European life insurers may be ahead of North American life insurers when it comes to consolidating policy administration systems.

Consultants in a New York office of Accenture Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda, have presented data supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from a survey of 112 life insurance company information technology executives.

Survey participants agreed that consolidating policy administration systems does save money.

Participants estimated past consolidation efforts have cut operating costs about 19% and increased product introduction speed about 35%, Accenture consultants report.

But only 24% of the North American participants said their companies had consolidated policy administration systems for traditional life insurance products, compared with 49% of the European respondents, the consultants report.

Although 64% of the North American respondents said they are discussing or implementing a traditional life policy administration systems consolidation project, only 9% said they expect their companies to be part of a merger or acquisition in the next year.

Meanwhile, about 30% of the European respondents said they expect to be part of a deal that could lead to further systems consolidation opportunities, the Accenture consultants report.