Do you work for a specialty insurer, preferably one based in the U.S., Bermuda, Europe or London? If so, then research and consulting firm Celent has a report for you.

Entitled “Global Specialty Core Systems 2014: Specialty Core Systems Vendor Spectrum,” the report profiles 21 vendors and their 23 products that provide policy administration systems (PAS) and claims systems for specialty, excess and surplus insurance.

PAS solutions from Adaptik, eBao, Eurobase, FINEOS, Genasys, Guidewire, NIIT Technologies, OneShield, Sapiens, Wildnet and other providers are compared across several markets, including Lloyd’s, European specialty (non-Lloyd’s), offshore, and North American specialty. Points of comparison include:
• Where the solution is used
• The number of insurers using it
• The number of business lines it supports
• The technology stack it runs on

“An insurer considering a new PAS today can choose among a number of attractive and capable systems, writes Craig Beattie, the report’s author and a U.K.-based senior analyst at Celent. “This report allows such an insurer to see what solutions might meet both its business needs and its technology standards.”

 But Beattie also notes that “The number of vendors profiled in this report may at first suggest to the reader that this is a competitive space offering significant choice for the buyer. However, each insurer will have a unique set of requirements in lines of business and countries. The combination of these criteria will limit the choice of proven vendors.”

The PAS and claims products differ in their ability to meet the unusual product-configuration needs of specialty, excess and surplus insurers. In part, that’s because the structure of when and how insurers participate in losses is highly customizable. For example, one insurer can specify that it participates only when losses are in excess of a given level, say, from $10 million to $20 million. Another can specify how total eligible losses are aggregated and limited. Yet another can set the premium and loss-payment currencies. Also, some PAS and claims products let insurers aggregate, analyze and monitor risks across geography, hazard type and other dimensions.

The specialty insurance sector increasingly needs both agility and global reach. “Brokers and policy writers value products that are responsive to their particular risk exposures and risk financing strategies,” Beattie writes. “Complex wholesaler/retailer distribution structures are common. Groups of underwriters migrate from carrier to carrier with some regularity. One insurer’s catastrophe is another insurer’s opportunity.”

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