Steve Lathrop — CEO

SSP appoints Steve Lathrope as CEO

SSP today announces the appointment of Steve Lathrope as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). SSP co-founder Laurence Walker, who has been leading the company since 2007, will resume the position of Executive Chairman.

Steve joined SSP in 2011 as Managing Director of the Insurer Division, with responsibility for more than 120 insurance company and MGA customers worldwide. Ahead of his appointment to the role of CEO, he was promoted to Chief Customer Officer and then latterly Group Managing Director. Before joining SSP, Steve spent 19 years with Accenture as a partner in the global Insurance practice, consulting with a wide range of insurance companies in the UK and globally and advising on business and technology change.

Steve Lathrope said:
“This is an exciting time for SSP and I’m delighted to be moving into the CEO role. The whole SSP team is proud of the role we play in supporting the business operations of our 1,000+ customers worldwide. My focus as CEO will be to continue to raise the bar with regard to the service we provide day-to-day, and the contribution we make to our customers’ innovation and growth.

“The pace of change in the insurance industry continues to increase, and the role of technology is more significant than ever. The investment we have been making in SSP’s software products and services is now being realised through the unique solutions we’re providing to our new and existing customers — including our new SSP digital insurance platform and recently launched SSP Broking.”

Laurence Walker said:
“Steve’s recruitment to SSP was a key part of our succession plan. I’m delighted by the development and growth he has helped our team deliver on the Insurer side of the business, and the role he has played in the wider business as Chief Customer Officer and Group Managing Director. I look forward to working with him as our new CEO, and to realising the full potential of SSP.

“We are 100% focused on our mission to be the best insurance software provider in the market. Under Steve’s leadership we will continue to enhance our products and services, put customers at the heart of what we do, and deliver our overall strategic plan.”

Direct Line Group (DLG)

Direct Line Group chooses SSP Select Insurance as a Service for growth

Direct Line Group (DLG) - SSPDLG chooses to support its commercial insurance growth strategy using SSP’s digital insurance platform, SSP Select Insurance as a Service.

Insurance technology specialist SSP today announces a new five year contract with leading UK insurer Direct Line Group (DLG) to provide its SSP Select Insurance as a Service platform to support DLG’s plans for growth. SSP won the contract after an extensive competitive tender process.

SSP Select Insurance as a Service is a SaaS-based digital insurance platform that comprises a set of proven, integrated best of breed components that together provide powerful digital insurance capabilities to insurance companies, enabling them to build and deliver their products and services into the marketplace.

These platform components provide product build, pricing, data enrichment, aggregator integration, policy administration and customer self-service capabilities, as well as pre-application fraud prevention through SSP Verify. DLG will also benefit from SSP’s Intelligent Quotes Hub (IQH), the company’s next generation, whole of market quotation solution that provides powerful, user configurable risk selection, data enrichment and pricing capabilities.

The component options within the SSP solution are pre-integrated, meaning insurers can undertake a ‘low touch’ implementation that involves considerably less cost and effort than with traditional solutions, and get their insurance products live in the marketplace more rapidly.

The SaaS platform is implemented, hosted and managed by SSP, a model that drives a low up-front investment, along with flexible and low cost of ownership. It also contributes to the rapid implementation timeframe.

DLG will become the fourth leading UK insurer to adopt IQH to provide its Insurer Hosted Pricing capability for part of its business.

Jasvinder Gakhal, Director of Commercial Direct at Direct Line Group said:
“We are pleased to have selected SSP and its digital insurance platform to support areas of our Direct Line for Business growth strategy.  The platform enables us to launch new products quickly, monitor their performance, learn from the results and refine them on a cost-effective basis.”

Steve Lathrope, Group Managing Director, SSP said:
“We are proud to have been chosen by DLG and to be providing Select Insurance as a Service as a platform for growth.  We’ve designed the solution with innovation in mind, and are delighted to have a market leader using it to power its business.”


Hawkwell becomes fourth insurer to combat fraud with SSP Verify

Insurance technology specialist SSP today announces that motor insurer Hawkwell has become the fourth insurer to sign up to use the market-leading fraud-combatting capability SSP Verify.

By adopting this solution, Hawkwell will be able to create a holistic single customer view to identify in real-time fraudulent applications pre-inception. With this insight, Hawkwell can price premiums correctly and avoid fraudulent applications.

SSP Verify allows the behaviour of individual customers to be captured and monitored in real-time across all insurance channels, providing sophisticated insight into when application fraud is occurring. The rules within the solution differentiate between honest mistakes and deliberately fraudulent behaviour, and can be tailored to reflect each insurer’s tolerance to application fraud.

The price of not implementing such a solution is immense. Last September, data from SSP revealed that the industry loses a potential £1.42bn in premiums as a result of motor insurance application fraud, in addition to potential exposure to claims costs in the region of £1.36bn.

Commenting on the deal, Adrian Coupland, Managing Director, Data and Distribution at SSP said:
“The level of insight provided by SSP Verify means that all insurers who sign up will improve their underwriting results by identifying problem customers before exposing themselves to the risk and then price or decline accordingly.

“As a result, these early adopters of our system are able to focus on building books of quality clients, with unwanted business passing back into the market to be written by insurers who remain unable to identify fraudulent applicants.

“Application fraud will rapidly become more acute for insurers who do not subscribe to such a service.

“Already the amount of attempted dishonest motor insurance applications uncovered by insurers rose by 18% year-on-year in 2014 to 212,0001. However, SSP has discovered that fraudsters are now targeting the details that are not so easy for insurers to verify, so these ABI figures are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg.”

Tony Smith, Chief Executive at Hawkwell said:
“Application fraud is endemic in the industry and the SSP solution enables us to combat this. While other options just check limited criteria like addresses and NCD, SSP Verify actively tracks data manipulation in real-time for the more difficult to identify criteria.

“We can’t afford to invest huge sums in buying information from all the available databases. With SSP Verify, we get a view across the whole insurance market in one place, providing essential protection that we can afford.”


New India Assurance Company

New India looks to the future with SSP solution

New India Assurance Company Ltd (NIA) has extended its partnership with SSP, a global provider of insurance technology, by upgrading to SSP Pure Insurance, improving its speed to market, agility and distribution capability.

SSP Pure Insurance is a flexible, end-to-end core insurance system which includes modules such as product development, policy administration and claims management. Improving on NIA’s legacy systems will provide access to enhanced broker distribution capabilities, as well as making it easier to bring innovative products to market, dynamically manage rate performance and distribute more efficiently.

NIA has been a customer of SSP since 1999 and wanted a legacy modernisation strategy focused on implementing a new system as painlessly as possible. This was a key factor in the decision to remain with SSP. NIA has already undertaken one upgrade of its software from a UNIX-based green screen platform to S4i. SSP delivers NIA with a low risk upgrade with no issues around the migration of data, and therefore enhanced business continuity.

A future phase will also see the introduction of web portals, with the potential for integration with the SSP Marketplace broker e-trading portal to distribute products to an even wider market.

Rupert Bidwell, SSP’s Head of Territory for Europe, Insurer, said:
“In a tough, competitive marketplace, standing still is not an option. We’re committed to moving our customers on to new technology so they can take full advantage of the digital revolution, achieve greater operational efficiency, and augment their data with information from third party sources to stay competitive in the marketplace.”

Girish Radhakrishnan, Chief Executive – UK at NIA, said:
“Over the past 15 years, SSP has become a trusted advisor due to the team’s thorough understanding of our business, and we’re pleased to continue with the next stage of our relationship.

“As a top 100 UK insurer, NIA is keen to look to the future and constantly evolve our strategy. SSP Pure Insurance is a modern future-proofed platform that will allow us to manage the entire business lifecycle from a single solution. The greater operational efficiency achieved through the automation of manual process will also empower our underwriters to spend more time working directly with brokers”.

Reduce risks and improve pricing with data enrichment

With more data available from more and more sources, it is critical insurers have a data strategy in place to gain a clear view of the risks and opportunities they face. Findings of a new white paper by SSP, a leading global provider of insurance technology solutions, shine a light on the wealth of knowledge available to insurers to deliver greater insight on individuals and businesses.

By augmenting clients’ risk details with this plethora of information, insurers can provide more accurate pricing and rating, as well as validating their existing data. As the number of available connections continues to rise, the ability to precisely evaluate risks is likely to lead to unique personalised pricing for each customer.

Such data enrichment increases the ability to manage risk, tackle fraud, build insights for new product design and or even boost the performance of company fleets. At the same time, insurers have a holistic view of individuals which allows them to provide customers with a more personalised and streamlined experience.

SSP’s paper explains how aggregating data from existing warehouses and third party sources makes it easier to recognise and evaluate trends. There are a wide range of data sources already available to insurers to augment their information, including:

Company data

  • Proof of existence checks for businesses
  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code
  • Company financial data
  • Full mortgage and charge details
  • Company capitalisation
  • Alert indicators
  • Legal data

Individual data

  • Proof of existence checks for directors
  • Full director disclosure
  • CCJs
  • Propensity to claim
  • Changed details at the application stage

Positional data

  • Telematics data
  • Geocoding
  • Smart devices and RFID tags
  • Local crime statistics for the area

However, insurers still have a huge amount to do to make the most of all the information available. SSP partner IBM estimates that 90% of all data generated by devices such as smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and applications is never analysed or used.1

SSP believes that data should be integral to providing solutions to the insurance industry. The SSP Intelligent Quotes Hub is delivering sophisticated rating and pricing capability using data from a variety of sources, creating a single customer view across all channels. By working with partners such as LexisNexis, Experian and Equifax to get the right data and then modelling this effectively, SSP is delivering real value to individual insurers.

Dean Richardson, Head of Insurer Sales, Europe at SSP, says:
“There is no downside for insurers to data enrichment; data offers so many benefits from enhanced risk management and reducing fraud, to better pricing and improving their customer experience. It is clear insurers must have a data strategy in place or risk being left behind.

“At SSP, we have invested heavily in developing SSP Intelligent Quotes Hub to produce unique data insights for insurers and intermediaries. Only with as much information as possible, insurers can trade and quote in the most accurate and profitable way.”

Data enrichment is evolving and is forecast to become essential for commercial insurers in the next 18 months. Those insurers which augment their data to achieve better pricing and customer segmentation will be able to maintain a competitive advantage and gain market share.