News & Commentary
Content posted in March 2012
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UPMC Health Plan Partners with WebMD
News  |  3/30/2012  | 
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Health Plan will provide coaching, wellness services, and hospital quality ratings to all insured members through WebMD portal.
Baltimore Life's Compliance Organization Shows the Value of Innovation
News  |  3/29/2012  | 
Baltimore Life turns a system that was designed to interpret regulations into a survey machine that helps improve customer service.
Universal Group Extends Implementation of Guidewire InsuranceSuite
News  |  3/29/2012  | 
The Puerto Rico-based P&C insurer has added reinsurance management and client data management to its Guidewire InsuranceSuite implementation.
Aflac Uses Harvard ManageMentor Software for Employee Education
News  |  3/29/2012  | 
Harvard ManageMentor gives Aflac users instant access to practical Business information through audio downloads, video clips, interactive activities and other tools.
Pitney Bowes Powers Claims Functionality for 1st Guard iPhone App
News  |  3/29/2012  | 
1st Guard uses the vendor's Spectrum product for the claims portion of the insurer's TRUCKER1 app, which allows drivers to access their coverage information and get back on the road quickly when they have a claim.
Liberty Mutual Enters Russian Market
News  |  3/29/2012  | 
Liberty Mutual, one of the largest insurance companies in the world, said it would enter the Russian market with a deal to acquire KIT Finance Insurance, which primarily writes auto coverage in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Co-operative Insurance Licenses CSC Claims Software
News  |  3/28/2012  | 
The Vermont-based P&C carrier has selected CSC's RISKMASTER, Vendor Solutions Suite and 2Work products.
Conning Upgrades Financial Modeling Platform
News  |  3/28/2012  | 
Version 5.6 provides clients with enhanced next generation tools to better recognize major shifts in the bond markets following the global financial crises, according to the vendor.
Will Reform-Driven Innovations Continue if Law is Struck Down?
Commentary  |  3/28/2012  | 
Health insurers have embraced modernization of the healthcare system since the Affordable Care Act was passed.
What's at Stake if ACA is Overturned?
Commentary  |  3/28/2012  | 
As the Supreme Court holds hearings on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), up to 31 million people stand to lose healthcare coverage.
U.S. Top Court Weighs All-or-Nothing on Healthcare Law
News  |  3/28/2012  | 
The fate of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul will be on the line on Wednesday when the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether the entire law must fall without its centerpiece insurance mandate.
Big Data Has Big Applications for Customer Experience: PwC
News  |  3/27/2012  | 
A new report indicates that big data has back-end applications that can help refine products in a customer-centric way.
Arizona State Compensation Fund Selects Guidewire
News  |  3/27/2012  | 
The worker's compensation insurer has selected the vendor's full insurance suite for policy administration, claims, billing, rating and underwriting.
AIG CEO Predicts Taxpayers Will Profit From Bailout
News  |  3/27/2012  | 
AIG expects American taxpayers to end up with a profit of $5 billion to $10 billion on the company's 2008 rescue when all is said and done, the chief executive of the bailed-out insurer said on Monday.
The Quiet Revolution in Insurance: Improving the Claims Experience
Commentary  |  3/27/2012  | 
Capabilities such as analytics, channel integration and geographic intelligence are helping insurance companies provide a more customized, informative and interactive claims experience while helping make claims adjustment more speedy and accurate.
How to Build a Modern Claims Experience
News  |  3/27/2012  | 
Claims have become the next battleground for winning and retaining customers, and insurers are exploring new ways to apply people, process and technology to create a superior customer experience.
Union Mutual Brings Its Policyholder and Agent Portals Into the 21st Century
News  |  3/26/2012  | 
Union Mutual of Vermont modernizes its policyholder and agent portals with ISCS's SurePower Innovation policy admin platform.
Record-Setting CAT Claims Require Special Handling
News  |  3/26/2012  | 
Even though 2011 socked the globe with catastrophes — and insurance companies with the resulting claims — carriers should stick to proven claims best practices. But that doesn’t mean clinging to old ways of interacting with policyholders.
UPMC Health Plan Partners with WebMD
News  |  3/26/2012  | 
The insurer will offer WebMD Digital Health Assistants to its members.
3 Ways Social Media Works for Insurers
Commentary  |  3/26/2012  | 
Social platforms provide an unprecedented opportunity, not only for insurance carrier and agency marketing, but for positive changes to the way that customers can interact and engage with companies.
Are Canadian Life Insurers Back on Track?
News  |  3/26/2012  | 
After steep losses in 2011, life insurers are suddenly among the hottest plays on the Canadian market, though the stocks may have trouble building on their gains given a murky profit outlook and recent changes in their business mix.
Affordable Care Act Goes to Supreme Court
News  |  3/26/2012  | 
Two years after President Barack Obama signed into law a healthcare overhaul, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday takes up a historic test of whether it is valid under the country's Constitution.
With Claims Data, Size Doesn't Matter
News  |  3/23/2012  | 
Insurers' claims organizations gain more benefits from flexible, agile analytics than from simply higher volumes of data, experts say.
Small Commercial Agents Value In-Person Visits from Carrier Reps, Hanover Study Says
News  |  3/23/2012  | 
Technology can't replace in-person meetings among this cohort, the company says.
SAS Releases Big Data Visual Analytics Platform
News  |  3/23/2012  | 
Hadoop-based storage combined with visual data-exploration and predictive analytics capabilities make new SAS platform stand apart in in-memory computing.
Health Insurers Grapple With Reform's Mandates As Supreme Court Date Nears
News  |  3/23/2012  | 
At Aetna Inc's headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut, about two dozen employees devote all their working hours to one task: making sure the health insurer is up to speed with President Barack Obama's U.S. healthcare overhaul law.
Silos Breaking Down in the C-Suite, PEMCO CMO Says
Commentary  |  3/23/2012  | 
It's not just the CIO and CMO who are becoming fast friends. PEMCO CMO Rod Brooks tells Insurance & Technology that business units are being integrated across the enterprise.
Inside a Claims System Revamp: Q&A With Auto-Owners SVP Bob Buchanan
News  |  3/23/2012  | 
P&C carrier Auto-Owners Insurance didn't come to its decision to replace its legacy claims system overnight. SVP Bob Buchanan explains how it ended up selecting Guidewire ClaimCenter.
Erie Hires 3, Promotes 6
News  |  3/22/2012  | 
Among the tech-focused moves: new vendor management, agent experience and claims training VPs.
Great American Names P&C Claims SVP
News  |  3/22/2012  | 
Aaron Latto is promoted to the position, which is responsible for all U.S. and international claims operation.
Allianz Moves Actuary to Customer-Focused Post
News  |  3/22/2012  | 
Matt Gray's skills will be leveraged for product development, according to Allianz' CMO.
Fraud Fighting Good, Not Bad for Customer Experience says CNA's Claims Head
Commentary  |  3/22/2012  | 
Analysts and vendors suggest that use of effective anti-fraud tools will at least minimize any potential affect on customer experience.
Disasters Lead CNA to Buy Hardy Underwriting
Commentary  |  3/21/2012  | 
Reuters reports that CNA will acquire its British rival after catastrophe losses took a toll on its bottom line.
Geithner on Late FIO Reports: Sorry, But We Want to Get It Right
News  |  3/21/2012  | 
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says he doesn't think there's a lack of resources at the FIO, just a desire to work "carefully."
Aetna, McKesson Partner on Automated Payment Platform
News  |  3/21/2012  | 
The companies have implemented a bundled payment model with a California orthopedic provider.
Bowing to Shareholder Pressure, Hartford to Sell Life Units
News  |  3/21/2012  | 
The Hartford Financial Services Group yielded to demands from its biggest shareholder, famed hedge fund manager John Paulson, and said on Wednesday that it would get rid of most of its life insurance-related operations.
Microinsurance Is a Growth Opportunity for Carriers, Says Accenture Study
News  |  3/20/2012  | 
Insurers that apply effective technology, business practices and alliances can tap not only a profitable microinsurance market but can also win customers who rise economically over time to become prospects for traditional products.
American General Structured Settlements Launches Distribution App
News  |  3/20/2012  | 
The app allows producers to quote future monthly payments from a structured settlement annuity.
Cisco Sees Opportunity in BYOD
News  |  3/20/2012  | 
Cisco Systems is expanding its services to enable companies to manage and secure private mobile devices used by employees at work, aiming to benefit from the trend widely known as BYOD or Bring Your Own Device.
Fighting Fraud: Predictive Analytics & Business Rules Make a Powerful Combination
News  |  3/19/2012  | 
Technology designed to manage insurance claims fraud, waste and abuse (FWA) has evolved a great deal in recent years, but there is much room for improvement. Incorporating automated business rules into a fraud management program that anticipates certain types of suspicious claim activity based on past fraud, for example; alone, it is not sufficient.
Fund Planned for Latin American Natural Disasters
News  |  3/19/2012  | 
The Inter-American Development Bank has proposed allowing member countries to tap loans in case they need to respond to natural disasters, the multilateral lender's president said on Saturday.
Jackson National Life Opens New IT Center, Adds Staff
News  |  3/19/2012  | 
The new positions are mostly concentrated in Internet development and document systems programming activities, as well as Java programming, network administration and other infrastructure-related areas.
Analysts Worry that Something's Amiss at Oracle
News  |  3/16/2012  | 
Oracle Corp may soon run out of excuses to feed Wall Street.
Prudential Names Jim Pogue to Head Group Life Products
News  |  3/16/2012  | 
The appointment of the thirty-plus year group insurance veteran will follows the February 2012 appointment of Joseph Hayes as Prudential Group Insurance CIO.
Data Theft Costs Tennessee Blue Cross Big Bucks
News  |  3/16/2012  | 
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee agrees to pay $1.5 million to settle case involving theft of 57 unencrypted hard drives that contained protected health information.
Apple Cements Tablet Market Dominance with New iPad
News  |  3/16/2012  | 
Apple Inc's newest iPad was looking like another hot seller on Friday, with hundreds queueing at stores across Asia and Europe to get their hands on a gadget likely to dominate the tablet-computer market well into next year.
Admiral Gets Quick Results With FICO Anti-Fraud Technology
News  |  3/15/2012  | 
Leading car insurance specialist finds £250,000+ in suspected fraud within first nine days through use of a new claims fraud system based on FICO Blaze Advisor.
Is Your Telematics Program Production-Ready? 3 Critical Questions
Commentary  |  3/15/2012  | 
Ultimately, mainstreaming telematics is about addressing data collection and analysis within a broader business and technology strategy.
SEC-Citigroup Fraud Settlement Gets New Life
News  |  3/15/2012  | 
A federal appeals court stopped just short of throwing out a judge's controversial rejection of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's $285 million settlement with Citigroup Inc in a fraud case.
MBIA Settles with UBS over Restructuring
News  |  3/15/2012  | 
UBS AG has agreed to settle litigation against MBIA Inc, challenging the bond insurer's 2009 restructuring, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
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