Filed Under:Carrier Innovations, Technology Solutions

To the Nines: Doing Your Homework When Shopping for a New Policy System

Suddenly things are coming in nines! The last Shop Talk article, published in the March edition of Tech Decisions, was written around answers to nine questions concerning core system implementation.  Recently my company received a questionnaire concerning policy administration system selection from a carrier doing its homework.  There were nine questions.

And they are good questions and should be of general interest so I decided to go with the nines thing again for this article.  So, my thanks to the carrier which submitted these questions (and who will remain anonymous in order to avoid a flood of unsolicited calls from policy admin system vendors). 

4. What approaches are being used for implementation?

Implementation approach should reflect the timelines and business drivers of the carrier.  However, where timelines allow, most carriers will implement in a phased approach, usually by some combination of function, line of business and geography.  Obvious issues arise and must be planned for where carriers sell lines of business together e.g. auto/home, or where the carrier sells multi-state commercial lines policies.  These kinds of details must be anticipated and resolved with the business stakeholders. 

6. How important is it that companies adhere to standards when selecting a system?  In other words, what should drive system selection—functionality or infrastructure standards?

It is critically important for a carrier to define a set of selection criteria and apply those criteria consistently in comparing and ultimately selecting a vendor.   A viable methodology for software selection should start with a series of group conversations with carrier stakeholders which are designed to catalogue, define, and rank those criteria that the carrier will use to assess vendors and ultimately choose one.  These criteria commonly include such categories as business functionality, support for business drivers, technology, partnership fit, vendor risk profile, price, terms and conditions, and additional services.

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