Author Archive

We’ve Moved: http://blog.novarica.com

March 4, 2009

We’ve moved our blog to http://blog.novarica.com. Please update your bookmarks, and thanks for visiting!

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Canadian P&C Insurers: Full Speed Ahead on IT for Distribution and Policy Admin

February 23, 2009

Just back from the Insurance Canada P&C Technology event in Toronto. There were many strong sessions, and a great attendee group. We had the opportunity to present the results of our insurer and broker research on the Canadian market which we’ll be publishing shortly. According to our research, Canadian P&C insurers of all sizes are continuing to increase their IT spending, with a universal focus on distribution and policy administration systems/legacy system modernization.

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If you’re interested in our Canadian research, please contact me at mj@novarica.com

Agency Connectivity Market Navigator Published

February 23, 2009

OFC Gaining Momentum?

February 15, 2009

Hmmmm…Looking more like I might be buying Chad a drink at ACORD-LOMA. Investment News reports that NAIC now supports consideration of an optional federal charter, leaving only NAMIC and IIBIA still firmly opposed. NAIC is also moving its headquarters to DC for the first time.

I wonder if NAIC has seen the writing on the wall, and been swayed somewhat by the Royce-Bean Bill’s requirements that the new national regulator maintain physical offices in every state (nationalizing the DOIs)

I still don’t think this is a done deal, but I have to admit, the odds are not running in favor of my original prediction that Democratic governors and house members would block this initiative.

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Survey of Realtime Users Shows Usage of Realtime

February 11, 2009

Interesting survey out this week from GetRealTime.org, the ACT/Augie/ACORD group promoting agency management system connectivity as the path for carrier/agent communication.  I&T had a good article about it here. Of the 3,200 agents surveyed, the majority are using realtime (or, as it used to be known, agency management system bridging) to communicate with insurers.

Notable in the survey though was the high disparity between personal lines and commercial lines adoption. While it was not stark for inquiry (87% of agents reported using realtime for personal lines billing inquiry v. 75% for commercial lines), quoting was miles apart at 43% of respondents quoting personal lines through realtime compared to only 18% for commercial lines.

In our P/C CEO survey in 2008 (webinar here), most CEOs were more enthusiastic about the value of their own portals than their agency management system connectivity efforts. However, we believe that carriers should carefully consider the benefits of an integrated strategy that combines both portal functionality and integration with management systems.

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The Novarica Market Navigator report on solution providers that enable agency management system connectivity is coming out this week. Stay tuned!

Update: Report published!

Ingenix Settlement bodes ill for loss minimization strategies

February 6, 2009

The recent Ingenix settlement with the New York AG should serve as a warning to insurers that strategies based on managing loss costs after a claim has been made will increasingly be under scrutiny by regulators and AGs. No one ever lost votes by making insurers pay more in claims payouts. Insurers need to increase their focus on risk selection, pricing, operating efficiency, and most importantly, loss control in order to ensure profitability.

Policy Admin Webinar Posted

February 2, 2009

Despite our challenges with GoToWebinar (which seem to have been resolved), the recording of our well-attended webinar on the outlook for the Policy Administrations System Market in 2009-2012 is online here.

Related content: The Business Case for Modernizing Insurance Core Systems

New Report: Online Self-Service in Small Business Insurance

February 2, 2009

While an increasing number of insurers are evaluating self-service capabilities, a surprising number are wary about offering small business self-service capabilities, primarily out of a fear of disrupting the independent agency channel they depend so heavily upon. Ironically, most believe that the market is ready and that someone else will offer this within 2 years.

Report Summary: http://www.novarica.com/report_smallbiz_service.shtml

Press Release: AXA EQUITABLE, MASSMUTUAL, AND NEW YORK LIFE PRAISED FOR STRONG ONLINE OFFERINGS IN NEW REPORT

January 29, 2009

January 29, 2009 (New York): Novarica, a research and advisory firm, singled out MassMutual, AXA Equitable, and New York Life for their strong online customer service offerings in a new report published today, Online Customer Service at Top US Life/Annuity Insurers.

“Even the highest-touch, most-adviser-oriented companies realize that their high-value customers are managing more and more of their financial lives online,” commented report co-author Matthew Josefowicz, director of Novarica’s insurance practice. “Although none of the leading life/annuity companies have yet taken the leap to online sales (or even online quoting), a strong service capability for current customers and rich educational content to lure new customers into a conversation with an agent are becoming competitive necessities, especially as Generations X and Y move into their prime accumulation years.”

The report ranks seven leading insurers’ websites in 15 categories, including overall ease of navigation; online payments, policy changes, funds allocation/transfer, account viewing, claims submission, withdrawals, calculators, planning tools, and policy loans; non-English language materials; agent/office locator; educational multimedia and articles; and social bookmarking/sharing functionality.

COMPLETE PRESS RELEASE HERE

NAMIC, IIABA oppose OFC vith emails to reps, prez

January 27, 2009

NAMIC and IIABA try to counter-lobby Geithner against OFC

http://www.propertyandcasualtyinsurancenews.com/cms/nupc/Breaking%20News/2009/01/26-OIR-dp

We take no position on OFC, but we differ on the likelihood of it happening soon. Mr. Hersh says OFC gets swept along in a general reform of financial services. I’m still betting that these kinds of lobbying groups can have enough sway with Democratic governors and a Democratic house majority to get it off the table. We’ll see who buys the drinks at ACORD/LOMA or ISOTech!

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