Desperately Seeking SEMCI? Producer Views That Might Change The Debate Insurance Report Published by Celent

Single Entry Multiple Carrier Interface (SEMCI) is clearly good for independent producers. But do SEMCI benefits outweigh its cost to carriers?

Boston, MA, USA June 30, 2004
The SEMCI debate seems to thrive on unchallenged assumptions. Celent’s latest report, Desperately Seeking SEMCI? Producer Views That Might Change The Debate, explores these assumptions from the producers� perspective.

“SEMCI is a great idea if you�re a producer,” says senior analyst Craig Weber, author of the report. “But the benefits of SEMCI for producers come at a considerable cost to carriers.”

“The technology cost is only the beginning,” Weber says. “Commoditization of products and core services like new business makes it hard for carriers to differentiate themselves. And in any case, SEMCI is a luxury item for producers, well behind product and price as a key driver of carrier choice.”

Weber adds that agency management systems and producer portals overlap in terms of functionality. “The portals tend to deliver richer functionality, which also offsets the value of SEMCI in many cases,” he says.

A key finding of the report is that over half of all producers surveyed said they would use either agency management systems or proprietary carrier systems, as long as those tools make their job easier. (See Figure 1.)

The report summarizes producer views on a variety of issues related to use of agency management systems and proprietary carrier systems. It is based on a survey administered to independent producers in June, 2004.

Other key findings discussed in the report include.

  • The fragmentation of the agency management system market, which makes it difficult for carriers to meet the needs of their diverse producer population.

  • Low levels of producer satisfaction with key activities that producers perform within agency management systems, including checking commission information, real-time links to carrier systems, data upload, and checking new business status.

  • Producers� focus on functionality, which may drive them toward carriers that support both agency management systems and proprietary carrier systems for various business needs.

  • The tendency of some property/casualty producers to shop their new business to multiple carriers, which supports complaints about re-keying business into multiple systems.

A Table of contents is available online.

Contact info@celent.com for more information about the report.

About Celent

Celent’s service offering falls into two categories, consulting and research, each of which is dedicated to technology in the financial services industry. We help banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies use IT to enter new markets in the shortest possible timeframes. All of our services are geared towards facilitating better informed, faster decision making. For more information visit www.celent.com.