Lloyds/London Market

Best of Luck to Our UK Brethren

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best-of-luck-to-our-uk-brethrenWe are excited to share with you today’s news that the European operations of Agencyport Software have been acquired by UK-based business process, procurement and technology services provider Xchanging plc. The purchase has no bearing on our US operations or customers; we will continue to partner with the country’s top P&C carriers to help them give their agents, customers and policyholders extraordinary online experiences.  While we are excited for the opportunity that our UK colleagues have with Xchanging, we will miss working with them, and wish them the very best of luck in their next chapter. Cheers, mates!

Curt StevensonBest of Luck to Our UK Brethren
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The GCC Region’s Economy is Booming. Can Local Insurers Keep Up?

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From Premium Magazine, April 2013 edition.

The recovery of the energy sector among states within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is resulting in a growing and increasingly wealthy population as well as a significantly more diverse economy. Not surprisingly, the region’s insurance industry is growing accordingly. An area economy that is currently worth well over USD 1 trillion dollars is expected to reach USD 2 trillion by 2020.

Lusail City campaign (the newest planned city in Qatar).

A swelling population across the GCC requires housing and transport. A USD 25 billion high-speed railway linking the association’s six member states is scheduled for completion in 2019. 2022 World Cup finals host, Qatar, plans to spend USD 140 billion on infrastructure projects by 2019. Each of these developments, and many more, require insurance.

Historically, insurance within the GCC region has been swept up by the London market and other foreign entities.  This time, however, local insurance start-ups have a shot at a piece of the pie. To help keep money within the region, the GCC is stipulating that these projects and related businesses have a proportion of local shareholders.

For local insurers to succeed and operate alongside established, international players, the GCC insurance world has to get its house in order.

To be considered viable by energy industry giants such as Shell and BP, insurers must, among other things, make and maintain A ratings or higher from acknowledged rating companies such as Standard & Poor’s who review the monitoring of exposure accumulation.

Carriers’ need for clear insight into risk exposure aggregation is now.

Mass construction, expensive and potentially volatile energy plants, and natural catastrophes in this region all provide coverage opportunities for insurers. (GCC countries are among the most vulnerable to the affects recent sea level rises associated with climate change; Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait in particular.)

Energy City Model, Qatar. First stage scheduled for completion in 2014.

A complete and clear understanding of the exposure represented by these elements is critical.  Insurers cannot rely on catastrophe models alone to provide the level of information needed to control risk accumulation. They must maintain their own aggregate exposures using dedicated exposure aggregation software to validate and refine address data (geocode) and map the complexity of their policy structures so that all perils and lines of business can be successfully aggregated and managed together.

View the full article, here.

Katy HillerThe GCC Region’s Economy is Booming. Can Local Insurers Keep Up?
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Making a Difference is Totally Oarsome!

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Every year, Agencyport Europe selects a charity upon which to concentrate its long-standing efforts of giving back and supporting the local community.  Last year we successfully helped raise £10,000 for the NSPCC’s Childline. This year we have chosen to team up with The Adventure Help & Opportunities for Youth (AHOY) Centre charity, based in London.

The Center is open to disadvantaged and disabled children and adults in the London area. It uses watersports to break down social barriers and provide the opportunity for people to develop essential life skills and self-confidence through sailing, leadership, boat building and first aid.

Agencyport staff are more involved in raising funds this year than ever. 18 employees have enthusiastically volunteered to step out of the office and pick up an oar in a bid to win the Meridian Pull boat race. Starting at the Houses of Parliament on the 17th May, the course twists its way 8.5 miles down the Thames and ends in Greenwich.  Each team must raise £1,000 to enter and with enough Agencyport crew to enter three boats, we’ve got our first target of £3,000 to hit!

So, let the training and fundraising commence! Don’t forget to check out our Just Giving site to keep track of our progress, or even better, donate and help us on the way!

More information on The AHOY Centre.

Adrian Conway-HydeMaking a Difference is Totally Oarsome!
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Our Annual UK Publication is Hot Off the Presses

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Re: Insurance 2013

Re: Insurance 2013

No sooner had the New Year’s confetti settled than our London marketing team huddled once again to gather and collate article ideas and set up interviews with a range of influential members of the industry and team members from Agencyport Software. The creation of the second annual European Agencyport newsletter, Re: Insurance, had begun.

One year ago today, the inaugural Re: Insurance landed on the desks and arrived into the in-boxes of just over 2,500 people. Fast-forward to February 2013 and we’re extremely pleased to present the latest edition to over 4,000 clients, members and friends in the UK, London and European markets.

And it’s grown! Cover to cover, the publication features reflections on the past year, predictions for the year ahead and the voices of respected members of our industry. Packed into this issue, we’ve welcomed guest authors: Richard Williams, CIO at Mitsui Sumitomo; Lee Brook-Pearce, Digital Transformation Financial Services at CapGemini; and words from the third-largest re-insurer in the world, Hannover Re.

We travelled to our office in Cwmbran and brought back some interesting team facts and faces, reported on the evolving expectations of the health insurance customer, and shed some light on our senior team member, Andy Lovett, COO – do you know he once cleared a whole bus?

More than a newsletter, Re: Insurance is an open door into Agencyport Software EMEA, the people that power it, the 40+ years of experience that underpin it, and the industry to which it is dedicated.

We had a super time producing it and hope you have an equally good time reading it.

Put on the kettle and enjoy!

Katy HillerOur Annual UK Publication is Hot Off the Presses
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MGA marketplace? It’s ours.

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Agencyport Software have kick-started what will undoubtedly be a busy year.  We have been approved to join the MGAA as an official technology supplier to the MGA market with Open MGA+.  

This news follows Agencyport’s successful signing of four international MGAs at the end of 2012.

To be approved for MGAA membership, Agencyport had to demonstrate substantial depth and knowledge of the MGA market and present referenceable Open MGA+ clients.  An IT solution not only has to benefit the MGA market specifically, but must also clearly differentiate itself from other solutions and have clear and progressive intentions and investment.

Needless to say, Agencyport are honoured to join the 50+ insurer members of the MGAA in what promises to be a valuable partnership.

Beginning Wednesday 16th January, Agencyport will be exhibiting at the MGAA Supplier Showcase held at Lloyd’s in the Old Library. Come down and have a chat with our team to learn more about our clients and Open MGA+.

Katherine OliverMGA marketplace? It’s ours.
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Program Administrators: Another Channel Heard From

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Distribution of insurance products is complex and multi-layered, and becoming more so all the time.  Our clients are often managing relationships with agents, consumers, MGAs and wholesalers as they underwrite business from different segments of the market.  Attending the Target Markets Conference in Scottsdale recently gave us the opportunity to learn more about the intricacies specific to the Program Market distribution channel.

The conference’s unusual structure consisted of several breakout sessions where Program Administrators could meet with carriers to discuss their Programs, the carriers’ appetite for the business, and terms of existing business relationships.  During the “Results Panel,” when results from a Target Markets facilitated survey were shared, it was clear that Program business is growing consistently—4% growth in 2010 and 9% in 2011.  Carriers value the Program writers underwriting expertise within their Programs as a low risk entry into that space and a solid way to grow without having to incur internal costs.  Small Programs also have the highest renewal rates, proving that their specialization within a domain and customer service within that space is valuable to the insured.  From a technology perspective, it was interesting to learn that 52% of Program administrator respondents place 0-9% of their business online with only 15% of respondents siting between 90-100% of transactions occurring online.

Lloyd’s of London also participated in a panel discussion “What can Lloyd’s offer the TMPAA (Target Market Program Administrators Association)?” encouraging Program administrators to place business through Lloyd’s.  The London-based carriers on the panel—Hiscox, Aspen, Catlin and Beazley were eager to demystify the Lloyd’s market and discuss the advantages of working with its sizeable capital reserve.

Clearly, Program administrators are a valuable channel of the insurance market where niche specialists are bringing profitable business to their carriers.  Thank you, TMPAA, for producing such a thoughtful, enlightening and productive event around this burgeoning channel.

Jenn ParkerProgram Administrators: Another Channel Heard From
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Future Proofing Support for our Customers

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“Biggest question: Isn’t it really ‘customer helping’ rather than customer service? And wouldn’t you deliver better service if you thought of it that way?” Jeffrey Gitomer, author of nine books on sales and customer loyalty.

At Agencyport Software, customer helping is part of our ethical make-up and with 120 global customers looking for support and help with configurations, we decided to invest into further improving our help-desk platform. Information Technology Service Management (ITSM for short) by FrontRange Solutions, became our chosen solution.

The new solution improves the monitoring of incidents between the Service Desk and Support teams, thanks to enriched visibility of customer data.

We hope that our improved service will be noticeable. The next phase of the improvement plan is to embark on a reporting audit; allowing us to provide an improved level of reporting data to our customers. This, I know, will be welcomed by many.

We would like to thank our customers for their support and encouragement during the upgrade project. We are excited about the future as these investments help us deliver first-rate, customer help.

Jason FaganFuture Proofing Support for our Customers
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One man, one boat, one epic challenge.

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Chris Brooks on the Solent

Chris Brooks on the Solent

It’s not often that I get to share exciting firsts, but Thursday 31st May really was one of those. I sat in a boat on the watching a courageous, young individual sail off into the distance on a catamaran. Chris Brooks was on the first leg of a solo attempt to break the world record: circumnavigating around Britain, in an 18-foot catamaran (just three times his height) in less than 28 days, for the NSPCC’s ChildLine service. Seeing Chris disappear into the distance made the enormity of his challenge come to life.

We’re now into week two. Our intrepid sailor, Chris Brooks, has had an interesting week to say the least, with a damaged hull (not as a result of basking sharks off Cornwall I hasten to add) and earlier, the impact of tropical storms in Cornwall. Who’d have thought it in June, in the UK? I do envy him somewhat though, as he’s holed up in Rock. One of best places in the UK, with certainly the best fish & chips in the country (not to mention VAT free Pasties).

I’ve been following Chris this week on the tracker it’s fascinating to see how much sea can be covered though it’s a little misleading as it gives the impression of clear skies. Sadly not the experience. The fund raising programme stands at over £10,000 already for the NSPCC which is something special. You can chip in at www.sailingroundbritain.com or his charity site www.justgiving.com/sailingroundbritain.

I still think Chris is daft? Crazy? Insane? But it’s great to follow his exploits. It’s not been an easy first week. Let’s hope the weather is kinder in the coming days. Wales beckons.

Phil RaceOne man, one boat, one epic challenge.
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New version of Alchemy

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A quick history of the Binder management system arms race:

2007: Hiscox strikes first by signing with Agencyport for its Hiscox Data Exchange

2008: Agencyport and Hiscox donate exposure data model to ACORD, published as the ER 3001 standards

2009-2010: Other managing agents in Lloyd’s evaluate vendors; scope of binder management system requirements expands; Lloyd’s acts to provide information and support for managing agents, wholesale brokers and coverholders

2011: Lloyd’s Coverholder Technology Forum features nearly 30 vendors; Managing Agents publish tenders for binder management systems; Agencyport launches Alchemy 2.0 to combine the leading functions of bordereau processing (formerly CoverIQ) and binder management (based on years of experience with syndicates at Lloyd’s and companies in London)

2012: Two vendors emerge as finalists in most selections: Agencyport and Watertrace.

May 2012: Agencyport releases Alchemy 2.1 which adds more functionality that is unique to Alchemy (not in other vendor systems but required in every tender we see) and also adds functionality Alchemy had been missing relative to Watertrace and other vendors.

With 2.1, Alchemy is more complete than other products, the Alchemy web offers the best web user experience (based on Agencyport’s twelve years of building web solutions) and with the Agencyport team in the UK and the US ready to support carriers and their coverholders, we invite you to learn more and see Alchemy 2.1 in action.

Mason PowerNew version of Alchemy
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Generali Global Risk Goes Live on Open Co+

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Big projects put pressure on your team. Big projects for the world’s second-largest non-life carrier put extra pressure on your team.

We’re proud to announce that Generali Global Risk has gone live on Open Co+, replacing a legacy system for underwriting, claims and accounting. The project was complex and the data migration was enormous:

The legacy platform was implemented in 1963, a year when the Beatles released their first album (Please Please Me), and NASA launched the first space shuttle. Over 39 million historical technical account records, over 3.6 million historical claim movements and approaching 800,000 policies were migrated to Open Co+.

After announcing last year our new brand, new management team and a reinforced customer-centric company culture, this project delivery is a big milestone. Now is a great time to take a fresh look at Open Co+ and at our team at Agencyport.
Mason PowerGenerali Global Risk Goes Live on Open Co+
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