Liberty Insurance plots €100m investment in technology

Insurer intends to improve transparency around prices for varying options

rLiberty Insurance intends to invest €100 million in a technology upgrade across its western European operations over the next four years. Photograph: Alan Betson

rLiberty Insurance intends to invest €100 million in a technology upgrade across its western European operations over the next four years. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Liberty Insurance intends to invest €100 million in a technology upgrade across its western European operations over the next four years.

The group, headquartered in Boston, in the United States, but with significant operations in the Republic, said it had designed a “unique” cloud-based technology that will effectively eliminate the need for the business to rely on its complex legacy systems.

As it stands, quotes, claims, customer services and purchasing are managed through a raft of different processes and technologies, something that brings a “complexity of systems”, Liberty said.

Liberty said the technology upgrade will allow customers better customised products and will offer transparency around prices for all options that a customer can avail of, which doesn’t presently exist.

“When, a few years ago, we decided to operate as one global company in every market...we understood that we couldn’t look at the technology behind the company in a traditional way,” said Tom McIlduff, the chief executive of Liberty Seguros, a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Group under which the Irish arm operates.

“So instead of migrating our technology, we decided to start from scratch, rebuilding our company in a whole new business model in the cloud by connecting different technologies in a common ecosystem,” he said.

Motor policies

Liberty, which employs about 400 staff here, already sells new business for motor policies in the Republic through the new technology since May. It intends to do the same in its Spanish market, starting from the second half of this year.

Liberty Insurance entered the Irish market in 2011 by taking over the main businesses of Quinn Insurance, which had fallen into administration a year earlier after a large hole was discovered in its balance sheet.

The Irish Times understands that the business has roughly a 10 per cent market share for motor policies, equating to about 200,000 policies.

Earlier this year, the company quit its commercial liability and commercial property lines of business but affirmed its commitment to other aspects of the Irish market.