Smaller Insurance Companies Gain Edge with SaaS Solutions

Cloud Technology

Traditionally larger companies have access to more resources and capital than smaller firms. The same holds true for top-tier insurance firms. With large insurers acquiring leading technologies and business solutions, as well as the tools to market their brand, products and services, where does this leave the mid-small sized insurance companies? Many have turned to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) implementation and deployment models for help. Using a cloud-based, SaaS solution creates a technical environment that provides for flexibility and a more nimble company overall.

SaaS models offer insurers the basic out-of-the-box capabilities and interfaces, reducing the typical time associated with implementing a modern core insurance system. Cloud solutions also give insurers a pricing model that is built in on a monthly basis, creating price and cost certainty. Often running on a robust hosted environment that incorporates industry best practices, cloud solutions provide a modern platform that helps insurers compete regardless of their size.

In an increasingly competitive market, SaaS solutions benefit insurers, whether small, regional or start-up, by improving their agility and business capabilities. If you aren’t yet convinced, here are some advantages of SaaS in a nutshell:

1) Quick to Deploy: SaaS does not require any software to be installed, you can access your new software almost immediately.

2) Affordable, No Large Upfront Costs: SaaS is usually sold on a subscription basis that includes upgrades, maintenance and some customer support.

3) Work Anywhere: SaaS solutions can be accessed anytime and anywhere there is an internet connection.

4) Backups & Data Recovery Is Done For You: Backups are performed automatically without user intervention and ensures the integrity of your data.

5) Zero Infrastructure: The complexity of the IT infrastructure is handled completely by your SaaS vendor so you don’t have to worry about the maintenance of hardware.

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The P&C Digital Transformation

P&C Ditgital Transformation

Over the past few years, technology has transformed the insurance industry at an exponential rate. Insurers expect that many insurance companies’ digital strategy will work towards acquiring and expanding their technical capabilities.

Accenture recently released a survey that polled 141 C-level executives at P&C and life insurance companies and this is what they’ve found:
- 59% expect their industry peers to buy digital insurance startups over the next 3 years.
- 43% have already made such acquisitions or plan to make them in the near future.
- 44% cited technology companies such as Google or Facebook as potential partners.
- 61% offer or are considering offering digitally focused non-insurance products such as home security, smart sensors, and car maintenance.

The goal here is to maximize the benefits of the digital transformation in the insurance industry in order to increase the amount of customer touch points and demonstrate greater value. Senior managing director of Accenture’s global insurance practice said in the release of this survey, “Insurers realize that digital technology will transform the way they operate, and we believe that the industry is entering an unprecedented period of change, which will lead to totally new products, services, and business models.”

Not ready for the digital transformation? Not to worry – Novarica has recently released a 6-step checklist to prepare for the P&C digital transformation:

1.) Identify key trends and business processes that will be affected.
2.) Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
3.) Understand maturity of key practice areas (business & application architecture).
4.) Conceptualize future business capabilities and needs.
5.) Optimize project prioritization process.
6.) Adopt a test-and-learn culture for digital transformation.

Check out the full checklist here.

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The Cloud Revolution

The Cloud Technology Revolution

“The cloud is the new normal.” At least that is what Andy Jassy, the head of Amazon Web Services believes. During his keynote address at AWS’ annual re:Invent converence in Las Vegas, Jassy explained that, “Companies of every size are deploying new applications by default to the cloud and large companies are trying to work out how to migrate more of their applications as fast as possible.”

Rather than being confined to a supportive role in the world of enterprise IT, innovative leaders in the industry are proclaiming that the cloud will disrupt all existing enterprise infrastructure. The flexibility to meet bandwidth needs along with the increase in efficiency and cost savings on technology infrastructure and capital is a big incentive for most companies.

According to a survey performed by Gigaom Research, 53% of large enterprises say they already do or are planning to use public cloud resources for analytic needs when it comes to big data. Only 13% say that they would use private data centers for all analytic processes.

However, in order for the cloud to become the basis of all enterprise IT operations, it is necessary to understand and address the issues and concerns that come along with cloud adaptation. Security considerations, lack of existing industry certifications, and the complexity of the cloud and its impact on existing processes, tools, and infrastructure are significant concerns to those in the industry.

With major players like Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft investing time and money into improving their cloud based service offerings, it is only a matter of time before the cloud revolution profoundly impacts businesses of all types.

Contact DataCede to learn more about our cloud technology services.

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CedeRight Reinsurance Administration Service Fully Integrated with Insurity Products

Press Release:
Insurity Completes Integration of CedeRight Reinsurance Solution with Insurity’s Insurance Decisions Product Suite and Insurance Enterprise View (IEV)

Insurity adds modern reinsurance solution as an integrated component of its solution suite – enabling a single end-to-end core processing platform for P&C carriers.

HARTFORD, CT (September 24, 2013) –Insurity, Inc., a provider of core insurance processing software and services, today announced that it has completed integration of DataCede’s CedeRight Reinsurance Solution with Insurity’s Insurance Enterprise View (IEV) as well as the Insurance Decisions Suite, Insurity’s set of comprehensive core insurance processing applications — policy administration, billing, claims, reporting and portal solutions.

Insurity announced its partnership with DataCede in September of last year. The integration went smoothly and is already being implemented at a number of current Insurity carrier client companies.

With CedeRight Reinsurance Solution fully integrated with the Insurance Decisions Suite and Insurance Enterprise View, Insurity can deliver to its clients and other carriers in the property and casualty (P&C) market a single end-to-end, and fully integrated platform that now also includes reinsurance administration. The proven CedeRight Reinsurance Solution serves as an ideal complement and extension to the Insurity suite of products, providing P&C carriers a single-source for their modernization efforts which typically include a combination of legacy replacement and consolidation of multiple legacy systems. The integrated, end-to-end solution is also ideal for startup carriers looking for a proven and single-platform to support all core processing needs.

“Working with the DataCede team on the integration effort has been a great experience for Insurity. With both our organizations focused on delivering a high quality reinsurance system that fits perfectly with our Insurance Decisions Suite and IEV, our clients are offered the best of both worlds – P&C with integrated reinsurance administration,” said Jeffrey Glazer, president and CEO, Insurity. “We believe the insurance industry needs more of this type of cooperation between technology vendors. Everyone from vendor to carrier and insureds benefits when the focus of any project is bringing value to the carrier.”

About Insurity
Headquartered in Hartford, CT, Insurity, Inc. provides policy administration, claims, billing, and analytics software to more than 100 insurance companies. A market leader in deploying policy administration software and full service solutions to the property & casualty insurance market, Insurity’s solutions process billions of dollars of premium each month and address the needs of all carriers – large and small, national or regional, commercial, personal, or specialty lines writers, as well as MGAs. For more information about Insurity, call 860-616-7721 or visit

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2012 Catastrophe Infographic

The US had a fare share of the global natural catastrophe losses in 2012. Below is a very interesting look at some important statistics graphically represented by our good friends at We hope you enjoy and here’s to a very quiet hurricane season in the US and around the globe.

The Cost of Catastrophe

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DataCede to expand their Technology Offerings with Quality Assurance Testing

DataCede will partner with Maveric Systems a recognized leader in global testing and quality assurance

PRINCETON N. J. (March 18 , 2013) – DataCede, a leading provider of technology, consulting, and outsourcing services today announced it has signed a multiyear services agreement to offer comprehensive testing and quality assurance practices to the underserved US market. DataCede will launch its new service offering under the registered name “TestRight powered by Maveric”.

Joseph Zarandona, DataCede’s CEO, commented, “Assimilating testing methodologies on the frontend of IT projects and utilizing sophisticated backend toolsets on applications can provide measurable cost reductions in time-to-market and hard dollars savings especially when applied to technology intensive businesses like Insurance and the Financial Services Industry. We have worked closely with Maveric Systems for years and have found them to be the best quality alternative to the bloated multi-national firms who overprice and underperform for their smaller clients”.

“With significant client acquisitions over the last year in the Banking and Insurance space, we are excited to build upon our substantial expertise and develop a strong local delivery partner with DataCede in the US. DataCede’s current client base and its global operations here in Chennai will afford us the opportunity to provide outstanding nearshore and offshore testing services to complement their already strong technology development base” said Mr. Ranga Reddy, CEO and Co-founder, Maveric Systems.

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Goldman looks to sell major stake in reinsurance group

In preparation for rules requiring the bank to hold more capital, Goldman Sachs Group is looking to sell a majority stake in its $1.4 billion (874.7 million pounds) reinsurance group, the firm’s incoming chief financial officer, Harvey Schwartz, said Wednesday on the firm’s earnings call.

“Given the Basel III capital changes that we incur as an owner of our own reinsurance business, we are considering a potential sale of a majority stake in the business,” Schwartz said on the call.

Goldman is trying to sell 75 percent of Goldman Sachs Reinsurance Group, now renamed Global Atlantic, for around $1 billion, according to a copy of its January presentation to potential buyers that was viewed by Reuters.

The Insurance Insider first reported Goldman was looking to sell the reinsurance group.

The move to sell control of the reinsurance unit, which generates a steady stream of fees, comes less than a year after Goldman bought Ariel Re’s Bermuda-based insurance and reinsurance operations in April (Paris: FR0004037125 – news) . Banks are looking to sell businesses they see as non-core to meet new capital requirements.

Global Atlantic is composed of a $950 million life and annuity business and a $450 million property and casual business.

Goldman reported net revenue of $1 billion in 2012 related to its reinsurance business, up from $880 million in 2011, in its fourth-quarter earnings released on Wednesday morning, marking the first time the firm has broken out these figures.

Overall, Goldman said its fourth-quarter earnings nearly tripled, driven by big gains in stock and bond values, increased revenue from deal making and lower compensation expenses.

The fifth-largest U.S. bank by assets, reported earnings of $2.8 billion, or $5.60 per share, up from $978 million, or $1.84 per share, in the same period a year ago.
By Jessica Toonkel | Reuters

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U.S. reinsurers performing well in 2012: RAA

The North American reinsurance sector posted a strong financial performance during the first three quarters of 2012, according to data released Monday by the Washington-based Reinsurance Association of America.

The 19 U.S. property/casualty reinsurers in the RAA survey collectively wrote $22.87 billion of net premiums during the first nine months of 2012, an 11.3% increase from the amount written during the same period in 2011.

Moreover, the group’s average combined ratio improved to 91.8% for the period, an improvement from the 108.8% reported for the first nine months in 2011. The combined ratio is attributable to a 62.7% loss ratio and an expense ratio of 29.1%.
Source: Business Insurance, Bill Kenealy, 12/10/2012

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Processing reinsurance in “Hurricane Sandy’s Cloud”

Well you could have because our private, secure cloud that runs CedeRight Reinsurance never lost a moment. Lots of devastation, no power, no heat, and flooding for NY, NJ, and all up and down the Northeast. And while most of our DataCede staff was subject to the wrath of the worst storm the east coast has seen in a century, our data centers were safe, secure, and running without a blip. Our customers never lost a beat.

Our heart goes out to the millions of folks who have and continue to endure the devastation of mother nature. We hope that our prayers and our contribution to the American RED Cross might in some way make some small difference.

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Facultative Reinsurance (Do you know where your certificates are?)

Facultative, or individual risk reinsurance in the US market, can be traced back to the mid 19th century. Underwriters of that era, much like those of today, assessed the amount of risk they were willing to undertake, based on the characteristics of the risk. If one or more aspects of the risk (amount of insurance, type of risk or hazards associated with the risk, for example) fell outside the acceptable parameters, the underwriter faced the dilemma of finding a way to make the risk fit, or refusing the risk in its entirety. One of the solutions to this problem was the use of facultative reinsurance. Our 19th century underwriter would have typically sought to place a portion of the risk with one of his competitors. Although, the notion of offering a portion of a risk to competitor seems counterintuitive, it did serve two important functions; first, since the reinsurance offered was proportional, the acceptance of a portion of a risk, by a competitor, validated the underwriters risk selection and pricing and second, by securing such support, the ceding underwriter was less likely to lose the business to the reinsuring competitor. The risks, premiums and expenses (except possibly a small overriding commission in favor of the cedant) were shared by each party in accordance with their respective interests in the risk.
This type of reinsurance, which came to be known as “Street Reinsurance” was common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, before the US professional reinsurance market rose to prominence and began to offer capacity for these transactions. It seems likely that basis of most facultative reinsurance during the first half of the 20th century was proportional. However, as cedants and reinsurers both grew in size and sophistication, facultative reinsurance began to shift away from proportional street reinsurance to non proportional reinsurance placed with a professional reinsurer. Non proportional reinsurance is just that; it is a sharing of a risk on terms which are different than those of the original policy. A common form of non proportional reinsurance is excess of loss reinsurance. A facultative cession of this type requires the ceding company to retain all losses covered by the policy, up to the amount of the retention. Once the loss amount exceeds the retention a cession is made to the reinsurer.
Although this type of reinsurance allows the cedant to retain more of the original premium, there are several important aspects of non proportional facultative reinsurance, which must be considered when making a cession:
1. Reinsurers accepting non proportional reinsurance are making an independent assessment of the risk and are charging a premium which contemplates the expected loss to their layer, their expenses and profit margin. These factors are independent of the factors developed in the original pricing of the risk.
2. More often than not, non proportional facultative reinsurance does not provide for a ceding commission to the ceding company, so there is no expense recognition in these transactions. Cedants retain 100% of all the underwriting expenses associated with the risk, but do not retain 100% of the premium. This has a negative impact on expense ratios.
3. Non proportional facultative reinsurance generally responds to allocated loss adjustment expenses in proportion to the amount of loss ceded to the reinsurer, so cedants can be faced with bearing all of the allocated loss adjustment and legal expenses associated with a claim, if there are no loss payments made. While this may not be significant in a first party claim, it can be a big problem in a third party case, where there is a duty to defend the insured.
4. Similarly, ceding companies should not expect to recover declaratory judgment (DJ) expenses under the terms of a facultative reinsurance certificate. Although incurring such expense may ultimately benefit the reinsurer, they typically do not consider DJ expense to be covered by the terms of the policy.
5. Reinsurance certificates often contain language which permits the reinsurer to become associated in the defense of a claim, or to require the consent of the reinsurer before making a settlement.
6. Facultative reinsurance certificates usually do not contain arbitration clauses, so the dispute remedy is litigation. Although, in practical terms (expenses and time) there is not a big distinction between arbitration and litigation, there is one; litigation is not confidential, so the facts of the dispute and its resolution will be publically available.
None of this is meant to discourage the use of non proportional facultative reinsurance, which is an important risk transfer tool available to insurers. It is, however meant to suggest that equipping the buyers of the product (typically field underwriters) with an awareness of its unique characteristics will yield long term benefits.
Along with this enlightenment sophisticated insurers should also have in place a strategic plan which lays out the specific circumstances of when and how facultative reinsurance should be purchased. This gives the necessary guidance to field staff and sets up an auditable situation. The other point which bears mention is, insurers buying facultative reinsurance should have a clear protocol for where and how facultative reinsurance certificates are to be retained. A central repository of such information can be a useful aid when seeking to make a facultative recovery. While it’s true that facultative reinsurance can’t make a bad risk good, it’s also true that buying facultative reinsurance and not being able to locate the documents or even know facultative reinsurance has been bought, is just plain bad.

Robert Morgan – Sr Reinsurance Consultant DataCede Consulting
Bob has over 30 years of reinsurance experience and serves as the head of the DataCede’s reinsurance consulting practice.
Bob’s extensive knowledge of reinsurance was gleaned from his considerable responsibilities at North American Reinsurance, Atlantic Mutual, and as an independent consultant to the reinsurance industry. Bob has developed and implemented ceded and assumed programs and has extensive experience with run-off operations that was honed at Atlantic Mutual during its liquidation phase

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