(Image credit: AdobeStock.)
CoreLogic (Irvine, Calif.) has been showing the way with the use of increasingly precise geo-data for insurance underwriting, and has in recent years acquired a series of important insurance-focused vendors to boost its capability. This week the company announced perhaps the most interesting acquisition to date, Myriad Development (Austin, Texas), which will take CoreLogic from being a provider of data to being a competitor in the underwriting platform space.
Becoming a platform provider makes CoreLogic a different kind of provider, according to Donald Light, director in Celent’s (Boston) North America Property/Casualty practice. “Now CoreLogic now gets to go head-to-head with every vendor selling a policy admin system with a claim to having an underwriter desktop,” Light comments. “Of course these other desktops will handle all lines, not just property, but in any event, there’s a new kid on the desktop block.”
Myriad is one of three acquisitions announced this summer, the firm having announced acquisitions of two real estate industry focused companies earlier this month, Mercury Networks—a valuation technology and appraisal management platform company, and Clareity, a real estate consulting and technology firm.
Succession of Important Acquisitions
The insurance-vertical rationale for acquiring Myriad is straightforward, according to Celent’s Light. CoreLogic, with its roots in the property title and property data business, has been building out its property insurance-related businesses through a string of acquisitions: CDS (geographic information-based property data) and Eqecat (catastrophe) modeling in 2013, and Marshall Swift/Boeckh (property valuations) and Weather Fusion (verifying weather-related property losses) in 2014.
“Myriad will serve as the platform for property underwriters to access all of that CoreLogic-sourced data and analytics,” Light comments.
Established in 1999, Austin, Texas-based Myriad Development specializes in business process management products and services for many of the nation’s largest insurance carriers, real estate companies and government agencies. Myriad expands CoreLogic property underwriting capabilities through providing advanced end-to-end underwriting technology, according to a CoreLogic statement. The Myriad UnderwritingCenter centralizes rules-based decisioning and actionable intelligence from all points of the property insurance lifecycle including underwriting, agency, direct-to-consumer and claims.
“Myriad shares the CoreLogic commitment to help our industry evolve to meet rapidly changing consumer expectations in our digital economy,” comments Steve Brewer, executive, CoreLogic Insurance and Spatial Solutions. “Our combined solution will help carriers set a new benchmark for underwriting efficiency and accuracy while enabling an easy and transparent customer and agent experience.”
Brewer characterizes the Myriad acquisition as changing the level of strategic value the vendor can bring to the insurance solutions market. “The addition of the workflow platform allows us to provide a more complete solution, not only to provide the granular insight an insurer needs about a property, but to automate the decisioning and workflow to take action,” he says.
Myriad as Dark Horse of Underwriting Platforms
Myriad has been a bit of a dark horse in the underwriting platform world, having quietly collected a number of top-ten property insurers more through word of mouth than aggressive marketing. “They have a nice footprint in the top tier that has helped them to build out the depth of capabilities a client needs to efficiently process their underwriting,” Brewer says. “It is a mature product that hasn’t penetrated a large part of the market but is well represented in the upper echelon of insurer clients. From what I’ve seen, this is the most advanced underwriting workbench out there for personal lines.”
It will be interesting to see how the underwriting platform may increase in prominence now that it is combined with the capabilities CoreLogic has developed or acquired during the last few years. Celent’s Light adds a specific question about the platform’s further direction: “Will CoreLogic/Myriad add on personal auto data and analytics to broaden its personal lines value proposition?”