November 22, 2011

Torus Insurance (London) has successfully implemented Guidewire's (San Mateo, Calif.) ClaimCenter in under 12 months, thanks in significant measure to the carrier's carrier's hub-and-spoke technology architecture, wherein a data warehouse serves as the central point of integration for all core and ancillary systems. The carrier announced its selection of the Guidewire system Oct. 2010 and went live on the system Nov. 7, 2011.

"Most insurance IT organizations face about 80 percent integration and data migration, and 20 percent system configuration - For us that ratio is reversed," comments Michael Kim, Torus' chief administrative officer. "We begin with what is 20 percent for others, and we don't have much integration and data migration cost."

Torus went through a detailed RFP process and considered several systems to be its single, global claims platform, according to Kim. The carrier chose the Java-based ClaimCenter despite the fact that Torus is an almost exclusively Microsoft-oriented shop, with its only other departure from that standard being its Oracle (Redwood Shores, Calif.) financial management system. "ClaimCenter's business functionality won the day; the business loved the functionality and flexibility of the Guidewire product," Kim says. "IT loved its configurability and supportability."

Kim characterizes Torus' adoption of ClaimCenter as a demonstration of the carrier's "commitment to leverage the latest information technology to delivery consistent, high-level service in real-time to our customers throughout the quote, purchase and claims settlement process."

Rob Powell, the insurer's chief claims officer said the ClaimCenter choice reflected an aspiration to have a world-class claims team. "This initiative evidences our progress and allows us to demonstrate our success," he comments. "The investment [in ClaimCenter] clearly shows Torus' commitment to embed claims into the Torus brand. It underlines our willingness-to-pay philosophy."

Torus' technology architecture will limit the costs ongoing maintenance of the Guidewire system, according to Kim. "Other carriers typically need many more resources to support integration points and the complexity of the data; most costs for us are about the ongoing configuration enhancements with small integration work," he explains. "So from a maintenance perspective it's also a source of competitive advantage for us."

Kim notes that when in discussions with Guidewire, the software vendor provided an estimate of ongoing resource requirements. Because of Torus' hub-and-spoke technology architecture, Kim says, "we were able to say, 'We only need half of that because our technology environment is much simpler," and we went with much more out-of-the-box capability."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek ...