Ando Insurance goes live with SSP Pure Insurance solution

Newly founded New Zealand-based Ando Insurance has started operating SSP Pure Insurance solution after an eight-month implementation phase.

SSP, a leading global provider of insurance technology solutions, was selected by Ando Insurance to provide its Pure Insurance solution in New Zealand late last year.

Ando Insurance provides multi-lines insurance, challenging the traditional insurance company model with a new, simplified business approach, based on customer-centric technology, smart processes and an experienced team.

Created by former Lumley CEO John Lyon and a group of partners, and in conjunction with Hollard Insurance of Australia, Ando has achieved great business growth since launching into the market in 2016.

Paul Miller, SSP general manager, Asia Pacific, said Ando’s dedication and commitment in working together with SSP to achieve a full commercial lines policy administration implementation in less than twelve months was commendable.

“In such a short timeframe, Ando has revealed a disruptive force in the New Zealand market and it is great that the SSP Pure Solution is able to underpin and support their innovative business model,” Mr Miller said.

Ando Insurance COO, Dean Edwards, said that as an agile and focused business, without any legacy baggage, Ando was uniquely placed to take advantage of emerging trends in the industry, such as disruption to the traditional insurance value chain, and new distribution channels.

“SSP Pure Insurance equips us with the agility and flexibility to rapidly launch innovative propositions into the market, which are tailored to meet the individual needs of our customers. As a strategic partner, SSP has played an integral part in developing Ando’s innovative model further,” Mr Edwards said.

SSP Pure Insurance is an easily implemented, flexible, end-to-end core insurance system solution, providing all the key components needed to manage an insurance operation, including policy administration, product development, claims management, finance, reinsurance and co-insurance as well as inbuilt document management, task management and business analytics.

Regulatory uncertainty drives insurers towards more agile hosted technology

  • 55% of insurers see hosted Software as a Service (SaaS) technology as a way to cope with fast changing regulatory requirements
  • Insurers turning their backs on large-scale core IT system implementation programmes in favour of more agile, quick-to-deploy solutions, says SSP
  • 82% would consider deploying SaaS (whether throughout all business lines, on major lines, in niche / orphan lines or as a test)

Insurer adoption of cloud hosted ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) technology is set to grow as a response to unprecedented regulatory change, according to new research from insurance technology specialist, SSP. 82% of insurers are considering deploying SaaS technology within their business in some form, with 55% citing its ability to enable them to respond to regulatory changes as the overall the most recognised benefit.

The research, which surveyed 94 senior insurance decision makers and insurance IT professionals, also found that insurers see SaaS as a way of making their businesses more nimble.  Just under half of insurers see cost reductions (48%) and increased product speed to market (47%) among the benefits of SaaS technology. This is possible because SaaS technology moves insurers away from costly ‘on premise’ installations to a more rapidly deployable, externally hosted and managed model.

There are strong indications that SaaS is becoming more mainstream solution across the industry. Amongst insurers considering implementing SaaS, more than half (59%) said they would across their whole business, compared to 34% who would consider deploying the technology across selected niche or orphan business lines.

However, some insurers remain concerned about a perceived loss of control in moving their software to a SaaS model with a quarter (27%) of respondents saying this is a barrier to adoption. SSP believes that the flexibility provided by SaaS solutions will swing opinion in the long term and expects 80% of its insurance policy administration clients to move to a SaaS model by 2020. 

Stephen Lathrope, Chief Customer Officer at SSP said:
“Insurers tell us again and again that they need their IT systems to be able to respond more quickly to changing demands on their businesses and enable them to take advantage of emerging market opportunities. Compared to traditional “on premise” systems which typically involve expensive and time consuming development and installation, SaaS-based solutions provide new and enhanced capabilities more rapidly and at lower cost.  By having these capabilities delivered to them via specialist providers, insurers can focus their time and money more on innovation within their business, and less on keeping their technology up to date.

“This approach is particularly useful when dealing with the level of change that we see resulting for the current regulatory climate. Insurers have been grappling with Flood Re, changes in the Insurance Premium Tax and the Competition and Markets Authority’s reforms to motor insurance to name just a few. Having these changes handled for them by their service provider reduces the level of distraction within their own teams, enabling them to focus on competing in the marketplace”.

Insurance: Understanding and responding to the Internet of Things

Social media, mobile, cloud and big data are all driving incredible change in the industry at present, and the Internet of Things (IoT) uses all of these things. While the Gartner Hype Cycle shows all of these elements, as well as additional concepts such as the connected home, autonomous vehicles, data science and mobile health monitoring, as separate notions, they are in fact heavily intertwined from an insurance perspective.

“The IoT will drive change in existing core business models, generating new models that unlock additional sources of revenue using IoT data and digital solutions,” says Rhys Collins, Head of African Operations for SSP. “Insurers are currently focused on the Connected Car, the Connected Home and Connected Self. As we begin to understand the data provided by these connected devices, the nature of risk will change and they will be reduced through new behaviours – better driving, better security, better health. In other words, risks can start to be managed by the insurer proactively. New insurance products will emerge as a result. The Internet of Things will shift market boundaries and lead to new value propositions.”

However, according to the FC Business Intelligence, IOT Insurance Survey 2015, although 57% of the insurance companies surveyed ranked IoT as a top priority for insurance, only 33% say they have a clear plan for implementing IoT into their business model.

“Digitisation and distribution of operations is vital for insurers to stay competitive, and it’s even more vital now that IoT generates massive amounts of data that must be analysed and understood for responsive development to take place,” says Collins. “Startups and other new companies that are able to analyse the data and create tailored consumer products accordingly will create an unprecedented level of disruption in the industry.”

Gartner’s definition of digitalisation has a technically oriented component, dealing specifically with digital transactions, and a business-oriented component, meaning the overall digital experience. “However, insurers often fail to embrace digitalisation holistically, mistakenly interpreting the term as simply meaning more internet sales or more self-service, thereby focussing on the technical aspect of digitalisation only. This means that while they are looking at digital transactions, the fundamental business models are not changing.”

The second element of Gartner’s definition of digitalisation, digital experience, focusses on the degree to which the business model relies on digital capabilities to generate value. A digitalized insurer can increase client satisfaction, improve collaboration with intermediaries or generate additional premium income by applying digital resources to create a new type of value proposition. This will generally extend beyond mimicking analogue-based business models.

Still today many insurance CIOs focus on support for running the business, dealing with legacy systems and automating internal business process. As a result, there is not much IT leadership related to front-office, customer-facing activities and digital products and experiences. However, for an insurance organisation to become truly digitised, information and technology needs to add more value in the front office, beyond transactional mid- and back-office processes. “Insurance CIOs have the opportunity to take a more leading role in shaping digitalisation strategies and implementing an enterprise wide strategy. Based on several sets of insurance IT benchmarking data, Gartner estimates that 70% of the average insurer’s annual IT budget is already spent on front-office-related activities. Insurance CIOs will eventually risk losing control of these budgets if they do not proactively address the business priorities of internal stakeholders,” explains Collins.

So how can insurers better position themselves to understand the implications and respond to the IoT? “Assess the current degree of digitalization in your enterprise, and the strategic role it will play in your future strategy. Identify the relevant stakeholders, their interests in digitalisation, and potential gaps between expectations and current status. Implement an appropriate change culture within your organization to foster further digitalisation.”

Collins says a new chief digital officer (CDO) role has emerged, the person who is seen as a change agent leading and coordinating digital input into corporate strategy and the stakeholder digital experience. However, if your organisation is not in a position to create a new Chief Digital Officer role, consider the possible benefits of having your CIO claiming digital leadership. Evaluate credibility, skills and capacity for performing this role. If some areas are lacking, get an understanding of what training and direction is required for your CIO or IT leadership team to fulfill this role.

Finally, resist the temptation to either manage digitalisation tactically or spread digital leadership among too many different organizational units, such as marketing, IT and customer service. “This approach is likely to lead to suboptimal results,” advises Collins.

It’s inevitable that tech giants like Google and Apple will step into this space, and if insurers want to keep a large share of new business and in fact broaden the scope of business linked to IoT, Collins recommends that they start putting IT solutions in place that will ready them to do so.

Brokers provide critical partner for African commercial insurers

With tough market conditions providing so little opportunity for growth, commercial insurers are starting to focus on brokers at the more profitable end of the market, either through niche products,  or by working with regional community brokers  who typically know their clients better, resulting in stickier, more profitable business.

“Commercial insurance can be highly complex because it needs to be more specific and tailored to the individual needs of businesses,” says Clinton Brown, Business Development Manager at SSP. “As a result, brokers are far more crucial partners for insurers in the commercial space than the personal one,” explains Brown, referring to a recent SSP white paper, Where next on the distribution journey?”.

Other insurers are looking at accessing emerging opportunities through UMAs (Underwriting Managing Agents) which have increased in popularity in the recent soft market conditions. The majority of UMAs focus on commercial insurance, and their smaller size and often specialist nature make them more agile and responsive to the broker channel. Brown says UMAs enable insurers to access products or services that the insurer would not be able to provide themselves. “This is especially true in terms of niche lines, where the cost of developing specific underwriting experience could otherwise be prohibitive.”

Alternatively, insurers may be looking to provide access through a greater number of brokers, but at a lower cost, through the networks and strategic partners underpinned by a technology solution. “Networks play a key role in the distribution of commercial insurance, providing value for both insurers and brokers alike. However,” cautions Brown, “insurers must work with a network or strategic partner that is easy to do business with and which offers the most value to their business in terms of greater efficiency, cutting costs and driving profits, rather than simply providing an aggregation of brokers.”

While brokers are the dominant distribution channel in the commercial space, they start to lose market share when it comes to SMEs and micro-SMEs, as business owners look to repeat their personal lines purchasing experience in the online space.

“Customers are open to using different channels concurrently or along the buying cycle, which means the industry needs to provide a seamless experience and recognise which channels a particular customer chooses to use. In the UK, for example, we are seeing a change in the way business owners purchase insurance, with a 35% increase in direct channel usage and a 22% increase in those who purchase their insurance online,” says Brown.

According to the white paper, while 51% of SMEs are still using brokers for their commercial insurance needs, 28% are likely to change channel at their next renewal date, with over half of microenterprises set to use aggregators.

“All of these factors are leading to a more digital commercial landscape, which mirrors the transformation that is taking the personal lines world by storm,” says Brown. “We’re seeing different buying behaviours from consumers who are more aware of the need for cost-effectiveness coupled with transparency, ease of doing business and faster turnaround.”

While this increased digitisation of the SME commercial market can be perceived as a threat, there are immense opportunities for insurers who can adopt a flexible, agile and simple approach to meet these demands from the new generation of purchasers. However, Brown advises insurers not to simply duplicate their existing business processes online. “Instead they need to deliver differentiated customer experiences and engagement by developing a well-thought-out, omni-channel approach for each segment that puts the customer at the heart of everything they do.”

With access to such a large number of successful brokers, commercial insurers can make the most of this dominant method of distribution while examining how they can exploit emerging channels such as digital. The challenge for insurers and brokers is to develop and implement a strategy that explores both the broker and digital distribution channels and enables them to realise their growth ambitions.

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”.

Commercial insurance seeing an increased demand for digitalisation

A number of insurers have successfully transformed their personal lines purchasing process into a more customer-centric, digital experience. SME business owners who have become accustomed to this level of customer intelligence in their personal capacity are looking to replicate the experience in the commercial space, too.

“Customers are open to using different channels concurrently or along the buying cycle which means the industry needs to provide a seamless experience and recognise their customer regardless of which channel they choose to use. In the UK for example we are seeing a change in the way business owners purchase insurance, with a 35% increase in business owners opting to use a direct channel and a 22% increase in those who purchase their insurance online,” says Rhys Collins, Head of African Operations for SSP. “While brokers are still the dominant distribution channel in the commercial space, they are starting to lose market share when it comes to SMEs and micro-SMEs as business owners look to repeat their personal lines purchasing experience.”

This is according to a recent SSP whitepaper, “Where next on the distribution journey”. The paper explains that while 51% of SMEs are still using brokers for their commercial insurance needs, 28% are likely to change channel at their next renewal date, with over half of microenterprises set to use aggregators.

“All of these factors are leading to a more digital commercial landscape, which mirrors the transformation that is taking the personal lines world by storm,” says Collins. “We’re seeing different buying behaviours from consumers who are more aware of the need for cost-effectiveness coupled with transparency, ease of doing business and faster turnaround.”

While this increased digitalisation of the SME commercial market can be perceived as a threat, there are immense opportunities for insurers who can adopt a flexible, agile and simple approach to meet these demands from the new generation of purchasers. “However, this does not mean that insurers should simply put their existing business processes online,” Collins cautions. “Instead they need to deliver differentiated customer experiences and engagement by developing a well thought out, omni-channel approach for each segment that puts the customer at the heart of everything they do.”

Insurers and brokers will have to decide whether they are capable of providing the omni-channel experience that businesses are coming to expect. If they are not capable of providing a convenient, consistent and interconnected service across all of their customer touch points, then consumers will see through the cracks, become frustrated, and go elsewhere to fulfil their insurance needs.

Collins explains that brokers and insurers need to ensure they have the systems and processes in place to enable this. With insurers and brokers of different sizes adopting diverse business models, some will need to focus on the digital capabilities required to operate effectively on a B2B basis, while others will want to immerse themselves fully in the digital world of the new consumer.

“In summary every insurance enterprise needs a digital strategy, knowing where in the changing market they will focus, which capabilities they need for the medium to long term, and how to manage the transition from their existing business model. They also need to set out the immediate actions required to make sure that they don’t get left behind in the short term, because the change is happening now, and it’s happening at a blistering pace,” concludes Collins.

Targeted innovation that resonates with all target audiences

Insurers who are able to innovate when it comes to the design and delivery of products and services will not only be fostering greater loyalty amongst their consumers, but they will also be helping to change the perception that the insurance industry is still playing catch up.

“African insurers have a great opportunity to improve business models and solutions in order to improve their experience and increase customer satisfaction,” says Clinton Brown, SSP Business Development Manager. “A recent Celent survey on innovation showed that consumers expect a high degree of innovation from their financial service providers, especially when it comes to service delivery. However, while most financial services professionals agree that innovation is essential for relating and engaging with customers, only a minority identify innovation as a critical part of their companies’ strategies.”

This is particularly true for “digital” consumers who are active in managing their finances and expect their insurers to be innovative. These consumers reported that they used technology-driven tools such as GPS location, online purchasing, mobile and video streaming, etc. Conversely, consumers who were less digitally inclined reported that they used three or fewer of these technologies.

“Innovation will be most widely accepted and celebrated amongst your early digital adopters consumers, so focussing technological improvements on this target group will have the highest probability of success,” Brown explains. “However, even within the digital consumers, enthusiasm for these initiatives varied by age group, suggesting that a broader; more experimental approach might most successfully resonate across the entire customer base.”

When it comes to appealing to the less digitised consumers, innovations should be positioned as simple, non-technical solutions to everyday problems. “Invest some resources in surveying and polling this customer base to find out what these solutions could be,” advises Brown. “Simply by starting these conversations, you begin to raise this target group’s awareness of the value of innovation.”

Administration service areas such as claims, online and mobile services, represent the most immediate innovation opportunities. Sales and product innovations will appeal to certain consumers, but for broad consumer resonance the clear focus should be service. Brown cautions that innovation around products and new ways of doing business will require more buy-in from the consumer, especially if it requires a change of behaviour and necessitates the consumer giving up their personal data in exchange for the benefit.

The expectation to innovate is forcing insurers to question how they relate and engage with their customers and in a landscape where more and more consumers are becoming digitised, they are also becoming more aggressive in their demands for improved services. Insurers that illustrate progress in this area will win and keep their customer’s loyalty.

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.

1 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/cheaper-car-insurance-and-working-around-the-weatherhow-ibm-is-using-data-in-its-new-2-billion-internet-of-things-unit-10146738.html