News & Commentary
Content posted in November 2012
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Seen & Heard at I&T’s 2012 Executive Summit
Slideshows  |  11/30/2012  | 
Hot topics at Insurance & Technology’s recent Executive Summit in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., included the need to align insurance marketing and IT functions, how to overcome barriers to customer engagement, and an assessment of the insurance industry’s initial response to Superstorm Sandy (which occurred less than one week before the Executive Summit). Along with the discussion was high-level networking and I&T’s annual Elite 8 Awards Ceremony. Participants in this year’
Looks Like the Models Were Right After All
Commentary  |  11/30/2012  | 
Data indicates that the area flooded by Superstorm Sandy was well within expected parameters.
Erie Insurance Makes Website Disability Friendly
News  |  11/30/2012  | 
New features from a partnership with Essential Accessibility will make it easier for disabled people to buy insurance online.
Assurant Health Names Nationwide Vet Chief Sales Officer
News  |  11/30/2012  | 
The specialty health insurer is looking for a new distribution strategy.
N.Y. Governor Orders Insurers to Speed Up Sandy Claims
News  |  11/30/2012  | 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday imposed emergency regulations on insurers to speed the processing of claims from hundreds of thousands of state residents whose properties were damaged or destroyed when Superstorm Sandy struck a month ago.

Manulife's Latest Move to Shore Up John Hancock: Tech Exec Moves to Ops
News  |  11/29/2012  | 
Sebastian Pariath led a global IT transformation initiative for Manulife corporate before being named head of the company's US operations at John Hancock.
U.S. Allows WellPoint-Amerigroup Deal to Proceed
News  |  11/29/2012  | 
WellPoint Inc can move forward with its $4.5 billion purchase of health insurance rival Amerigroup Corp after Amerigroup alleviated antitrust concerns by selling operations in Virginia, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Colombia to Offer Climate Change Insurance to Coffee Farmers
News  |  11/29/2012  | 
Colombia is launching insurance to protect coffee plantations hit by climate change, which has damaged output in the world's top producer of high quality Arabica beans in recent years, officials said on Wednesday.

John Hancock Consolidates Insurance Units Under Single Leader
News  |  11/28/2012  | 
Michael Doughty, who came over from parent Manulife to head life insurance earlier this year, adds long-term care responsibility.
UK Also Grapples with Wisdom of Government Flood Insurance
News  |  11/28/2012  | 
In the wake of devastating flooding in England and Wales, the UK government is considering what it should do to insure losses.
Allstate Expects More than $1 Billion in Oct. Losses Thanks to Sandy
News  |  11/28/2012  | 
Allstate Corp expects to report October disaster losses of $1.08 billion, mostly due to superstorm Sandy, the home and auto insurer said on Wednesday.

Kemper Names New Leader of P&C Business
News  |  11/28/2012  | 
Denise Lynch ran a unit within the Kemper division before taking over the whole thing.
White House Expected to Seek Billions in Sandy Aid
News  |  11/28/2012  | 
The White House is expected in the coming days to send Congress a multi-billion dollar request to fund recovery from Superstorm Sandy, which caused an estimated $71 billion in damages in New York and New Jersey.

Making Your Mainframe Work Smarter, Not Harder
Commentary  |  11/27/2012  | 
Rather than rip-and-replace, optimize your mainframe MIPS for key applications and understanding where you can redeploy MIPS-heavy workloads to alternative, more cost-effective platforms without introducing significant risk.
Video: Humana Embraces Wii U for Next Fitness Game
Commentary  |  11/27/2012  | 
The newest version of the health insurer's "Your Shape" fitness franchise eschews the Xbox Kinect for the new Nintendo console.
MetLife's Aggressive Distribution Strategy Reaches Business Market
News  |  11/27/2012  | 
Following the company's pilot of individual life insurance "in a box" at Walmarts, the company has released a new selling system aimed at helping agents and brokers more easily identify potential solutions for the business market.
New York Life Finds New CTO Internally
News  |  11/27/2012  | 
Michael Del Secolo is promoted to the position.
Folksam Drives “Nurtured” Customer Relationships Through Co-Developed Customer Interaction Hub
News  |  11/27/2012  | 
Through the application created in collaboration with Infor and Forrester, the Swedish mutual insurer anticipates better management of sales leads and tailored customer communication in real time.
Aviva's Usage-Based Insurance Android App Emerges from Beta with New Name
News  |  11/26/2012  | 
Aviva Drive is the name of the app and a corresponding insurance product.
MGIS Names New Underwriting Head
News  |  11/26/2012  | 
The company named a new IT head earlier this year.
Registering for a Race Online? Insure Your Fee
Commentary  |  11/26/2012  | 
Allianz' specialty arm is offering a way for race registrants to insure their fee in case of cancellation -- like the New York Marathon post-Sandy.
Cost Shifting: A Fresh Look at Soft Fraud
Commentary  |  11/25/2012  | 
While safety has increased and frequency of injury has decreased, severity of injuries has increased, suggesting that medical providers are shifting costs from government and private health payers to casualty insurers.
Mountain West to Support Commercial Lines Expansion with Cover-All Policy
News  |  11/21/2012  | 
With Cover-All’s support for ISO-based products, Mountain West Farm Bureau anticipates greater speed-to-market for new products, along with diminished maintenance on rating updates, ease-of-use and paperless efficiencies.
AIG to Bid on Chinese State-Owned Insurer
News  |  11/21/2012  | 
Chinese state-owned insurer PICC Group has secured pledges from American International Group (AIG) and other investors to buy about half of its up to $3.6 billion IPO, set to be the biggest in Hong Kong in two years.

U.S. Releases New Health Insurance Reform Rules
News  |  11/21/2012  | 
The U.S. administration on Tuesday proposed new health insurance rules aimed at ending discrimination against the sick and guaranteeing minimum benefits for millions of Americans who are expected to obtain coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law.

Video: What Thanksgiving Tradition Frightens Insurers Most?
Commentary  |  11/20/2012  | 
One method of preparing the traditional Thanksgiving turkey is a leading cause of home fires.
Insurers See Need to Modernize Claims Capabilities, Cloud Will Help - Accenture Survey
News  |  11/20/2012  | 
Insurers have failed to achieve the promise of modern, configurable claims systems in significant measure, but cloud is likely to help carriers to leapfrog to future-proofed modern capabilities that can take advantage of data analytics.
Insurance Cloud Success Stories
Slideshows  |  11/20/2012  | 
Insurers that once doubted the cloud are benefiting from the competitive and economic advantages of as-a-service models -- with great results.
6 IT Competencies That Health Insurers Must Master Post-Reform
Commentary  |  11/19/2012  | 
One of payers' biggest challenges is in the way that they go to market as the Affordable Care Act completes rollout. Insurers must implement flexible IT systems that enable unprecedented business agility.
NTSB Safety Recommendations Bring Lower Auto Premium Closer
Commentary  |  11/19/2012  | 
Celent's scenario of significantly lessened auto premium gained plausibility with National Transportation Safety Board's call to standardize safety technologies on new vehicles
AIG Bailout Lawsuit Vs. N.Y. Fed Dismissed
News  |  11/19/2012  | 
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York won the dismissal of former American International Group Inc Chief Executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg's $25 billion lawsuit accusing it of acting unlawfully in bailing out the insurer during the 2008 financial crisis.

Humana Demonstrates Insurance's Leadership Role in Data Management
News  |  11/16/2012  | 
The health insurer's CIO says that the company has prioritized building a data organization that can improve healthcare on its own.
How Much Self-Service is Too Much?
Commentary  |  11/16/2012  | 
The key to any customer service strategy is to listen to what your policyholders say about what they want, and provide them with options for communicating with your organization. Self-service capabilities are a must, but be careful not to force feed your policyholders.
How Data Quality Bolsters Workforce Optimization
Commentary  |  11/16/2012  | 
If only 75% of the information in a given insurer's database is accurate, a sophisticated workforce optimization system may not be able to make the right calculations.
Protective Life Names New Chief Risk Officer
News  |  11/16/2012  | 
Michael Temple joins the company from Unum.
Skydiving Cats Broadcast Insurer’s Customer Intimacy Strategy
Commentary  |  11/16/2012  | 
Folksam's invitation for customers to suggest advertisements had amusing results, but the insurer's customer intimacy is also demonstrated by its collaboration with vendor Infor to create a new Customer Interaction Hub.
Allianz Brings In Exec to Manage IT Aspects of Customer Experience
News  |  11/16/2012  | 
Margaret Peck will help ensure that the company meets performance benchmarks for its operations and customer experience initiatives.
Weathering the Storm: Hurricane Sandy Validates Philadelphia Insurance Companies' Business Continuity Plan
News  |  11/15/2012  | 
After a strong performance during Hurricane Irene in 2011, PHLY made further improvements to ensure that Hurricane Sandy caused no interruption of normal business, relates CIO Alfred Goxhaj.
China PICC in Talks With AIG as Buyer for $4b Hong Kong IPO
News  |  11/15/2012  | 
China's PICC Group is in talks with American International Group Inc and others to become cornerstone investors for its planned listing worth up to $4 billion, in what will be Hong Kong's biggest IPO in two years.

Assessing the NFIP in Sandy’s Wake: Q&A with Rep. Earl Blumenauer
News  |  11/15/2012  | 
If Hurricane Katrina starkly exposed the fiscal inadequacy of the National Flood Insurance Program, Hurricane Sandy has only re-emphasized the need to maintain the momentum of reform in progress. Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a champion for reform of the NFIP, shared thoughts with I&T.
AT&T Sees $1b Opportunity in Company Cybersecurity
News  |  11/14/2012  | 
Companies will double or triple spending on cybersecurity in the coming years as attacks grow more sophisticated and frequent, creating a billion dollar business opportunity for U.S carrier AT&T Inc, it said on Wednesday.

CNA’s Agency Bill Pay Tool Streamlines Reconciliation, Disputes
News  |  11/14/2012  | 
ABP reduces a significant pain point for CNA's distribution partners, reducing a process that used to take days of work into one that takes minutes.
Do Insurers Understand The Cloud's Real Value?
Commentary  |  11/14/2012  | 
Cost savings may be the primary driver for insurers to adopt the cloud and virtualization, but the cloud's real potential is as a means of innovation and competitive advantage.
Karen Clark & Co. Surveys Sandy's Damage
Commentary  |  11/13/2012  | 
Key observations from the post-disaster damage survey include wind damage well inland, mature shallow-rooted trees falling and the lack of risk mitigation features, such as engineered storm shutters.
Mutual of Omaha Doubles Participation Rates Via Cloud-Based Tool
News  |  11/12/2012  | 
Mutual of Omaha sees employee participation rates skyrocket after adopting Trustnode's education and enrollment tool.
Bring It On: With Eye on the Future, AIG Returns Core Insurance Operations to AIG Brand
News  |  11/12/2012  | 
With eye on the future, AIG returns core insurance operations to AIG brand; "AIG as a global insurance brand is back," declares president and CEO Robert Benmosche, in explaining new branding and "brand promise" strategy.
Sandy's Aftermath: "Disaster Tourists" Add Insult to Injury
Commentary  |  11/12/2012  | 
If one wants to see what's happening and one doesn't have an occupational reason to be there — e.g., a reporter, relief worker or claims adjuster — then go there to help. Bring supplies, offer labor, but don't go there just to consume someone else's pain.
5 Reasons Why Carriers Must Embrace Cloud Computing
Commentary  |  11/12/2012  | 
Cloud-based solutions are allowing traditional carriers to close the technology gap and get back into the game. Not only do they empower carriers to quickly get on par with their new entrant competitors, they are also able to keep pace as technology evolves, argues Dave Shively of MphasiS.
Design, Not Performance, Defines Success of Online Quoting: Study
News  |  11/12/2012  | 
But product satisfaction still is the greatest indicator of customer acquisition.
New BlackBerrys Coming Jan. 30: RIM
News  |  11/12/2012  | 
Research In Motion Ltd plans to introduce its new line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones on Jan. 30, the company said on Monday, giving investors a measure of confidence that the long-awaited devices are nearing completion.

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