Policy Admin Webinar Posted

February 2, 2009 by

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 by

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


January 29, 2009 by

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.


NAMIC, IIABA oppose OFC vith emails to reps, prez

January 27, 2009 by

NAMIC and IIABA try to counter-lobby Geithner against OFC


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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Offshoring – Risks and Security

January 27, 2009 by

If you utilize offshore outsourcing, you may be interested in the report called 2009 – The Year of Outsourcing Dangerously. Scott Wilson and Doug Brown have put together an interesting study that looks at the safety and security of outsourced operations. The recent terrorist events in India have caused many to look at their overseas outsource partners with a cautious eye. Their report includes a ranking of different metropolitan hubs of outsourcing, and includes a Top Trends of 2009 as well as 15 Key Steps to Mitigating Current Global Business Threats. If you’re considering moving to offshoring, or currently offshore any functions, this report will provide you with some interesting insights into the downstream risks of both established and emerging offshore destinations.

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PAS predictions…

January 26, 2009 by

“It’s had to make predictions, especially about the future.” But SourceMedia gives it a go.

Overall, some good insights. We have one quibble with this prediction, though:

With one possible exception–risk management technologies—the investment in large projects, such as core systems or legacy replacement already in play, will not be cancelled; however, those in planning stages will be placed on hold.

While this may be true for the most troubled firms, we’re actually seeing the opposite at many other challenged firms — this is the year that the business case for core system replacement actually makes the most sense, since operating efficiency is at a premium.

Check out Wednesday’s Webinar at 2 pm with Chad Hersh for more.

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Five Tips for Tweeting

January 23, 2009 by

Mashable had an interesting article out this week on Twittering for corporations. 40 of the Best Twitter Brands and the People Behind Them

Interesting that no insurance carriers showed up as one of the best Twitter brands. But it is still early days. How would an insurance company use Twitter? Think of it as PR or advertising.It’s a great way to build loyalty and shape your brand.Think of tweeting safety tips, commentary on current events, or use as a customer service tool. If someone tweets with a problem, Twitter provides a great tool for demonstrating fast response in a very public way.

Here’s some tips for getting started:

  • Secure your Twitter name – remember the lessons of the early days of dotcom – don’t let your company twitter handle be swiped up by someone else.

  • Delegate a full time ambassador. Being able to communicate directly with someone who has a face and a name in the company can be very powerful.

  • Be sure your Tweeter is someone who understands your corporate brand. Don’t let your Twitter usage conflict with your current brand identity.

  • Remember to keep it light. “Tweeple” like Twitter to be fun and engaging And keep it personal. People bond with companies whose tweets feel like they came from a real person rather than simply a restatement of the corporate line.

  • Respond quickly to Tweets. Remember that it’s public so when a customer posts a complain or asks a question, the entire twitter community can virtually see it. Response time is critical for building brands.

People on the move…

January 22, 2009 by

Trae Jones from Appix to Tropics Software.

Rachel Alt-Simmons from TowerGroup to Travelers.

What Rain?

January 22, 2009 by

Good Tech Decisions article on 2009 IT Spending Outlook.

Innovation and Agility Summit

January 22, 2009 by

The second quarterly meeting of members of the Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council was held yesterday in our NYC offices, featuring presentations from James Knight, CIO of Chubb, and Patty Lewis, strategy consultant from Allstate’s Innovation Lab.

Much of the discussions centered around improving communications — between business and IT through metrics, social networking technologies, and staff mixing; and between insurers and their solution providers. Driving Innovation and Agility, like so many other issues faced by insurer IT groups, relies on facilitating effective communications among stakeholders. This is an area where wikis and blogs are starting to have impact.

A meeting report will be published next week, stay tuned.