Solera Investing $5 Million to Support China's Rising Auto Insurance and Repair Industry
July 10, 2015
News about how insurers are transforming their operations tends to be, for lack of a better term, ‘country-centric,’ i.e., focused on what is going on in North America and Europe. However, reality is that in the developing world, the challenges of providing next generation solutions to speed claims processing and automate business processes is a global requirement. An illustration of this comes from Solera Holdings, Inc., which announced it will invest $5 million to advance the rapidly growing Chinese automobile insurance market with the creation of the country's first Solera (News - Alert) Technology Center ("STC") research facility.
In making the announcement, Solera noted that the STC is a joint venture created in 2011 between Solera and global insurer MAPFRE. Its mission then which is being expanded upon with this latest investment is, “To help modernize the insurance ecosystems of growing and emerging countries throughout the world with data-based science, predictive software, and technology-focused education and training for the P&C industry.” It was also emphasized that the STC has already provided comprehensive technical training for nearly 2,000 Chinese professionals who work within the vehicle insurance, repair and appraisal industries.
The new research facility is scheduled to officially open the Beijing in October of this year. It is designed to collect and analyze critical automotive data that advances vehicle safety, improves insurance claims efficiency, and balances underwriting economics. Solera is promoting the capabilities for the center to create actionable insights for insurers, stating the facility will:
- Enable the collection of technical car and repair data
- Create traffic accident reconstruction reports
- Develop car ratings for the insurance industry
- Provide training for insurers and repairers, and certification for repair shops
"STC is the first to announce a multi-million dollar investment to build an advanced vehicle research center to help modernize the Chinese car insurance industry," said Tony Aquila, Solera's founder, Chairman and CEO. "Although China will soon become the second largest auto insurance market in the world, it is still in the early stages of adopting technology and software to respond to claims inflation with risk-based pricing models. STC China will work to enhance insurer margins by delivering accurate information systems, education programs and global industry standards to all insurance companies in China."
This is not the first STC. Solera and MAPFRE established the first STC in Madrid, Spain with a strategic mission to create safer, more intelligent and more enjoyable car ownership ecosystems throughout the world.
"We are proud to partner with Solera to help bring technology-centric auto insurance systems and training to fast-growing markets such as China," said Ignacio Juarez, Managing Director of CESVIMAP, the vehicle safety research facility of MAPFRE. "The state-of-the-art research facility we are constructing in Beijing will serve as a model for future STC initiatives worldwide."
Just as a side note, this is a rather large collaboration. Westlake, Texas-based Solera processes over 230 million transactions annually for 180,000 customers across over 75 countries. For its part, MAPFRE’s 37,00 employees have a presence in 49 countries across five continents, has over 27 million customers worldwide, and in 2014 had net earnings of $1.1 billion with revenues of approximately $35 billion. As stated at the top technology investments in new systems and software to enhance operations and the customer experience really is a global challenge and a huge opportunity.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino