Chris Stretton, electronic trading executive at Avon Insurance likes the additional favours he believes Polaris brings to the market. “Benefits beyond the obvious include creating the partnership concept between insurer, broker, and software provider. It can only strengthen the intermediary channel,” he says.

One dissenting voice is that of James Sharp of MCS. His attention to Polaris limitations is focused on non-mass-market business, such as commercial lines. Contracting numbers of composite brokers, and the insurers who serve them, leads him to believe that within a few years each composite broker will require bespoke individual rating and conditions to differentiate themselves from the market.

“MCS is trying to meet the demand for point of sale systems that provide bespoke individual rating. Many products branded by the large brokers will comprise sections underwritten by different insurers. Polaris has a challenge here, which it may struggle with,” he says. “For mass-market products, Polaris fits the bill, but when it comes to commercial lines and other products handled by the medium to large intermediaries, Polaris may not cope with the diversity required.”

Not everyone agrees, however, and the general view is that commercial lines is just as Polaris-compatible as other classes of business.
As systems development manager Ann Reeves at Polaris says: “We have the flexibility to adapt to any scenario in the future. We are already making great advances and Polaris is very much alive and well.”