Billing a Key Component of Customer Service, Celent Finds
Staff Writer | April 08, 2021
While insurance billing continues its transition from "back office" function to a key component in delivering a high-quality customer experience, most legacy billing systems can't keep up with higher demands from consumers, business customers, and distribution partners, according to a new report by global research and advisory firm Celent.
The report, Property Casualty Billing Systems – North America: 2021 Spectrum Report: Powered by VendorMatch, released today, provides an overview of the 24 billing systems available in North America for property/casualty insurance carriers.
“The billing function continues to transition from its traditional role as the most “back office” of back office processes to a key component of delivering a great customer experience,” said Karlyn Carnahan, head of Celent’s North American property casualty practice and author of the report. “Insurers realize the significant role that billing, and especially the quality of service provided during the billing process, plays in financial operations and in building relationships with customers and distributors. In most cases, legacy billing systems will not meet the challenge of higher service expectations from today’s consumers, business customers, and especially distribution partners.”
The report profiles 24 billing solutions, providing an overview of their functionality, customer base, lines of business supported, technology, implementation, pricing, and support. Some vendors also appear in a companion report profiling these systems that are available in Asia Pacific, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and Latin America.
The products profiled are: BriteCore: BriteCore; Decision Research Corporation: DRC Billing; Duck Creek Technologies: Duck Creek Billing; DXC Technology: DXC Assure Billing; EIS: BillingCore®; Guidewire Software: Guidewire BillingCenter; Guidewire Software: Guidewire InsuranceNow; Instec Corporation: Instec Billing; Insurity: Bill It Now; Insurity: Billing Decisions; Insurance Systems Inc.: ISI Enterprise; Majesco: Majesco Billing for P&C; OneShield Software: OneShield Billing; OneShield Software: OneShield Market Solutions—Policy & Billing; OWIT Global: Billing Solution—P&C/General Insurance; Sapiens: Sapiens BillingPro for P&C; Sequel, a Verisk business: Sequel Underwriting—Policy Administration System; SimpleSolve: SimpleINSPIRE; SSP Limited: SSP Insurer (Billing); and Ventiv Technology: Ventiv Billing.
This report should help insurers define their core billing system requirements and, can be used as the first step toward creating a short list of vendors for evaluation. Expanded billing functionality and improved technology mean that insurers continue to have a wide spectrum of systems and vendors to consider when they are looking for a solution to fit their needs. Insurers can leverage their access to the author through analyst access calls to learn more about the vendors.
Insurers are looking for several key capabilities when they determine whether to invest in a new billing solution:
- Improved customer experience. The prevalence of Internet purchasing and bill payment in other industries continues to increase the pressure on insurers to deliver web capabilities such as electronic bill pay and presentment, mobile transactions, and policyholder/producer portals. Many legacy systems “just can’t get there from here,” and updated technology must be introduced to fully enable these functions.
- Transparency. Progress is being made to deliver transparency across product lines. The ability to bill multiple policies on a single bill is still elusive for many with legacy systems or for those with multiple billing systems in production. The ability to see the equity date or to easily identify how payment might change with different payment plans is a growing need.
- Increased use of billing analytics. As the function transitions to a strategic service differentiator, different information is required to respond to new challenges. Billing reporting has historically been more operational in nature, reporting on number of invoices issued, average payments, number of days outstanding, etc. Questions such as “Are my current billing plans attracting profitable business?” and “What happens if I increase specific fees?” require analytics, not simply reporting. Vendors differ in their approach, some offering tools embedded as part of the base system and others providing utilities to extract information into specialized, enterprise analytic engines.
- Increased flexibility. Seeking new ways to differentiate, insurers are looking for the ability to easily add new bill plans, new payment options, and new ways of interacting with customers through the bill.
- Increased control. Seeking increased flexibility and speed, insurers increasingly want to control their own destiny and perform updates themselves. Some of these companies maintain a billing system in a traditional IT organization. Others seek to move some parts of the maintenance into end user areas.
Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally experienced analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh McLennan Companies. [NYSE: MMC]. For more information, visit www.celent.com. Follow Celent on Twitter @Celent_Research.
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