Insurers that haven't started to integrate their diverse internal systems yet are facing what may be a slow and expensive process, says Brad Murphy, chief executive officer of DigitalEsp, an electronic commerce consulting company based in Raleigh, N.C."The insurance industry has not been an early adopter of new technology. Insurers have been early or late followers, acquiring technology slowly, only where needs are clearly documented," he says. As a result, insurers are filled with old, large systems that can be expensive to replace with integrated technology.

Murphy says one property/casualty insurance client with about $800 million in annual premium volume will spend $5 million to $10 million in system integration, just to deal with internal integration.

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