Customers portals and policy administration systems a top priority for insurers

Customer portals and core policy administration systems are top technology initiatives for life and annuity insurers, according to a new Novarica report.

The insurance industry analyst found that the need for effective sales and marketing tools across multiple channels is a key driver for enrolment through portals, and that robust flexible administration is proving vital.

The Business and Technology Trends: Group Life/Annuity/Voluntary Benefits report said carriers were opting for incremental upgrades over “big bang” core system transformations, however.

“Vendors must grow their understanding of individual markets, as well as the linkages between billing and enrolment,” the report said.

The report also said that l ower priority technology initiatives include billing, business intelligence (BI), claims, customer relationship management (CRM), distribution management, document creation and management, rating, underwriting workstations, and specialised components.

“While lower priority, many of these components can contribute both cost savings as well as more efficient handling of transactions and payments. The lower priority of investment in BI should not be read as an indictment of its potential, as plan sponsor reporting and analytics capabilities, the ability to analyse participation, and understanding channel and producer productivity and profitability remain important.”

The report added that mobile devices also continue to make inroads: "Both members and plan sponsors see benefits (of mobile devices), such as the ability to submit claims or view policy information.”