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Commercial Insurers Hampered by Legacy Systems: Survey

FirstBest's survey of NAMIC Commercial Lines Conference attendees indicates that insurers are looking for the ability to underwrite risks faster.

Bedford, Mass.-based FirstBest, which provides underwriting systems for insurance companies, surveyed 64 attendees of the NAMIC Commercial Lines Conference last month, representing approximately 40 commercial P&C carriers, to find out their top organizational goals.

Fifty-two percent of respondents indicated they are most challenged by "time and expense required to update inflexible systems," while 38% cited "the need to balance consistency with flexibility." A further 36% said they "lack of data access and analysis tools," and one-quarter believe they are being held back by "organizational inertia and resistance to change."

[The 'sea change' in commercial lines]

About two-thirds of commercial lines carriers think optimizing underwriting quality and making more accurate decisions will help them grow and differentiate themselves from competition. Commercial lines carriers also want to increase responsiveness and speed up the application process (61%) and support ease of doing business for agents and brokers (47%).

"Carriers tell us that in order to profitably grow their business they need both speed and quality in the underwriting. This survey showed that many are held back by inflexible legacy systems that limit access to data and analytical tools," said John Belizaire, co-founder and CEO, FirstBest Systems, in a statement. "That's why many are deploying modern, configurable underwriting systems that enable faster responses, ready access to data, and better decisions while responding rapidly to market changes."

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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