Seeking Simplicity: A Historical and Future Perspective on Underwriting System Segmentation

by Craig Beattie,  Nicolas Michellod, September 20, 2011


Over the past decades, insurance companies have implemented a variety of core applications supporting different aspects of the business. The end state is a complex system landscape, sometimes with redundant functions requiring a high level of resources to maintain and generating disproportionate costs.

In a new report, Seeking Simplicity: A Historical and Future Perspective on Underwriting System Segmentation, Celent draws on the results of a survey covering aspects related to underwriting and policy administration platform segmentation, the use of shared components and services approaches, and cross-country application deployment:

“We observe that insurers have arrived at their current underwriting and policy administration system segmentation in a haphazard but low risk manner, often through mergers and acquisitions or through market entry.” says Craig Beattie, Analyst with Celent’s Insurance Group and coauthor of the report,

“In both cases, shifts in distribution trends over time have led to insurers re-entering existing markets often with new systems and frequently leaving the existing legacy system running the existing book of business,” adds Nicolas Michellod, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Insurance Group and coauthor of the report.

This report also provides the Celent view about trends we can observe and some recommendations to insurers around implementation of automation of processes and straight-through processing.

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

Executive Summary


Survey Methodology


Underwriting and Policy Administration System Segmentation


Leveraging Shared Service and Component Approaches


System Deployment


Final Thoughts


Leveraging Celent’s Expertise


Related Celent Research


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