It’s no surprise that the Internet has become the primary channel for insurers to communicate with their agents. In fact, agent portals are now common in the industry, and portal projects continue to be a top priority for CIOs, as insurers seek to become easier to do business with and grab agent wallet-share, according to two new reports from Novarica.

This means that although earlier generations of portals were typically built rather than bought by insurers, a newly maturing vendor marketplace of portal solutions is capturing an increasing share of replacement and upgrade projects, notes Novarica. It’s latest Market Navigator reports profile 18 software packages designed for property/casualty and life/health/annuity insurers.

The reports note differences between the sectors’ requirements. “A robust property/casualty agent portal should provide comprehensive agent self-service capabilities, integrate with back end policy, billing and claims systems, as well as third-party data services and enterprise document management solutions,” said Novarica principal Martina Conlon, lead author of the property/casualty report.

“Life/annuity/health agent portals have evolved and become more of a strategic asset for insurers who are looking to increase agent efficiency and productivity, enable straight-through processing (STP), attract and retain agents and advisors, and manage regulatory and compliance issues,” said Novarica principal Don Desiderato, lead author of the life/annuity/health report.

The reports provide insurers with information on staff, functionality, organizational details, technology information, and current client bases of these vendors and their solutions.

Vendor solutions profiled in the P&C report include: CSC, Duck Creek Technology, FirstBest, Iter8, Multico, Oceanwide, PlanetSoft, Speedbuilder and Sword AgencyPort.

The Life/Health/Annuities report includes profiles of solutions from: Accenture, CSC, IBM Genelco, Insurance Technologies, Insurix, iPipeline, PlanetSoft, StoneRiver and SunGard.

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