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Write-Back – What is the Fuss All About?

By Ashish Saxena, Principal Consultant

Write-Back, the ground breaking functionality that allows the IT systems of Lloyd’s managing agents to interact fully with the Market’s central claims systems, including ECF2, went live four months ago. Since then, there have been a number of blog posts and articles about the merit of the service and how it will dramatically change the world of Claim Adjusting. The Write-Back service is more than these articles and blog posts make it out to be, with most of them focusing on one or more of the following aspects:

  • Saving claims adjusters from double keying
  • Making information available in real time (or near real time for the more technically minded)
  • Enabling rich claim data and supporting document information.

I agree that all of the above are tangible benefits, but there is a bigger picture. The single biggest feature of the Write-Back service is how it has opened up London Market technology, at least in the claims arena.  The biggest achievement is moving from a single service provider equipping the Market to a competitive environment with multiple vendors.

I have been working in this Market for over five years now and I can tell you there is no dearth of ideas or solutions – what is lacking is how we can go about implementing them. ECF and ECF2 were major achievements and they, along with various other processes, have made significant improvements in how the Market operates, but the difference between those and Write-Back is the quantum shift in how the Market can pick and choose the technology that best meets its needs. Technology is now front and centre on claim practitioners’ agendas.

Write-Back was first mooted back in 2010 – 2011, but it was considered complex and probably too risky for the London Market ecosystem. The London Matters: The Competitive Position of the London Insurance Market’  report and the catastrophic impact of central service failing in September 2013 due to out of date architecture was the wakeup call that the Market needed.

The London Matters report highlighted a number of challenges and areas of opportunity.  The general theme is that the way the business was historically conducted in this Market is no longer sustainable and needs to be changed. Among other things, this applies to the technology stack. In this era, where technology becomes obsolete in a matter of years, the claims community still depends on a platform that is roughly three decades old. It says a lot about how good the technology was at the time, but at the same time exposes how stagnant it has been since.  In this era of virtual and augmented reality, drones and other robotics, and the Internet of Things, the Core Services as they currently stand are not only antiquated but they can no longer move ahead in the ever changing claims landscape.

Write-Back’s acid test is in how the various Market entities, including the software providers, work together to lever the power of this service. Surely the way forward for the Market is to build upon sound technology combined with its reputation as an innovative and flexible place to do business.

The service has a lot to offer, but insurers need to think differently – the big idea is not the service, but how you use the service. If you are planning to use this service or would like to know more about it – come talk to us, we can share ideas how we can maximise its potential for you!

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

  • Steve Jobs