Getting it Right: 5 Key Factors in Selecting a New P&C Insurance System

5 Tips to choose new insurance software platform

In a world where technology is constantly advancing, insurance carriers are racing to compete by seeking new software solutions. Whether ditching outdated systems or streamlining inefficient processes, finding the right insurance platform is crucial. But let's face it, it's not always a walk in the park.

Buying new insurance software is a complicated process. The average time for an insurance carrier to decide on a technology vendor typically falls within the range of 3 to 6 months. This timeframe includes vendor evaluation, negotiation, and decision-making processes. However, the timeline can extend beyond 6 months for more complex projects or larger organizations. 

Technology performance is critical to business success, and it is a setback if the insurance software you finally decide on doesn’t support your growth plans. This is a more common occurrence than you can imagine.  A survey by Ovum, a tech research and advisory firm, says that only 27% of insurers consider that the policy management system implemented was successful.

How to Pinpoint the Insurance Platform to Invest in?

As you start the search to find the best insurance management software, you can easily come across more than 200 different platforms. When faced with such an array of options, how do you decide on the perfect fit for your team? How do you confidently know where to invest?

Moving to a new system is a major milestone for any insurance company. It's meant to meet business needs while being user-friendly for agents, internal users, and customers. If the new system demands extensive training for users, it indicates a flaw that should have been caught at the evaluation stage. Here are guidelines that can steer you to the right match.

The First Step: Know the Features You Need

It is crucial to assess your company’s requirements thoroughly. Start by consulting with your team to ensure everyone's needs are considered. Identify any potential gaps where additional support may be necessary. Recognizing current gaps is crucial for selecting a provider that addresses immediate challenges while also aligning with long-term goals.

Once your business needs are clearly defined, you can begin to research potential solutions. Develop a list of providers that align with what you're looking for. Look for insurance technology vendors with strong development skills and reputable track records. Additionally, keep your budget in mind when in the process. Their rates should be affordable and transparent, ensuring a smooth and cost-effective partnership. 

Also Read: The 5 Tough Questions That Must be Asked of a Potential Insurtech Partnership

A Deloitte insight into ERP evaluation criteria is very significant. Finance leaders surveyed said they evaluated software platforms mainly on functionality yet found little difference in the capability fit of the different platforms. This led Deloitte to recommend a shift in focus for software evaluation: technical architecture should be prioritized by 10 pp, while criteria such as vendor ecosystem, culture, and vendor relationships should increase by 5 pp. Similarly, product strategy and roadmap should also receive more weightage - currently, it does not figure in the evaluation process.

Selecting New Insurance Software Evaluation Criteria

#2 Look for a Full-Cycle Policy Management Solution

While the core functionality across the products in the market is the same, the underlying details of how these features work are what sets each software solution apart. For example, while two software platforms may both offer policy management functionality, the way they handle policy creation, approval processes, and integration with other systems may differ in terms of design, user interface, and technical architecture.

One crucial filter in evaluation is to look for a solution that offers full lifecycle management for your policies and procedures, including creation, review, approval, publication, assessments, compliance reports, and audit trails.

The software platform should provide a centralized repository for policy information, ensuring easy access, accuracy, and data security. With all relevant data readily available, employees can avoid the hassle of sifting through documents and multiple systems. 

Additionally, configurability is crucial, even with white label solutions. The software should allow customization to match specific business requirements, from tailoring workflows to generating detailed reports. 

Moreover, prioritizing platforms with sophisticated automation capabilities can lead to immediate efficiency gains. Some platforms may offer advanced automation capabilities, while others may have more limited automation functionality. It's essential to carefully assess each platform to determine its level of automation and whether it meets your specific needs and requirements. For instance, SimpleINSPIRE, allows insurers to decide on the extent of automation based on the Line of Business (LOB). You can choose to either fully automate policy processing or implement a hybrid approach that combines automation with manual processing.

Also Read: Community Insurance Companies vs. Industry Giants - Strategies to Win

#3 Claims Management: A Critical Selection Criterion

When selecting new insurance software, here's what to consider when evaluating claims management capabilities:

FNOL and Claims Tracking vs Reserve Calculations and Full Workflow Tracking: The depth of functionality in claims solutions varies significantly. Some software offers basic capabilities like First Notice of Loss (FNOL) insertion and generating reports from entered claims data. These functionalities are often bundled with back-office policy administration systems, which may suffice for insurance companies outsourcing claims management services. However, if your company handles claims internally, you'll likely need more robust features. This includes the ability to track and calculate reserves, capture claim settlement transactions, and manage the entire claims workflow seamlessly.

The SimpleINSPIRE Claims Management platform is equipped to handle Loss Reserves & Payments, DCC Reserves & Payments, AO Reserves & Payments, and various Recoveries at the claim feature level. It offers automated reserving capabilities based on client-provided rules and algorithms.

When evaluating insurance software, ensure it aligns with your organization’s unique claims management needs, whether outsourced or handled in-house. Choosing a solution with comprehensive claims management capabilities will streamline operations and enhance efficiency in handling claims throughout their lifecycle.

#4 Customer Journey: How Does The Insurancr System Support Sales

When considering the customer journey in selecting insurance software, it's crucial to prioritize ease of doing business. Whether interacting with insured individuals or brokers, customers expect seamless transactions. It is important to evaluate how effectively workflows are automated to reduce manual intervention and speed up the process. 

 Here's what to keep in mind:

Direct Sales to Insured:

  • Look for a front end that can be easily customized to align with your brand yet leveraging advanced technology – in other words, seek white-label software. 

  • Ensure the software offers payment integration options popular in your market(s), such as credit cards, direct debit, or monthly billing. The SimpleINSPIRE billing feature comes integrated with PII Compliant payment gateway options for both inbound and outbound payments.

Broker Sales:

  • Evaluate the ease of providing and managing broker access from your perspective.

  • From the broker's viewpoint, consider why they should engage with your portal. Can you offer quick quotes within minutes instead of the usual 24 hours? Can you streamline processes like endorsements and automatic renewal of quotes?

#5 The Importance of Cultural Fit

In today's business world, selecting a technology partner based solely on technical expertise and immediate project capabilities isn't good enough. When embarking on digital transformation – a pivotal endeavor affecting every aspect of your organization – it's vital to choose a partner who aligns culturally with your company.

One way to do this is to observe how the vendor addresses your IT needs, expectations, and feedback. Assess their responsiveness to queries, challenges, and risks, as well as their effectiveness in delivering technical outcomes, reports, and documentation. What methods do they employ to measure and improve performance?

Implementing insurance solutions is intricate and time-intensive. Hence, shared values, work ethics, and cultural expectations are imperative for such partnerships to thrive. A mutual grasp of each party's company culture and values nurtures trust, facilitates transparent communication, and encourages a joint problem-solving approach.

At SimpleSolve, our foundational ownership ensures that we answer only to what's best for our customers as they evolve and grow, free from any external constraints. This commitment extends to embracing transformative technologies like ML and AI, where we strive to empower insurance companies to effectively engage with this paradigm-shifting technology and harness its full potential for their businesses.

Topics: Digital Transformation

Barbara Schwarz

About The Author

Barbara Schwarz

Barbara is a Business Development Manager with SImpleSolve and is a long-time insurance professional having over 35 years in the industry, beginning her career as a programmer at General Accident Insurance in Philadelphia. She has an extensive knowledge of Property and Casualty lines of business and works closely with SimpleSolve’s customers, partners and the industry. Outside of work, Barbara spends time gardening, attending concerts and enjoying time with her family and friends.

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