Large insurance carriers that underwrite commercial lines face a daunting prospect when managing complex risks. Risk calculations are based on many moving parts, including varying levels of underwriter experience, data quality, market conditions, third-party data sources, and of course, fluctuating risk appetite. And then, if that weren't enough, the policy administration, claims and rating systems may not to talk to each other.

To add pressure, management and shareholders seek to lower combined ratios through smarter underwriting. With investment income no longer a reliable way to improve operating ratios, it's necessary to improve risk selection, pricing and business processes to deliver more predictable returns. So, CIOs and underwriting executives are deploying integrated, collaborative front-office systems. Flexible, rules-driven underwriting technologies can tie systems and people together across lines of business and geographies. In seeking to automate and integrate their underwriting systems, insurers hope to improve:

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