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Solartis Helps Seneca Insurance Enter the Binding Authority Market


Seneca Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Crum and Forster, is a specialty commercial property and casualty company with particular strengths in underwriting and claims adjustment. Seneca specializes in a broad mix of insurance for small and mid-sized businesses that are normally avoided by the main stream insurance companies.

Part of Seneca’s portfolio is the Excess and Surplus (E&S) property and casualty market. This market includes diverse opportunities such as contractors, restaurants, small mercantile and others. This small end of the market is handled by E&S insurance brokers who have binding authority for specific classes. Seneca entered this business in 2010 under the leadership of Mike Skadra.

To enter this segment of the market Seneca needed to develop an on-line binding system that would allow the E&S brokers to quote, bind, and issue small E&S property and casualty policies – subject to Seneca’s underwriting , pricing parameters, and referral guidelines – and to issue a PDF policy on-line.

Seneca chose Solartis to develop the system. Solartis, founded in 2004, provides quoting and policy administration solutions and services for Property & Casualty and Life/Health insurance companies and their distribution partners.

Solartis already had a cloud-based On-Demand Automation platform that could be configured to meet Seneca’s needs, and they also had the experience to deliver the system to Seneca quickly. In fact, Solartis delivered a go-live system to Seneca within 6 months.

“Solartis really understands the insurance business and what we were trying to achieve.”

Marc Wolin, Seneca’s President and Chief Executive Officer, says one of the benefits of working with Solartis was their strong business experience. “Solartis really understood the insurance business and what we were trying to achieve. They gave us very strong and helpful input on how to proceed with respect to our current specifications and anticipated enhancements. Sometimes these projects can become IT- centric, or underwriting-centric, or administrative-centric, but Solartis had the very good sense of how to effectively blend and balance the needs of all 3 of these constituent groups. Additionally, Solartis was effective in developing creative business solutions on various programming issues that arose.”

The configuration of the system was a successful collaboration among Seneca, Solartis and Crum & Forster, with Mike Skadra and his team at Seneca providing excellent user requirements, Solartis providing the business expertise and development skills, and Crum & Forster performing the user acceptance testing.

The benefits of the system have been extremely positive. The system has allowed Seneca to compete in the small E&S binding authority market and compete very well.

Marc applauded Solartis for 2 very key advantages. He says, “Solartis got us up and running in only 6 months. That was critical. Another advantage Solartis provides is that they are excellent at interjecting business acumen taking account of IT, operations and underwriting concerns.”

Marc concludes by saying, “Seneca is very much a bottom line company. Solartis has done a superb job in delivering a system that enables us to not only compete in this business and accommodate our agent’s needs, but also doing so in an efficient manner while maintaining underwriting integrity.”

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