A new vendor report card from Novarica, a New York-based research and advisory firm, detects some ambivalence from insurers about their technology choices. The report, Insurance Technology Vendors Report Card 2009: Understanding Insurers’ Experience with Technology Vendors, was culled from 285 survey responses from insurer executives in the U.S.
The participants were asked to parse their contentment with their solutions according to five criteria, including staff, organization, functionality, and technology as well as overall satisfaction. When asked whether they would buy a particular solution again, only 59% said that they definitely would, while 31% weakly agreed and 9% responded that would be unlikely to make the same decision again.
While there a variety of reasons why an insurer may rue a technology purchase, one of the primary differentiators between high and low customer satisfaction is how aggressively a vendor improves a product through new releases and fixes, notes Matthew Josefowicz, director of the insurance practice at Novarica.
“One of the things insurers are looking for is not having to go up the learning curve by themselves,” he tells Insurance Networking News, noting that insurers are buying not only a product but also a vision that the product will be improved over time.
Given this, it’s not surprising then that insurers gave the highest grades of all five grading criteria to staff. “It was interesting to me that the staff score was pretty high,” he says. “Insurers seem to like the people they are working with more than the functionality of the solution itself.”
Another perhaps less surprising result is that when ranked by product class, policy administration systems, for both life/health and property/casualty, ranked low in overall satisfaction. These results did not come as a shock to Josefowicz.
“These are big complex systems that have a lot of potential points for failure,” he says. “Also, the direct impact of them may be less visible to the business side. Whereas systems document management systems and agent portals immediately have a huge effect on business users.”
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