Billing: Business and IT Issues for P/C Insurers

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15 February 2006


New York, NY, USA February 15, 2006

Billing is breaking out of the back office and being recognized as the key service issue that it is. North American insurers are poised to spend over $500 million on billing IT initiatives this year.

In a new report, , Celent examines the strategic role of billing and its IT implications at North American P/C Insurers. Nearly half of business and IT executives consider billing a service or marketing issue rather than a pure financial issue, according to Celent's survey of 35 property/casualty insurers.

"Insurers are turning their attention to the challenge of higher service expectations from 21st century consumers, business customers, and especially distribution partners," says Matthew Josefowicz, manager of Celent's insurance group and lead author of the study. "Half of the respondents already offer online billing and payment functionality."

Homegrown legacy systems are creating real business issues for insurers. In Celent's survey, they had a disproportionately low satisfaction level compared to vendor solutions, especially around core billing functions like supporting different bill types. Other areas that respondents cited as in need of improvement included automated printed notifications, allocating partial payments, accepting electronic payments (ACH/ EFT) and credit cards, and online billing.

Celent estimates that between 8% and 10% of non-maintenance IT spending at North American P/C insurers will go toward billing over the next five years, ranging from about US$537 million in 2006 to US$749 million in 2010. This spending will be focused not only on new areas like e-business but also on improving flexibility to change business practices in response to market needs and integrating to share data more effectively with other core systems and analytical systems.

The 27-page report contains 16 figures illustrating survey responses and Celent market estimates.

A table of contents is available online.