coverage; and adding, by the policy management system, the set of policy data from the second record to the first record in response to determining that the target policy has obtained the bound status.

“4. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein the set of attributes includes a client identifier.

“5. The computer-implemented method of claim 4, wherein the set of attributes further includes one or more of: a named insured party, an insurance company, an insurance agent, an address, one or more mandatory coverages, vehicle use information, a guaranteed renewal status, a term length, one or more driver exclusions, and billing information.

“6. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising: validating, by the policy management system, the adding; and withdrawing, by the policy management system, the pending future renewal of the source policy in response to the validating.

“7. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising determining, by the policy management system, an occurrence of a trigger event associated with the source policy, wherein the policy management system performs the identifying, the determining, the adding, and the withdrawing in response to the occurrence of the trigger event.

“8. The computer-implemented method of claim 7, wherein the trigger event is a migration of the second record of the source policy into the policy management system from a second policy management system at a time that is a predetermined length of time prior to the pending future renewal of the source policy.

“9. The computer-implemented method of claim 7, wherein the trigger event is a user instruction to consolidate the source policy with at least one other policy, and the policy management system identifies the target policy as the at least one other policy.

“10. A policy management system, comprising: a database storing records of insurance policies, the records comprising at least: a first record corresponding to a target policy representative of a first insurance coverage; and a second record corresponding to a source policy representative of a second insurance coverage; and a policy consolidator configured to perform operations comprising: determining that the first record is characterized by a set of attributes; determining that the second record is also characterized by the set of attributes; adding, based on determining that the first record and the second record are characterized by the set of attributes, a set of policy data from the second record to the first record in the database, wherein the adding causes: the first record to represent both the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage, and renewals of the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage to occur in association with the first record; and withdrawing a pending future renewal of the source policy in association with the second record.

“11. The policy management system of claim 10, further comprising a batch policy manager configured to initiate the operations performed by the policy consolidator prior to initiating renewal operations associated with the pending future renewal of the source policy.

“12. The policy management system of claim 10, further comprising an online policy manager configured to initiate the operations performed by the policy consolidator in response to a user instruction received via the online policy manager.

“13. The policy management system of claim 10, wherein: the operations performed by the policy consolidator further comprise detecting an occurrence of a trigger event associated with the source policy, and the policy consolidator performs the determining, the adding, and the withdrawing in response to detecting the occurrence of the trigger event.

“14. The policy management system of claim 10, wherein the set of attributes includes a client identifier.

“15. The policy management system of claim 14, wherein the set of attributes further includes one or more of: a named insured party, an insurance company, an insurance agent, an address, one or more mandatory coverages, vehicle use information, a guaranteed renewal status, a term length, one or more driver exclusions, and billing information.

“16. One or more computing devices, comprising: one or more processors; memory storing computer-executable instructions that, when executed by the one or more processors, cause the one or more processors to perform operations comprising: identifying a first record in a database, the first record corresponding to a target policy representative of a first insurance coverage; identifying a second record in the database, the second record corresponding to a source policy representative of a second insurance coverage; determining to consolidate the target policy and the source policy, based on: determining that the first record and the second record have a common client identifier; determining that the first record and the second record share a set of additional attributes; adding, based on determining to consolidate the target policy and the source policy, a set of policy data from the second record to the first record, wherein the adding causes: the first record to represent both the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage, and renewals of the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage to occur in association with the first record; and withdrawing a pending future renewal of the source policy in association with the second record.

“17. The one or more computing devices of claim 16, wherein the set of additional attributes includes one or more of: a named insured party, an insurance company, an insurance agent, an address, one or more mandatory coverages, vehicle use information, a guaranteed renewal status, a term length, one or more driver exclusions, and billing information.

“18. The one or more computing devices of claim 16, wherein the operations further comprise: validating the adding; and withdrawing the pending future renewal of the source policy in response to the validating.

“19. The one or more computing devices of claim 18, wherein the validating comprises at least one of: one or more data validation operations to confirm that the adding is successful, or one or more underwriting operations to generate a consolidated insurance quote for both the first insurance coverage and the second insurance coverage.

“20. The one or more computing devices of claim 18, wherein the operations further comprise: determining a validation failure associated with the validating; flagging the adding for user review; receiving a user edit of the first record; and validating the adding a subsequent time following receipt of the user edit.”

For additional information on this patent application, see: Cottrell, Troy; Harrison, Tyhad; Lam, Daniel; Musser, Byron; Polukonda, Hari; Poppen, David; Stalter, Evan; Wagner, Lynne. Policy Consolidation System. Filed November 18, 2021 and posted May 26, 2022. Patent URL: https://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220220164889%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20220164889&RS=DN/20220164889

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)





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