Insurance Software Testing
In the insurance industry, frequent changes in regulations needing business model adaptations impact time to market for new products and services. In addition, legacy insurance applications and their integration with new technologies, risk and cost of non-compliance, customer dissatisfaction, and risk of downtime, present significant challenges.
XBOSoft’s insurance industry clients include large and small enterprises across the globe. Our strong insurance software testing team with their associated insurance domain knowledge in software testing and technology expertise offers a multitude of software testing services and quality assurance in the insurance industry.
Insurance Software Testing Challenges
Insurance is a broad industry covering health, personal property, liability, automobiles, mortgages and more. With such a wide range, some companies specialize while others offer comprehensive product offerings. In the last year and a half, XBOSoft has worked together with another software company that mainly focuses on developing software for the insurance industry. During this time, we’ve accumulated expert domain knowledge in software testing and have mastered key points that are important for effective QA and insurance application testing. Some of them include:
1. Role Permissions
These roles may include:
- End user who may fill in their pre-qualification information.
- Insurance agent who submits the insurance application.
- Insurance company employee who mainly checks and approves (or declines) the application.
- Administrator who has rights to set up the software.
These roles are totally different and have different permissions. It is critical to ensure that each role has correct rights. Defects in this part of the application may cause a big loss for the insurance company, which is why insurance application testing is key.
2. Information Interfaces
When testing insurance software, we need to verify that information not only can be saved in the front office but also can be saved and transferred through front, middle and back office (and vice versa) databases and operations without any errors. Transferring and moving information via various APIs is always an issue as even standard APIs may be implemented with slight variations.
3. Changes of Numbers
Insurance is all about money and numbers. A trivial change of a number in a variable may cause a big difference in the final result. Usually, nearly every new release of the insurance software contains some changes in the numbers such as the interest or percentage of the provision fee. Therefore, data verification and checking all calculations is very important. This can be especially sensitive and critical for software dealing with multiple currencies.
4. Understanding Insurance Domain Knowledge
One application may include many insurance types. The requirements and workflow for these insurance types are also different. Even for the same type of insurance, there may be different workflows depending on the age or income of the applicant. Since most software testers are not experts in insurance, understanding these complex rules presents a challenge. You have put yourself in the shoes of an insurance agent as well as the broker to understand all the rules and criteria.
5. Checking Lengthy Documents
This is not technically challenging but requires patience. Most insurance software applications contain large amounts of paper output and usually these documents have many pages. Information in the application must be checked periodically with paper output. Depending on the frequency that this task needs to be done, automated data verification testing can used to accomplish this task.
6. Targeting Regression Testing
Because there are so many workflows and many of the pieces and parts of the workflows can touch each other in different user stories, figuring out what to regression test when you have a software update is a never-ending challenge. As such you have to target functional testing and associated regression testing judiciously through a deep understanding of the software, business rules and how user stories relate to one another. In most cases, test automation will comprise a critical component of the overall QA process.
Testing Insurance Software – XML Data Verification is at the Core
Testing insurance software can be divided into front, middle and back office. When we examine the front office, we pay attention to the UI part. The front office is used by insurance agents and insurance company employees. For insurance agents, they use the software to create or help a customer create a file and apply one or more types of insurance. Insurance company employees then communicate with the agents by accepting or rejecting the application.
However, the front office is just a small part of the whole system. There are other components that need to communicate with the front office. XML is one of the predominant data formats used for this communication. Actually, the front office is just a UI part for the end user, after the user clicks ‘apply’, all the information will be integrated into an XML file and sent to the middle and back office. The middle and back office will use the information in the XML message and execute a task, such as the calculation of the final payment, and then send another XML file back to the front office. At the end, the message is shown in the front office software to the end user.
To test insurance software, we need to have detailed knowledge of the insurance processing flow, how the system handles the XML data, and data verification testing methods. For one of the insurance systems we test, we use a 3-step methodology:
Step 1: The insurance system integrates all information filled in the front office and generates an XML file. For this step, as quality assurance, we validate all XML nodes and values for a range of inputs.
Step 2: The XML message is used by other components or services and then returns a new XML file, which needs testing for COV (correct output values) and negative inputs.
Step 3: The message in the output XML file is shown in the front office software, similar to Step 1 above. Verify the different node/value between the input and output XML files.
In general, XML communication is a core method used in many insurance software systems. XML is often used as a format to transfer critical data from the front office to the middle and back office systems. If the data is wrong, the entire system’s integrity and usefulness will decrease significantly. Therefore, when working with our clients in software testing specific to the insurance industry, we pay special attention to testing the correct XML contents and transfer process.
How We Can Help
Software testing and application testing within the insurance domain is like any other domain specific related quality assurance work. You really need to understand business rules in developing thorough test cases and in prioritizing the test strategy, functional testing, and test automation approaches. Otherwise, you add very little value.
We have been working with insurance software vendors to provide quality assurance and testing of their insurance software solutions, supporting them with independent third party testing and access to quality assurance thought leadership, resulting in faster time to market and improved software quality.
Find out more about XBOSoft’s specialized insurance software testing and insurance application testing services.