There are vast differences between countries in terms of how insurance products are structured – not to mention divergence on rules and regulations. So can the same industry platform really work everywhere?

Cognizant is implementing the insurance industry platform Guidewire for one of its major clients in Germany, one of the world’s most mature insurance markets with highly complex products. Here are the two fundamental implementation principles we follow to make it work:

1 Customize with care

The Guidewire Suite (Policy, Billing and ClaimCenter) were initially developed for the US insurance market, but Guidewire has developed country layers to integrate country-specific functionality and formatting to PolicyCenter, BillingCenter and ClaimCenter.

Still, specific local requirements make further changes necessary. For example, if a policyholder does not pay a bill, Guidewire’s usual action is to cancel the entire policy after a set period. However, German regulations require a minimum coverage of liability insurance for vehicles, and the software must be able to reinstate the liability part of a policy if the outstanding amount for this part is paid.

We therefore leveraged the Guidewire customization experience of our associates from Cognizant India, as well as the local Insurance knowledge of Cognizant Germany to customize both Policy and BillingCenter. To make this change for Motor Liability Insurance, the team altered the reinstatement process within PolicyCenter to allow a partial reinstatement, and altered the delinquency process and structure in BillingCenter to work on a coverage level, rather than a policy level as is the out-of-the-box behavior.

2 Avoid over-engineering

One of the greatest temptations for clients is to make fundamental changes to the look and feel of a new system to make it more like the legacy system that it has replaced. At Cognizant, we always strive to keep the Guidewire implementation as close as possible to out-of-the-box functionality.

Where possible, it is always preferable to train users how to use the new system, rather than customizing out-of-the box functionality. If implementations stray too far from the core system design, there is the risk of impacting functionality, as well as increasing the complexity of future upgrades.


Looking ahead with Guidewire

One of Guidewire’s latest innovations is a push towards the cloud – making implementations easier and cheaper. This could open the software to a much wider audience, beyond the traditional giants of the insurance industry. Cognizant, with its record of successful Guidewire implementations, can help insurers build an implementation that is customized to their needs without the need to reinvent the Guidewire Suite´s functionality.

To find out more about Guidewire visit and

For more information about Guidewire in Cognizant Germany, please reach out to Callum Nicholls (