Takeaways from the 2010 ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum
During this year’s sessions, the discussions centered on the technology imperatives for carriers and agencies to help lead them through these ultra-competitive and fast-changing times. Three points from a trio of industry analysts nicely summed up the direction that carriers need to focus:
“Insurers should invest in IT for capability more so than cost efficiency.” – Matthew Josefowicz, Director, insurance, at New York-based Novarica
“Being fast doesn’t help if you have the wrong product mix.” – Kimberly Harris-Ferrante, VP & distinguished analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner
“Insurers need to think more about the big picture, and use that to make tactical adjustments.” –Craig Weber, SVP at Boston-based Celent
There is additional emphasis on technology being customer centric and improving distribution channel productivity. We’re already witnessing a strong pace of core system replacement amongst carriers with more stable and agile systems able to accommodate future growth. Today, this flexibility is a norm in the functionality of the systems.We also observed a renewed focus on straight through processing with the intention of reducing transaction friction to ensure agents’ focus remains on selling.
Additionally, technology should provide a platform for agents to take on diverse roles and be more flexible with their sales efforts. Utilizing the services of Customer Relationship Management as a part of their internal systems seems like an old idea, but it’s still not deployed uniformly through the industry and is one of the most reliable returning technology investments. Equipped with the right insight, both product specific and customer specific, agents can establish their value as insurance advisors, resulting in greater customer loyalty.
In a nutshell, the major takeaways are:
Agile and capable systems
Growing and diversifying distribution channel
Carriers focusing on loss prevention rather than solely on loss reimbursement