Insurance Illustrations: A Necessary Evil Becomes A Competitive Differentiator

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7 June 2004
Craig Weber

Abstract

Boston, MA, USA June 7, 2004

The North American Illustrations Market Insurance Reports Published by Celent

Improved technology can transform illustrations from a regulatory to-do item into a competitive differentiator. Will carriers take advantage?

The traditional view of illustrations as a necessary evil is changing, as illustration vendors are broadening their offerings into end-to-end new business suites and carriers are starting to demand better business value.

"To this point, most carriers have not leveraged their investment in illustrations across broader new business processes," says senior analyst Craig Weber, author of Celent's latest reports: , and North American Illustration Vendors: 2004. "But that is starting to change. Even though regulatory and product complexity is not easing, the new tools available can clearly help improve efficiency and lower costs."

Weber notes that the natural ties between key new business functions such as contact management, needs analysis, illustrations, and electronic applications have not been incorporated into most new business systems. "But illustration vendors now recognize that they need to do more than simply calculate premiums and policy values," Weber says. "They need to help carriers take advantage of today痴 integration tools, particularly ACORD XML, and deliver better overall value on illustration investments."

The overview report identifies five trends that will drive decision making around illustrations for the next two to three years, including: an emphasis on vendor-based components over totally-custom systems; continued slow migration to Web-based systems; growing interest in common calculation engines; slow consolidation on vendors that provide more robust capabilities, and; improved integration across all new business functions.

The report also highlights how four factors can drive carriers toward one end of the cost and service spectrum or the other in working with an illustration vendor.

The vendor report notes that all prominent illustration vendors offer highly custom solutions, in response to carrier demands. The report profiles in detail the functionality, technology, and services of eight North American illustration vendors: COSS Development Corporation, Fiserv, illustrate inc, Insurance Technologies, Lewis & Ellis, NaviSys, Novinsoft, and SunGard. The report also provides overall ratings for each vendor.

Tables of contents are available online. Click here for the overview report, here for the vendor report.

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