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P/C PAS Trends: Microservices and Headless Core Systems


Chuck Ruzicka

Policy administration systems (PAS) replacements and expansions remain top of mind for property/casualty insurers. Carrier goals include: improving time to market, advancing business intelligence and analytics capabilities, improving customer and distributor service, increasing operational efficiencies, and eliminating technical risk and debt. In order to reach these goals, insurers are investigating and considering the impact of several trends upon core systems: the increase of SaaS/cloud, advances in microservices, the rise of InsureTech, and shifts in implementation strategy.

“Headless” implementations entail implementing core systems capabilities by leveraging an underlying, commercially available core system with a carrier’s own user interface built on top of it. Therefore, instead of relying on the core system for the end-user experience, it is reduced to a set of services, transactions, and business logic. Headless implementations offer carriers the flexibility to develop a differentiated user experience for internal and external users while leveraging core transactions that are configured and maintained in a single core transaction engine.

Some solution providers are building out microservices to enable this flexibility, improve reuse within their own solution set, and address concerns voiced by carriers over the difficulty of accessing functions with more limited Web services. There are few offerings with a full set of proven microservices, but the availability and granularity of the services is rapidly increasing. This modern architecture approach will bring future core system implementations flexibility and longevity as back-end transaction platforms.

Our most recent Novarica Market Navigator, Property/Casualty Policy Administration Systems, provides detailed profiles of 42 vendor solutions with information on each of the vendors’ capabilities, technology, and market position to help insurer CIOs understand their options in the marketplace.

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About Chuck Ruzicka

Chuck Ruzicka is a Vice President of Research and Consulting at Novarica. Prior to joining Novarica he served in a series of senior technology management positions at major insurance and financial services firms and has most recently been an independent consultant. His prior experience includes Liberty Mutual where he was CIO /SVP of their Agency Markets division and subsequently responsible for global infrastructure software and security. Chuck also was CIO at several regional insurance companies and was Vice President at Progressive Insurance where he was responsible for financial system architecture, billing, divisional policy and financial systems. Chuck holds an MBA in Finance from the Ohio State University. He can be reached directly at