Insurance technology group Applied Systems is set to launch a new e-trade proposition designed to reinvigorate the current trading model with a range of enhanced features.
The pace of change with regards to the exploitation and use of new technologies within commercial insurance is accelerating. Insurers and brokers that embrace the new technology will be best placed to provide their customers with a service to suit their varying needs and preferences.
Initially billed as a disrupter to the marketplace – or more specifically, broker practices – e-trading is a relatively new concept to the commercial insurance space. Since its introduction, the technology has only served to benefit providers in the market. However, the rate of change and innovation within insurance has picked up pace over recent years, and we’re now beginning to see the “disrupters” become the “disrupted.”
Software specialist Applied Systems has announced preparations to launch its own disruption tool, called Epic, on the e-trading insurance market in Q4 2017. The new platform aims to provide brokers with essentially a one-stop-shop that brings together all of the necessary attributes required for intermediaries to service their clients better than the current e-trading models allow.
The group aims to achieve this by offering a new range of options designed to provide a more holistic and connected experience for the client. Among the features of the Epic platform are:
- The Applied Rating Hub, comprising insurer panels for personal and commercial lines, including insurer-hosted products.
- Sales automation and client relationship management, providing a tracking pipeline for new and existing business.
- An improved user experience where information is made available to brokers and customers in real-time, whenever and wherever it is needed.
- A downloadable, customizable mobile application used by both employees of Applied Systems and customers.
- Analytical reporting tools and integrated communication features to improve the understanding/mapping of customers.
Many brokers are yet to sign up to an e-trade platform and are currently operating on different legacy systems for the different types of business they offer, whether that be for the commercial or even personal lines. Epic is designed to overcome this very issue. By bringing all client data together into one secure system, this prevents the manual and arduous client reporting undertaken by many broker firms before the concept of e-trading grew to fruition.
The future for e-trading is bright, and will only improve the distribution of commercial insurance products. Evidently, the industry has been slow in its adoption but the progress made by existing models, and the development of propositions such as Applied Systems’ Epic, is encouraging. As a result, brokers should be more open-minded to the concept.
Current platforms offered by the likes of Acturis, Open GI (PowerPlace), and Polaris (imarket) have set the industry standard, and Epic is looking to build on the development and progression of the e-trade market. Mobility in this area should be embraced, and brokers should be encouraged to view e-trading as an additional “touchpoint” that can only improve the way they service their clients. This is in contrast to the idea of e-trade platforms taking away the value of a traditional conversation between broker and client – a view that has been widely held in the commercial insurance market. To some extent this may be true; however, the new features included on the Epic platform could help provide some insurers resolve this very issue.
By Thomas McCourtie, UK General Insurance Analyst