CSA Travel

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CSA Travel Protection takes pride in exceeding their customers’ expectations by offering value-driven travel insurance and emergency assistance. Their services are backed by excellent customer service, claims handling, and the financial strength of their underwriter, Stonebridge Casualty Insurance Company. CSA insures millions of travelers each year, with the right no-hassle coverage before, during and after their trip.

Technology
Tools and technology used:

  • Java including JDK5.0
  • Swing
  • JDBC
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • SQL Scripts and stored procedures
  • XML and XML Schema

CSA manages and administers all aspects of quality travel insurance and emergency services for its business partners and customers. Founded in 1991 and based in San Diego, CSA combines customer-driven innovation and risk management to create strategic solutions. CSA is owned by Europ Assistance, a worldwide emergency assistance services company. Europ Assistance began helping travelers with emergencies in 1963 and has expanded its capabilities and services ever since.

CSA offers customizable insurance options including coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, on-demand medical care, travel supplier financial insolvency, emergency medical transportation, trip Interruption at 150% of the trip cost, and rental car damage benefits, to name a few.

Challenge

Successfully bring the automated workflow system through all phases of development, including requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing and release.

CSA’s original policy processing system required customer representatives to manually issue and service policies and claims. While the manual system had performed adequately, CSA recognized that a more efficient tool would benefit the company as it grew. Specifically, CSA wanted to expand their business services to include identity theft protection.

As a strategic partner of CSA, GEICO was interested in having CSA administer its identity theft protection program. This arrangement would allow GEICO to offer this critical insurance while avoiding the overhead costs of servicing identity theft policies themselves. CSA’s manual policy processing system did not support some of the features required by GEICO, such as periodic payments and renewable policies. In order for CSA to manage GEICO’s identity theft protection policies, they needed to develop an automatic workflow system that enabled all of GEICO’s required features. The timetable to complete this project was one year.

CSA began the project using only internal resources, allocating three software engineers to gather requirements, develop use cases, design the automated workflow system, and implement and test the new software. However, CSA’s in-house staff had limited time to commit to the project while also managing day-to-day operations and other strategic initiatives. As a result, CSA had difficulty organizing initiatives and completing the business requirements for the automated workflow system.Also, CSA’s internal resources were extremely skilled in regards to design, but had less experience implementing projects similar to an automated workflow system. With only three months left until the scheduled software release the project remained unfinished. CSA decided to bring in outside expertise in order to ensure the workflow system would be ready for launch on time.

Solution

Fairway integrated & customized CRM, shipping manifest & accounting systems


CSA worked previously with Fairway Technologies and felt confident that Fairway’s expertise would make it possible for CSA to produce a quality workflow system and meet the strict deadline. Fairway’s first step was to finalize the project requirements. Fairway revisited the existing requirements gathered by CSA, identified what was missing, and worked with GEICO’s liaison to find the information needed to finish the incomplete requirements. Next, Fairway updated the project’s user stories to reflect the primary features, including policy purchases, monthly payments, renewal notifications and error handling.

The next step was to update the workflow’s design using the final requirements and user stories. Several design elements had already been created by CSA’s in-house team, including policy accounting and payment calculation / distribution.However, the design for the actual implementation of the automatic policy workflow was in its preliminary phase when Fairway joined the project, and it needed to be reconstructed. Fairway designed the policy workflow process and created the necessary design documents to illustrate how the new system would integrate with the original policy processing system.

Once the design was finalized, Fairway began implementing the functionality for each step of a policy’s lifecycle. The result was the automation of key tasks such as issuing policies, scheduling payments and renewals, emailing notifications, processing payments, and payment failure notifications and handling. Fairway built several additional functionalities including the ability to import monthly policies as part of the batch system; screens for customer representatives to issue monthly policies; and the ability to initiate a workflow request for an issued policy.

Fairway then prepared the workflow system for testing prior to launch. Fairway created unit tests, which focused on isolated parts of the program, in order to limit the opportunity for programming errors to occur. These unit tests help developers detect when a change is introduced that violates any defined business rules and specifications, both throughout development and during future maintenance and support. Fairway also created integration and consistency tests to ensure the policy workflow system worked reliably and according to specification.

Benefits

The new automated workflow system was released on time, with the functionality to process policies reliably, and according to the specified requirements. By adding Fairway to the team, CSA’s internal staff was able to focus more of their time and effort on meeting CSA’s other technology needs. The successful completion of the project enabled CSA to expand operations and reap many additional benefits, including:

  • An increase in revenue generation
  • A significant improvement in policy processing efficiencies
  • The opportunity to explore more business development opportunities
  • An enhanced image that appeals to future partners resulting from CSA’s upgraded computer capabilities
  • New vendor partnerships that expanded CSA’s portfolio of insurance and services