Q&A: What's Hot and What's Not: North American Policy Administration Systems

by Donald Light, August 25, 2009


Celent responds to audience questions raised during an August 2009 webinar.

In August 2009, Donald Light and Jeff Goldberg, senior analysts with Celent's insurance practice, presented a webinar titled "Property/Casualty Policy Administration Systems in North America: What's Hot and What's Not." The webinar itself was based on three recent Celent reports, Policy Administration Systems for Commercial Lines P/C Insurers US 2009, June 2009, Policy Administration Systems for Personal Lines P/C Insurers US 2009, June 2009, and Trends and Predictions for P/C Policy Administration Systems 2009, July 2009.

This report contains excerpts and summaries of the material from the Celent reports presented on the webinar as well as answers to 17 insightful questions raised by webinar attendees. The questions are listed in the following table.


Where does MDM fit into the Data Exchange and Integration capabilities in a PAS?

Is a core claim system part of a modern policy administration system?

What are the key differences between reporting and analytics capabilities in policy admin systems?

Are many policy admin systems deployed in agent or broker offices?

What is the trend with regard to insurers building their own policy admin systems?

When an insurer has built its own policy admin system, what would make them buy a vendor package?

Is there a trend toward end-to-end or best of breed core system solutions?

In what segments of the industry do you see the greatest level of interest in new policy administration systems?

What are the major cost elements and cost drivers in policy admin system implementations?

Are any vendors emphasizing approaches to process improvement such as Six Sigma and Lean?

Will underwriter and service staff desktops emerge as a class of insurance software?

Are ultraconfigurable systems ready to buy now?

What makes you think it will be three to five years for product lifecycle management software to become common?

How important is rapid and flexible product development capability to insurers?

How will other IT trends such as SOA, model-driven architecture, or Web 2.0 help or hinder the clarification of business and IT roles?

Will policy admin systems be a leading application in the adoption of cloud computing—or will something else lead the way?

The final question astutely turns the trends and predictions report on its head. The report talks a lot about what’s "hot" in the policy admin world, and the questioner found these observations useful. But in addition to this content, our questioner was equally curious about what is not hot in the space, with the goal of avoiding mistakes that other early movers might have made.

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].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Policy Administration Systems: Definition and Functionality

The Business Case for a Policy Administration System



What’s Not Hot?

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

Related Celent Research

Sign in to download reports and access personalized information