SSP partners with Bexhill UK for innovative finance solution

Bexhill UKInsurance technology specialist SSP announced today that it has partnered with Bexhill UK in the premium finance company’s first software house integration.

The addition of Bexhill UK to SSP’s integrated premium finance panel provides brokers with more premium finance options for their customers. Premium finance enables customers to spread the cost of their insurance premiums and budget more effectively.

As well as increasing the range of providers for direct premium finance — where the provider pays the full cost of the policy to the broker and then collects regular payments from the customer — the strategic alliance with Bexhill UK also enables brokers using SSP’s platform to set up their own in-house premium finance company.

In-house premium finance gives brokers the unique choice to provide finance to their clients and have greater control over their premium finance business.

Adrian Coupland, Managing Director, Data and Distribution at SSP said: “I am delighted that this strategic alliance with Bexhill UK enables us to offer an innovative premium finance solution to our brokers.

“As a result, they can improve their competitive edge and profitability while providing their customers with excellent service and cost-effective finance.”

Ravi Takhar, CEO at Bexhill UK said: “SSP is the software house I have been most impressed by and I really appreciate the efforts of the team there. We have a number of clients already using SSP, and in our minds it was the most effective system for Bexhill UK to integrate with.

“I’m excited that SSP understands our vision and the benefits of insurance brokers creating an in-house finance solution. I look forward to developing a strong and long-lasting relationship with SSP that will ultimately benefit the UK insurance broking industry.”

SSP enhances commercial lines trading with web chat launch

Insurance technology specialist SSP has launched the Polaris imarket live-chat service on its commercial e-trade platform this month. Allianz Insurance is the first UK insurer to go live with this integrated web chat functionality, and other insurers are due to implement it shortly.

The imarket live-chat service enables SSP’s brokers to chat online with underwriters at Allianz in real-time to ask any questions about its rates and products. By being able to communicate easily and directly with an insurer without leaving the SSP application, brokers can get the answers they need to continue placing the business.

With such increased ease of engagement, brokers have greater confidence in the rates and more trade will be kept within the e-trade space.

Ron Atkinson, Head of Distribution Relationships at SSP said: “SSP has an excellent track record in the personal lines space, and we have brought all our functions together to employ the same methodology to commercial lines. The launch of the imarket live-chat service on our platform is confirmation of SSP’s commitment to the commercial lines market and to getting things done quicker.

“By revitalising our approach and introducing innovative initiatives such as live-chat, we are helping to drive adoption of commercial e-trading. Our brokers offer a source of significant untapped GWP for insurer partners. As we add more insurers to the panel, our brokers will benefit from greater efficiencies, freeing them to provide the advice and support customers want in order to deliver the best service possible.”

Julie Tongue, Digital Trading Manager, Allianz Insurance said: “Allianz is delighted to be the first insurer to deploy live-chat with SSP. Live-chat provides brokers with an alternative method to contact our team of expert SME underwriters and makes it easier for our customers to do business with us. It allows brokers to remain within the e-trading journey whilst contacting Allianz in real-time, providing operational efficiencies for both parties.”

SSP helps policyholders weather the storm with Flood Re policies

Flood ReThree of the UK’s tier one insurers have signed up for SSP’s Flood Re panel, launched this month. The move underlines the insurance technology specialist’s commitment to working with insurers and brokers to serve the entire insurance market.

Flood Re was launched by the UK government to help make insurance more affordable to homeowners in areas prone to flooding, who tend to be more limited in choice and subject to higher premiums.

By joining the panel the insurers will be able to offer at-risk policyholders affordable premiums and lower excesses based on their individual circumstances through the intermediated market, even if they have previously claimed after a flood.

SSP connects to the Flood Re Property Data Hub to capture the council tax band and other relevant risk data. This is fed into SSP’s centralised rating, pricing and quotation solution, Intelligent Quotes Hub, enabling the Flood Re premium to be considered with other risk factors in determining the overall home insurance price for each at-risk customer.

As more insurers join the panel, policyholders will have a wider range of Flood Re-backed policies to choose from. So whether they are obtaining a new quote or renewing their cover, homeowners in high risk areas will be able to shop around in a similar way to other policyholders.

Adrian Coupland, Managing Director, Data and Distribution at SSP said: “An increased prevalence of flooding means this is no longer just a winter issue, so it is important we pull together as an industry to provide protection and choice for affected policyholders. “With three major insurers already signed up, we are making significant headway and looking to engage with other insurers who have registered for the Flood Re scheme to protect the most at-risk properties through offering an even greater choice of cover.”

SSP invests in insurer relationships with new appointment

Scott HolmesSSP, a leading global provider of insurance technology solutions, has strengthened its Data and Distribution division with the appointment of a new Relationship Manager Scott Holmes.

The move follows the appointment of Siân Nicholls and confirms the company’s commitment to proactively developing its products and partnerships through continued investment in people and the business.

Reporting directly to Ron Atkinson, Head of Distribution Relationships, Holmes will manage and grow SSP’s relationships with its insurer and data partners. He will also be responsible for identifying innovative propositions that enable SSP’s customers to benefit from a wider range of products and services, while taking forward current solutions such as SoteriaDrive, its telematics offering, and Keychoice, the company’s insurance distribution business.

Holmes brings a wealth of insurance industry experience to the role, having held a number of positions focused around product and development. He joins SSP from Sompo Canopius, where he managed the relationships with software houses. Prior to this, he delivered key telematics and data enrichment strategies at LV=Broker.

“I’m very excited to join SSP at a time of extensive growth in the team,” said Holmes. “With insurers facing a tough set of challenges to remain profitable, I’m looking forward to using my knowledge and expertise to help our partners develop new revenue streams, take the fight to fraudsters, reduce their operational expenditure and retain more customers.”

Speaking about the appointment, Atkinson said: “I am delighted to welcome Scott to our team. Our position in the broker market meant we wanted to appoint a Relationship Manager with a proven track record of building relationships and delivering unique schemes and solutions to brokers. Scott’s appointment confirms our commitment to the broker market at a time of great change in the industry.

“Scott will be key in enabling both insurers and brokers to benefit from the market-leading data intelligence our partners provide. Our continued focus on innovation puts SSP at the forefront of identifying the next new thing in the data space. When our partners ask us for something, they can be certain we have the knowledge to deliver.”

SSP celebrates most successful year in Africa

Steve Lathrope

Steve Lathrope, Chief Customer Officer at SSP comments on SSP’s progress in the African market, and its commitment to offering insurers in the region the rich, broad functionality required to deliver their growth and efficiency plans.

SSP, a leading global provider of general insurance technology systems and solutions, continues to expand its African insurer customer base, and is delighted to announce one go-live and four new deals so far in 2016. These are delivered and supported by SSP’s South African operations, demonstrating the company’s continued commitment to serving the needs of the African insurance market.

In all cases, SSP has provided a new strategic solution based on SSP Pure Insurance, a flexible end-to-end core insurance system for all lines of business, with a fully integrated broker portal that supports full-cycle trading. This provides a single solution for policy administration, claims management, finance, reinsurance and product configuration, with support for e-trading across the broker community.

The mix of deals includes one existing customer migrating from their current SSP system to the new strategic solution, one returning client and three new customers, across Zimbabwe and Kenya.

SSP now works with three out of the top five insurers in Zimbabwe based on assets and four out of the top eight in terms of GWP.

One of the new customers is Resolution, a top 10 Kenyan insurer. Having begun life as a health insurer, Resolution has now adopted SSP Pure Insurance for its move into the general insurance market. This new technology, coupled with backing from a private equity firm, has enabled Resolution to forecast 25% annual compound growth for the next five years.

“SSP is the partner we have chosen for the next stage of our strategic growth based on the depth of functionality available in the solution and its self-service capabilities,” says Alice Mwai, Managing Director at Resolution Insurance.

Steve Lathrope, Chief Customer Officer at SSP, says, “These deals demonstrate SSP’s progress in the African market, and that we are committed to offering insurers in the region the rich, broad functionality required to deliver their growth and efficiency plans.

“As SSP continues to make significant investments in its systems and solutions, we offer existing and new customers the right product in the right place, enabling them to be competitive in their markets.”

SSP strengthens insurer relationships with new appointment

SSP has strengthened its commitment to the broker market with the appointment of a new insurer relationship manager Siân Nicholls.

Reporting directly to Ron Atkinson, Head of Distribution Relationships, Nicholls will work closely with the company’s personal and commercial lines insurer partners to gain greater insight into their ongoing e-trading strategies, and help them to extend their distribution capabilities and introduce new products and services.

“I am delighted to be joining the company at such an exciting time, with all of SSP’s innovation and progress in rating and data leadership,” said Nicholls. “The broker channel is an important part of insurers’ income streams, so I am keen to explore with SSP’s partners how they can develop new schemes or enhance existing ones to extend their distribution capabilities.”

Her role complements the work of the existing relationship management team. As insurers look to adopt new models to maintain their profitability in an increasingly competitive and challenging market, Nicholls’ expertise will put SSP at the forefront of understanding insurers’ needs and developing its propositions accordingly.

Speaking about the appointment, Ron Atkinson said: “We want to put SSP at the front of insurers’ minds for relationships and trading, so we are the first people they speak to when they want to do something.

“Moving our insurer relationships forward in terms of level and service is a key part of achieving this. With proven experience in maintaining existing and new relationships with insurers, brokers and underwriters in a software house environment, Siân’s outstanding track record over the last 15 years will enable SSP to deliver a tangible competitive advantage for both personal and commercial lines insurers.”

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”.