Polaris Celebrates 25 Years of Digital Distribution

The team shared memories and reflected on the milestones achieved over some well-earned food and drink.

It’s been a great journey so far, with a number of our team having been with Polaris for many years, together with some more recent newcomers. Every team member has played a pivotal role in the company’s development and helped Polaris become a key influencer for change in the UK insurance market.

How did we get here?

Polaris was founded in 1994 by the major insurers at the time Commercial Union, Eagle Star, General Accident, Guardian Royal Exchange, Norwich Union, Royal Insurance and Sun Alliance. The business was created by the group after they identified there were areas where a shared approach would benefit everyone. At the time there were a lot of different approaches in the insurance industry in the way data was collected and how information was formatted in policies, making fair comparisons a difficult process.

The past 25 years have seen Polaris support the market in meeting these challenges and become a driving force and advocate for change in the industry, as technology and appetite for digital trading has increased.

Polaris put Standards in place to reduce the risk for consumers and we did this by creating common question sets and messaging standards. Standards were adopted by the industry to create far more consistency between all parties.

Later Polaris launched the ProductWriter rating engine to help companies build fast to market online products. Polaris Standards feed into ProductWriter so insurers are able to build their digital products aligned with industry practices. The solution also includes the Run Time Environment enabling the industry to source quotes from these products.

To enable commercial lines digital trading to be carried out efficiently we created imarket. This technology solution allows brokers to gain access to multiple insurers products straight from their back office system. Insurers are able to deploy their products to multiple broker systems through a single connection. This created more opportunities for each party to trade with one another, alleviated the stress of having to connect to multiple systems and continues to create efficiency. Insurers often use imarket in collaboration with ProductWriter & the Run Time Environment to host their products.

What’s next?

Moving into the next generation Polaris will continue to work closely with insurers, brokers, technology users, influencers, regulators and consumers and gain industry insight to harmoniously develop our products and deliver solutions for problems that all industry players share.

Our Standards will continue to evolve with the changing market needs and with customer experience in mind. The upcoming release of HTML updates to messages will improve formatting and will give users more flexibility.

Over the next year or so we will see many of our clients moving over to ProductWriter Cloud, which launched this summer. The modern solution is an upgrade on our current system and brings more flexibility to users, automatic updates and a reduced reliance on in-house resources, allowing our clients to continue to deliver millions of quotes every day with ease.

Work is being carried out on the imarket system interface as part of our continued improvement plan focused on user experience. Our new live chat service has been adopted by several of our clients, supporting communication between brokers and insurers.

We have a team focused on good customer outcomes working alongside our clients to ensure customers are being treated fairly.

With our industry and consumer insight alongside updates and technological advances to our systems, we will continue to support the insurance market and provide products that benefit and support digital insurance trading and customers of today and the future.

If you are interested in any of our products, please do get in touch.

Standards Our data sets to help you efficiently and effectively build products in line with the market.
Steve Waller [email protected]

ProductWriter Cloud Allows companies of any size including, insurers, brokers and software houses to build pricing models and deploy them to multiple distribution channels.

Martin Thornhill [email protected]

imarket Connects thousands of brokers and insurers together through one simple connection to send and receive quote, referrals and other information, in a cost effective and efficient solution.

Simon Bloomfield [email protected]