Vertafore’s Move Helps Insurers Gain a Bigger Piece of a Smaller Pie

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23 August 2011
Michael Fitzgerald

Vertafore’s purchase of Kaplan Compliance Solutions is another step towards delivering on the ease of doing business promise to insurance distribution professionals. It is an indication of the consolidation of vendors along vertical lines as providers deliver solutions that can solve multiple problems in producer management.

Managing the insurance distribution chain involves disparate administrative functions such as configuring compensation plans, administering payment and reconciliation, registering and licensing of producers and tracking education requirements. To a producer, all of these tasks are part of a single process -- maintaining and growing a critical relationship. However, in a many insurance companies, multiple departments perform separate tasks in the chain. Systems and work processes have been separated according to history and habit.

When service issues arise, agents are not interested in knowing that different people are handling different parts of the process using systems that do not “speak” to one another. They would like their commission or licensing or education inquiry to be resolved immediately with as little time investment as possible.

In the New Normal environment of a low-growth economy, it is critical to increase production within existing agents (keep them happy), necessary to expand into new channels (bring them onboard quickly and with minimal hassle), and essential to monitor performance of all sales activities (know who is doing what and take action appropriately). Celent believes there is an opportunity for insurance companies to gain market share through the execution of a strategic approach to producer lifecycle management. Carriers can gain competitive advantage in their distribution efforts if they bring together and consolidate these various processes to create an integrated approach that delivers higher quality service, more reliable information, and lower costs.

Accomplishing this goal will require process optimization and integrated automation. In order to meet these objectives, leading insurers will manage producer relationships in a more holistic manner. Vendors will continue to consolidate, form partnerships, and build solutions which facilitate these process changes.

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