Acturis’ seemingly endless series of industry firsts has made it a leading player in the e-traded small to medium-sized enterprise space, all of which have generated impressive user growth, writes Sarah Hills.
DESPITE ITS relatively short existence, Acturis has achieved some significant industry firsts in driving e-traded commercial small to medium-sized enterprise business across the market.
The firm was the first to develop XML integration with a commercial insurer, allowing straight-through processing in the SME sector; the first to develop live integration with a commercial insurer for complex non-autorated business; the first to integrate real-time XML with a premium finance provider; and the first to integrate and trade in real time with the Polaris I-market panel of insurers.
Add the fact that Acturis is consistently beating its rivals to secure impressive clients — such as Heath Lambert, Swinton, Bluefin and, more recently, Willis UK and Ireland and Aviva’s commercial lines offering — and this software house is one to watch.
The judges agreed that these technical achievements have put Acturis in an unrivalled position to dominate the e-traded SME space. Acturis brokers are now able to place business with a panel of up to 11 different insurers for eight SME product lines, with small commercial combined now also in live broker testing.
Broker efficiency savings
In addition, brokers can also enjoy the benefits of e-traded scheme products and solus arrangements unique to that broker. This means that a broker can place SME business with an insurer without the latter having to re-key information and, in most instances, the point-of-sale documents are in the control of the broker instantaneously.
This is backed up by testaments from some of Acturis’ clients, all of which have been quick to take advantage of the competitive edge that Acturis has given them. After signing up to Acturis, Oval said: “New business conversion rates are consistently higher than the market average due to our ability to complete the sale in one phone call, with no opportunity for the client to go elsewhere while waiting.”
In addition, Bluefin highlighted Acturis’ single-data-entry facility within e-trade as the means with which to improve its customer service; Jelf highlighted that the vast majority of its SME business is now auto-rated and placed with its partner insurers in a connected and efficient way.
In the last 12 months, overall e-trade activity has increased by 84.2% in terms of the number of requests for quotes. Policy count has also increased by an impressive 79.3%, with an 5.2% increase in the average e-traded premium in the last year. When comparing the policy count against the request for quote numbers, it also shows an impressive strike rate of 50.4% in terms of quote requests converted to live policies. In addition, premium bound has increased by a dramatic 88.7% to year end February 2009 and by a compound growth rate of 113% per annum over the last five years.
This e-trade activity has been at the heart of the continued Acturis success story. User numbers continue to grow at a fast rate, regardless of harder economic conditions — increasing by 25% to 5275 in February 2009, from 1903 in February 2006, and a compound growth rate of 40% per annum over the last four years.
Looking to the future, Acturis believed that e-traded SME business had one further frontier to cross: the ability for SME customers and sub-brokers to place business on the website of an Acturis broker or underwriting agency — and for that business to be transacted simultaneously on the end-insurers system.
Acturis has now achieved this goal in the business-to-consumer (retail) and business-to-business (wholesale) markets on a real-time basis. In addition, it has highlighted auto-rated commercial combined as a further future frontier. Acturis already has this live with one insurer and is testing now with a second; a panel of three insurers will be live within three months.
Acturis has now been recognised for its outstanding achievements as service provider of the year.