Insurance System Integration
How I integrated an insurance system with a credit union’s core and online banking system.
When a credit union purchased an insurance brokerage, I was asked to integrate their core system (Vertafore’s AMS360 product) with the credit union’s Symitar Episys system and their online banking provider (Jwaala then later Alkami).
The Symitar Episys system would display insurance information to credit union employees so they can see which members have insurance and what policies are active or expired. They can also see who the member’s insurance agent is so they can contact him or her with any insurance needs the member has.
The online banking system would display the active insurance policies that the user has with an image and contact information for their agent, and links to file a claim online.
Direct Integration with Live Insurance System Information
Part of the project involved exactly how to integrate the two systems. The insurance software company offered an API but the product was not robust enough to provide the kind of information we needed. After speaking with the company, we determined the best solution was to create a VPN connection to their data center and connect directly to their SQL server with a read only user.
This gave us access to all of the data in their system so we do whatever we needed to with it. Their database was not multi-tenant so it was easy for them to just give us access to the one database that contained the data for the credit union’s insurance company.
One need the credit union had was to provide the ability for the data analytics team with access to a local database that they could use to write reports from. Because we had a VPN connection to the insurance company’s SQL database, all that would be needed is to set up a nightly job that would synchronize a local database on a SQL server with their remote SQL server.
This was a relatively easy project using Redgate’s SQL Compare product. I created a job that would run every night and synchronize the two databases after hours.
That way, the data analytics team had the freshest data every morning to work with.
Insurance Page in Online Banking System
I created a page in the online banking system, Alkami, that displays a user’s insurance agent with contact information and a photo. It also displays the active policies that user has with the credit union. Each policy has a logo of the insurance company, the name of the insurance company, the policy type, the policy number, the expiration date of the policy, and other information like drivers insured or insured property address. Each policy also has a link to the policy insurance company’s “File a Claim” process.
Insurance Information in the Symitar Episys System
The credit union’s core system that employees access to look up members’ account information is called Symitar Episys. The credit union management wanted a way for employees to determine if a credit union member has insurance policies with the credit union and to see what policies they are and if they are active or expired. They also wanted employees to be able to determine who the member’s insurance agent is.
I created a web page that the Symitar Episys system can load within its own framework and display the information the employees need to see.
I also created a job that runs nightly and generates a file that contains insurance policy information for every person in the system. That job is imported into the Symitar system and puts a note on the account if the member does have an active insurance policy.
I worked directly with the Insurance department manager to scope out the requirements of each integration project. Once that was complete, I worked with a Symitar core programmer to finalize file specifications for the data import process for the job that creates notes on the account.
I worked with the credit union’s Network Engineer to get the VPN connection established to Vertafore’s data center.
Everything else I did myself. I created the web page for the online banking system and the Symitar Episys system. I purchased and installed the Redgate software to synchronize the database. I created the target database on one of the credit union’s in-house SQL servers.
I worked with the Insurance employees to test each piece of the system and make improvements where needed. Then I deployed the system to the production web servers and worked with the Symitar core programmer to integrate the web page into Episys.
The system has been used every day since launch. There were some issues initially with general slowness due to the VPN connection to the insurance company’s systems. I fixed that with updating the user interface with additional loading information to display to the user.
There was also one problem where if an account holder didn’t have an insurance policy under their name but they also had someone else added to their account who did have insurance policies with the credit union, the system didn’t show the insurance policies for the secondary account holder.
This was fixed by including the secondary account holder information to the insurance policy lookup.
Those are minor problems and I’ve heard good feedback about the system overall.