18th January 2024
Ebix Europe, the London-based technology specialist, released its electronic placing solution, PlacingHub, earlier this month, which has been developed by the London market’s most experienced digital placement experts, attracting interest from major re/insurance brokers and carriers across the market.
During a recent interview with Reinsurance News, Ebix Europe’s Vice President, Pete Smyth, explained how the launch has gone so far.
“In terms of the makeup of where we are so far, for carriers we have got around just under 90% of the carrier market by volume who have actually signed up or are currently in negotiations.”
“As for brokers, we have already got a large number signed, some of which are within the top 20 and the top 10. And once again, we are going through training and onboarding with those. We are anticipating that we will have our first actual real-life risk going through in February.”
With PlacingHub now set to play a key role across the industry, one major topic of discussion that surrounds the platform is how future-proof it is, and what new features are planned for it in the near future.
Smyth stated that with PlacingHub, Ebix Europe has taken all of the business rules that they had in their old product and migrated those across to the new platform by using new technology.
“We are still using Microsoft tools, but in a much more agile fashion. We have rapid deployment and rapid change, and we are even using Microsoft as the host of the cloud offering. We have also trained our staff and ensured that they are up-to-date with the latest technology from Microsoft, and we are continually working with Microsoft, and we have a good relationship with them.
“One key feature to highlight is that we have created the platform by using APIs, so we have APIs in place for getting data into and out of the platform, and we have constantly tested those with a number of software partners. Many in the industry are discussing having a complete end-to-end or a headless platform, so they can do everything from their back end system that requires an awful lot of APIs.
“But, having this many APIs with all of the carries and brokers all at the same technical release level is a lot of work and I don’t believe anyone has actually got there yet. I think it will be a while before it’s fully out there in the market. I think it needs a lot more market standards, and that’s what we don’t really have a lot of yet.”
Further, Smyth noted that the company is also working on incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and automation elements into PlacingHub, but he added, that this is an area that Ebix Europe will be looking at much further down the road.
“We have been working on a contract builder/product builder PlacingHub for well over a year, and by the end of this quarter we should have the first offering of it out,” he noted.
Moreover, Smyth also explained how PlacingHub addresses the ongoing issues towards the high costs that are associated with other electronic placement platforms.
“We have been reducing costs as much as possible, so we are purely basing ours on a transaction cost model, so we do not have a license cost. This means that people can sign our contracts, but they don’t have to pay a penny if they do not use our system. Our transaction fee, I believe, is the lowest out there, and we are also waiving it for the first year for brokers as well. PlacingHub is well suited in regards to addressing the ongoing costs issues.
Adding: “In terms of costs, I think we have the best priced product out there in the market, but we are also coming at it from the angle of we don’t need to tie you with a license, once you start using the platform, you will want to continue using it. This is why we are not concerned about license fees. We want people to use it, we want to get transaction volume, and I think that will address the market’s worries and concerns about cost.”
Additionally, with the release of PlacingHub representing what is clearly an exciting time for the sector, a key question that surrounds the new platform, is what it offers in comparison with other electronic placement platforms, and what key advantages does it bring?
Smyth explained: “PlacingHub has everything that the previous PPL Version 3 had, plus a lot more. However, we have a whole list of changes and tweaks that we have made in order to make the journey better for users.
“One aspect I would like to highlight is our support and development team – the people behind the scenes that are designing the platform and coming up with new ideas. They are supplemented by ex-brokers/ex-underwriters, so they are people who have been out there in the market and have a great understanding of what people across the industry actually want and need.”
This editorial was published in Reinsurance News and is shared with the kind permission of the publication. To see the original publication please follow this link: PlacingHub “well-suited” at addressing high costs associated with other electronic placement platforms: Ebix Europe – Reinsurance News