Insurance Illustrations: A Necessary Evil Becomes A Competitive Differentiator

by Craig Weber, June 7, 2004

Abstract

Boston, MA, USA June 7, 2004

The North American Illustrations Market Insurance Reports Published by Celent

Improved technology can transform illustrations from a regulatory to-do item into a competitive differentiator. Will carriers take advantage?

The traditional view of illustrations as a necessary evil is changing, as illustration vendors are broadening their offerings into end-to-end new business suites and carriers are starting to demand better business value.

"To this point, most carriers have not leveraged their investment in illustrations across broader new business processes," says senior analyst  Craig Weber, author of Celent's latest reports: , and North American Illustration Vendors: 2004. "But that is starting to change. Even though regulatory and product complexity is not easing, the new tools available can clearly help improve efficiency and lower costs."

Weber notes that the natural ties between key new business functions such as contact management, needs analysis, illustrations, and electronic applications have not been incorporated into most new business systems. "But illustration vendors now recognize that they need to do more than simply calculate premiums and policy values," Weber says. "They need to help carriers take advantage of today痴 integration tools, particularly ACORD XML, and deliver better overall value on illustration investments."

The overview report identifies five trends that will drive decision making around illustrations for the next two to three years, including: an emphasis on vendor-based components over totally-custom systems; continued slow migration to Web-based systems; growing interest in common calculation engines; slow consolidation on vendors that provide more robust capabilities, and; improved integration across all new business functions.

The report also highlights how four factors can drive carriers toward one end of the cost and service spectrum or the other in working with an illustration vendor.

The vendor report notes that all prominent illustration vendors offer highly custom solutions, in response to carrier demands. The report profiles in detail the functionality, technology, and services of eight North American illustration vendors: COSS Development Corporation, Fiserv, illustrate inc, Insurance Technologies, Lewis & Ellis, NaviSys, Novinsoft, and SunGard. The report also provides overall ratings for each vendor.

Tables of contents are available online.  Click here for the overview report, here for the vendor report.

of Celent Communications' Life/Health Insurance research service can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact info@celent.com 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 subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

 

Boston, MA, USA June 7, 2004

Insurance Illustrations: A Necessary Evil Becomes  A Competitive Differentiator

Return to report Abstract

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 3
INTRODUCTION 5
  Methodology 5
MARKET OVERVIEW 6
  Introduction to Illustrations  6
  Spending 6
  Prominent Vendors 8
  Price and Service Models 8
  Agent Views 10
KEY THEMES AND TRENDS 12
RECOMMENDATIONS 18
OBJECTIVITY & METHODOLOGY 21

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