Cedar Rapids, Iowa - A recent online survey on P&C insurance technology reveals that leading carriers have become adept at dealing with customers and business partners online. However, virtually all carriers recognize that there is room for improvement and that they must continuously improve their underlying technology to better serve their customers and enhance their competitive position. The results from a survey conducted by Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based technology provider Fiserv Inc. indicates critical business needs and the projects and technologies insurance carriers have underway to address them.Seventy-five percent of respondents agreed that one of their next three large-scale projects would involve their core system for maintaining insurance coverage information. Access to complete and immediate information allows the carrier to respond more effectively and efficiently. Sixty-seven percent said an agency interface or comparative rating system would be on their list of projects planned. Billing and claims projects to make things smoother for the customer tied at 42%.

Respondents—consisting of 24 CIOs and/or technology executives—noted that the top three most important technologies for their organization included a data access layer (67%) that enables easier availability of decision-making information, business process management (46%) to streamline processes for highest efficiency and Java technology (42%).

"The survey results show an increasing focus by P&C insurers on effectiveness as well as efficiency," says Todd Eyler, chief technology officer of Fiserv Insurance. "The most important technology focus is now on data accessibility so companies offer the best insurance products for their markets and make better decisions using business intelligence/analytics applications. P&C insurers want to improve effectiveness in key areas like their pricing and rating approaches, their customer segmentation and marketing approaches, and their underwriting and claims outcomes. This level of focus on data and analytics is a new emphasis for most P&C insurers."

Survey responses indicated that improved customer service, enhanced business management and ease of conducting business with a carrier were the most important business requirements for innovation.

"P&C insurers continue to focus on simplifying their operations between their customers and agents and their technology infrastructure," says Gary Sherne, president of P&C Systems Solutions for Fiserv Insurance. "This focus is driving the interest in Web-based rating and more efficient information sharing between insurance carriers and agents for prompt customer service."

Source: Business Wire, Fiserv Inc.

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