Desperately Seeking SEMCI? Producer Views That Might Change The Debate

by Craig Weber, June 30, 2004


Boston, MA, USA June 30, 2004

Desperately Seeking SEMCI? Producer Views That Might Change The Debate Insurance

Single Entry Multiple Carrier Interface (SEMCI) is clearly good for independent producers. But do SEMCI benefits outweigh its cost to carriers?

The SEMCI debate seems to thrive on unchallenged assumptions. Celent's latest report, Desperately Seeking SEMCI? Producer Views That Might Change The Debate, explores these assumptions from the producers’ perspective.

"SEMCI is a great idea if you’re a producer," says senior analyst

Craig Weber, author of the report. "But the benefits of SEMCI for producers come at a considerable cost to carriers."

"The technology cost is only the beginning," Weber says. "Commoditization of products and core services like new business makes it hard for carriers to differentiate themselves. And in any case, SEMCI is a luxury item for producers, well behind product and price as a key driver of carrier choice."

Weber adds that agency management systems and producer portals overlap in terms of functionality. "The portals tend to deliver richer functionality, which also offsets the value of SEMCI in many cases," he says.

A key finding of the report is that over half of all producers surveyed said they would use either agency management systems or proprietary carrier systems, as long as those tools make their job easier. (See Figure 1.)

The report summarizes producer views on a variety of issues related to use of agency management systems and proprietary carrier systems. It is based on a survey administered to independent producers in June, 2004.

Other key findings discussed in the report include.

  • The fragmentation of the agency management system market, which makes it difficult for carriers to meet the needs of their diverse producer population.
  • Low levels of producer satisfaction with key activities that producers perform within agency management systems, including checking commission information, real-time links to carrier systems, data upload, and checking new business status.
  • Producers’ focus on functionality, which may drive them toward carriers that support both agency management systems and proprietary carrier systems for various business needs.
  • The tendency of some property/casualty producers to shop their new business to multiple carriers, which supports complaints about re-keying business into multiple systems.


Table of contents is available online.

of Celent Communications' Property/Casualty Insurance research service can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact for more information.


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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents


Boston, MA, USA June 30, 2004

Desperately Seeking SEMCI?

Return to report Abstract


  Key Findings 3
  Methodology 6
  Limitations 7
  About the Survey Respondents 7
  The Market 9
  Submissions to Multiple Carriers  11
  Producer Satisfaction 14
  Tools as Key Drivers of Carrier Choice 18
  Respondent Comments 21
  Survey Questions 25

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