Solid billing capabilities are an indispensable feature of policy management, but it's customer service rather than mere administrative efficiency that animated Amica's selection of a new billing system, according to Maribeth Williamson, the Lincoln, R.I.-based insurer's VP and controller. Carriers continue — rightly — to obsess over their ability to transition from being policy- to customer-centric, and billing is a key component of that ambition.
"Billing is one of our most frequent touch points with our customers, so it is a high priority to us," comments Williamson, "The way in which we bill, how we answer billing questions, how we process payments and the payment options we offer are critical to our relationship with our customers."
As Celent's Mike Fitzgerald notes in an upcoming report, billing has moved from its traditional role as the most "back office" of back office processes to a critical customer-facing capability:
Insurers have realized the strong role that billing, and especially the quality of service provided during the billing process, can play in financial operations and in building relationships with customers and distributors. Insurers understand that although their old billing systems may have been adequate for current practices in core bill issuance and collections, they will not meet the challenge of higher service expectations from today's consumers, business customers, and especially distribution partners.
Amica has selected Guidewire BillingCenter as its new billing management system for all of its lines of business in all states, according to a company statement. Owing to the carrier's existing relationship with the vendor, the decision places Amica in the company of other full Guidewire InsuranceSuite customers, such as Nationwide, which we wrote about last week. Amica has been in production with Guidewire ClaimCenter since 2008 and is in the process of implementing Guidewire PolicyCenter.
[For more on Guidewire's Nationwide win, see Nationwide Expands Guidewire Relationship to Include Policy Admin and Billing.]