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In the family of core systems, billing often is viewed as the runt of the litter. The replacement of policy administration systems has overshadowed billing as insurance carriers focus on growth strategy first and customer service strategies second, according to Martina Conlon, a principal in Novarica’s insurance practice.

“We know that billing is a customer service application,” she says. “It’s a financial application, but is critical in customer service. As we see customer service being prioritized as a strategic goal, billing systems are becoming more of a priority.”

Karen Furtado, partner with Strategy Meets Action (SMA), finds that what drives carriers to think of changes in their billing systems is when they don’t have the capability of doing things for themselves that they see with their competitors.

“This can start to sway the scale as far as competitive differentiation,” says Furtado. “Billing is there to service. As long as it is highly serviceable, people don’t think of changing a component. If it is holding a company back they will change it, but they are trying not to reach that point.”

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