EIS aims to accelerate European insurers

Europe’s insurers have long struggled to overcome their legacy software debt. 

After a decade of market consolidation, the region’s carriers have accumulated a tangle of platforms on which they continue to run billions of euros worth of business. 

The challenge has been to build a business case for migration or replacement. Many have had their fingers burned on lengthy and hugely complex rip-and-replace programmes, and while these systems are both ageing and unwieldy, they still do the basic job required.

The problem is that supporting business-as-usual activities is no longer enough as insurers look to dramatically refresh their product portfolios in order to remain in tune with changing customer demands. One of the biggest trends of recent years has been the rise of the affinity or white label insurance business, where carriers and brokers team with a third party (an automotive manufacturer, a retailer, a professional services association) to offer bundled insurance services. And this is an area where San Francisco software vendor EIS Group, believes a fresh approach to the underlying platform has a role to play.

EIS Group was founded in 2008 by current CEO Alec Miloslavsky, who previously served as the CTO at Genesys Telecoms. The company is privately owned, with more than 1,000 employees, and has built up a customer base that includes AXA, AIG, Desjardins and Guardian. 

The company’s core proposition is a single platform for property and casualty, life and health product lines, covering policy, billing and claims administration. It is positioned as an out-of-the-box solution for customers looking to rapidly launch new products, enabling them to start the usually onerous process of drawing up contracts with commercial partners within weeks rather than months. The platform incorporates open APIs to help users plug into the CRM systems of their affinity partners and to integrate new InsureTech features and offerings. 

One reference account that has used the EIS platform to support greenfield business development is Liberty Mutual, which supports new business lines in Ireland and Spain using a platform run from the UK. 

The large majority of EIS’ customers have opted for a cloud-based solution, with the option to run on either AWS,  Microsoft Azure, or Google. This gives the company the scalability to help them run large numbers of policies, and it is now seeing its platform used to support the migration of substantial legacy product lines at some key customers.

The company has a long-standing presence in Europe, with three quarters of its R&D team based in Eastern Europe, with hubs in Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. But with a new regional leadership team in place, and a partner network that includes Cognizant, Endava, EPAM and Everis, the company is making a renewed push on markets including the UK, Germany, France and Spain. 

The UK presents an interesting opportunity for EIS, given the strength and maturity of the white label market, with many retailers, manufacturers and utilities having long been active in bundled insurance coverage. The high number of customer buying policies through online comparison sites is another factor in the strength of the UK market, while further opportunities will rise as a result of the gig economy.

According to PAC/teknowlogy Group’s latest numbers, European insurers will spend €4.5bn on application-related services this year, with investment in new SaaS offerings set to rise by over 20%. The pace of change has been slow, but EIS is making its approach as the region’s insurers are being forced to build the kind of flexible platforms that give them agility they need in uncertain times.