Thursday, February 22, 2024

Horizon Systems: Insurance Automation Redefined

Meeting or exceeding the evolving expectations of producers and insureds is a challenge that all carriers face. It’s a proven fact that in today’s market, an agent’s decision on where to place business is no longer just determined by price and service. It’s now a factor of which carrier’s system technology is easiest to work with and enables the fastest turnaround with the least amount of effort. At a minimum, that requires capabilities to respond instantly to on-line quoting and issuance requests, direct interfaces with popular comparative raters, agency management systems, and the ability to provide an interactive agency/carrier collaboration environment with flexible on-line electronic payment capabilities. The Horizon Systems & Services All*Points platform was designed from the ground up to precisely address these needs. “Our focus is on leveling the software playing field for regional carriers by making feature rich modernization directly available in a fully supported system platform where technology takes on affordability,” begins Kurt Kwekkeboom, President, Horizon Systems.

With Horizon, clients can unleash modern system technology on their agency force using facilities that are already directly integrated into the core Policy and Claims solution. The company’s flagship product the All*Points application is a comprehensive Policy and Claims Administration Core System for Property and Casualty lines of business. The system is uniquely customized to address each client’s specific operational practices. Utilizing rule-based risk analysis components, the system isolates business exceptions, allowing straight through end-to-end processing of “clean” risks with no manual intervention. The system incorporates Integrated Digital Imaging and Workflow Management, which is extended to both Agent’s and Insureds and allows producers to actively work business transactions in collaboration with carrier CSRs and Underwriters.

From its inception the All*Points system was designed to operate over the internet and process business transactions in real time. There is no waiting for overnight processing to occur. Agents can start and issue transactions on demand using straight through processing, and immediately view or print the associated output documents on the spot while the insured is in front of them. What that means in terms of productivity is simple, the All*Points system handles insurance processing the way the rest of the world functions today. Also, with its host of agent-oriented integrations, All*Points effectively put’s the carrier “back-in-the-game” by allowing them to simply “plug-in” to the producer business network which is now largely being driven out of comparative raters and agency management systems.

Furthermore, all business transactions are processed in real-time and provide immediate access to output documents for digital delivery to agent’s and insureds. Electronic invoice delivery and payment capabilities allow insureds to pay bills interactively online or establish a seamless autopay schedule. An Analytical Data Warehouse is utilized to facilitate management reporting. The system also incorporates a wide array of “out-of-the-box” 3rd party integrations, including Credit Scoring, Loss History, Motor Vehicle Reports, Policy and Claims Contribution, Geocoding, Property Characteristics, Data Prefill, Visual Inspection, Replacement Cost Valuation, Agency Management Systems, Comparative Raters, Electronic Payment Processors, popular Accounting Packages, and a continuously growing list of others.

Horizon Systems exists to provide small and mid-sized insurers with the software technology and support services to prosper in today’s competitive market. By creating a Policy and Claims Administration system based on the interoperability of the internet and the commonality of Microsoft .NET technology, the company provides an end-to-end solution that incorporates a wealth of features and functionality with a much more feasible cost of ownership. “Unlike the competition, we operate as a true business partner who shares in our client’s goals and objectives,” explains Kwekkeboom.

From Inception to Innovation

The story behind the inception of Horizon Systems dates back to the time when computer automation in the insurance industry was an anomaly, affordable only to a few of the largest insurance carriers in the nation. During that period, a group of forward-thinking leaders at a small midwestern insurance company decided that they needed to make a big-time investment in computer automation to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. That organization was Heritage Mutual Insurance Company. The company teamed up with a Minnesota native named Stuart Warrington, a computer scientist at NASA, and together they provided a unique combination of insurance knowledge and computing expertise that resulted in the formation of Heritage Computer Corporation (HCC).

Later, Warrington exploited the opportunity to engineer advanced insurance processing capabilities at cost levels that were affordable to a whole new segment of the market. His initiative, Strategic Data Systems, quickly grew to become the second largest provider of insurance processing systems in the nation and dominated the market for Property and Casualty insurance systems on both mini-computer and client/server platforms. In January of 2003, Warrington and a group of inspired local businesspeople, launched Horizon Systems and Services, Inc. The purpose of the company was to pioneer a new breed of leading-edge insurance software technology that allows carriers to extend their processing systems beyond traditional brick-and-mortar boundaries, and to interact directly with agent’s and insureds across the country. Like the companies that preceded it, Horizon Systems and Services is governed by the “Warringtonistic” pledge to providing the best service and customer support in the business.

A Customer-Centric Organization

Strategically, Horizon Systems and Services is focused on growth. One of the organization’s goals is to roughly double in size by the end of the year. As part of its growth plan, the company has had remarkable success with alliances and partnerships. Its platform’s ability to support rapid integration has contributed significantly to that success, and alliances with InsureTech partners is a fantastic way for the team to rapidly incorporate innovation and become a better solution provider. It makes perfect sense to continue the pursuit of these valued alliances. However, the growth objectives that sit at the top of the company’s priority list are more specific and substantial. These include: an increased product portfolio, the addition of qualified and trained personnel, expanded marketing and sales capabilities, overall operational efficiencies, and realignment of leadership roles. “Our Research and Development efforts are focused on innovations designed to take a step beyond the traditional policy and claims practices being followed today. We believe the structure and definition of existing insurance products is on the verge of a transition, and that a much more fluid representation will emerge,” adds Kwekkeboom.

In pursuit of solutions at the far end of the insurance technology spectrum, the company has undertaken deep initiatives involving the automated harvesting and utilization of information from the continuously growing volume of data available in the public domain. “Our goals are to exploit this information for the purpose of engineering “super intuitive” application user interfaces that truly meet the definition of the term “ready for public consumption,” points Kwekkeboom.

Horizon Systems & Services has always been a customer centric organization. The company has continued to be a leading-edge innovator of Property and Casualty automation solutions for the past two decades. The most recent being out-of-the-box payment integration with electronic payment processing platforms including Invoice Cloud, Paymentus, Authorize.NET and others. “Recent alliances have provided us with the opportunity to incorporate many new strategic integrations. In keeping with our mission to provide automation with value, Horizon Systems & Services also has a focus on forming business partnerships with clients and third parties to provide extensive outsourcing solutions that reach far beyond just software,” concludes Kwekkeboom.

Horizon Systems

Kurt Kwekkeboom, President


“Our focus is on leveling the software playing field for regional carriers by making feature rich modernization directly available in a fully supported system platform where technology takes on affordability””