News & Commentary
Content posted in June 2010
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Insurance Trade Associations Mostly Relieved by Financial Reform Bill Deal
News  |  6/30/2010  | 
Duplicative federal regulation of the insurance industry is essentially absent from the Dodd-Frank bill that emerged from a Marathon session in Congress June 25.
Alex Upgraded to Hurricane Day Before Landfall
News  |  6/30/2010  | 
Earliest hurricane since 1995 could potentially reach category 2 status by the time it reaches land.
BCBS Florida Launches Mobile Web Site
News  |  6/30/2010  | 
The company plans other mobile initiatives this year as well, including an iPhone application and text messaging program.
Supreme Court Punts on Software Patent Controversy
News  |  6/29/2010  | 
Observers of the Bilski v. Kappos case had seen it as an opportunity for the Supreme Court to address unresolved issues about what should or should not be covered by a patent.
Madison Mutual Selects ISCS SurePower Policy Administration Suite
News  |  6/29/2010  | 
Regional P&C insurer seeks to streamline policy and claims processes and gain greater product speed-to-market with configurable rules-and-tools system.
Alex Expected to Make Landfall as Hurricane
News  |  6/29/2010  | 
Currently classified as a tropical storm, Alex shows similarities to 2008’s Hurricane Dolly.
Symetra Inks Licensing Agreement with CSC
News  |  6/29/2010  | 
The life insurer will use CSC products to manage distribution and streamline annuities processing.
BCBS Massachusetts Signs Five-Year Agreement with IBM
News  |  6/29/2010  | 
The insurer has contracted IBM to redefine its IT department, according to the companies.
Insurers Launch Games to Engage Consumers on iPhone
News  |  6/28/2010  | 
Humana and MassMutual both released iPhone games last week to build affinity for their brands among consumers.
Accenture, Asprea Sign Outsourcing Agreement
News  |  6/28/2010  | 
Asprea, a UK-based Aviva subsidiary, turns over claim validation and fulfillment to Accenture.
Futurity First Names First VP of IT
News  |  6/28/2010  | 
MassMutual veteran Keith Raymond will be responsible for strategic development of all technology systems and e-commerce initiatives.
Access Insurance Picks Ultimate Software for HR SaaS
News  |  6/25/2010  | 
After its previous HR service was acquired, the auto insurer looked for a replacement with strong analytics, it says.
Geico Adds Two Execs to IT Department
News  |  6/25/2010  | 
Steve Ostrosky and Steve Smith were named assistant vice presidents in Geico’s IT division.
Allianz Brings in New VP of Operations Controls
News  |  6/25/2010  | 
The Hartford veteran Denise Settimi follows Andy Dulka’s appointment earlier this year.
MS Frontier Re Chooses Sword Intech's Co+
News  |  6/25/2010  | 
The Co+ policy administration platform will enable Ms Frontier Re to handle the full lifecycle of a global-based assumed reinsurance system.
Medica Implements Customized Benefit Program for Commercial Customers
News  |  6/24/2010  | 
The insurer worked with HealthInsight to develop a scorecard-based system.
SeaBright Uses Predictive Modeling in Managed Care Platform
News  |  6/24/2010  | 
BrightCurePDQ’s model identifies injured employees with serious return-to-work challenges, the company claims.
Nice Systems Releases Back-Office Suite
News  |  6/24/2010  | 
Developed with Eglue, the suite helps improve customer relations and employee relations, Nice claims.
Visualizing Data for Value
News  |  6/24/2010  | 
The real issue is not in the amount or type of data, or even in how it is structured, but it is in the fact that organizations often lack the skills and tools to visually represent the data in a way that makes it immediately relevant and actionable.
Reports Find P&C Industry on Solid Financial Footing
News  |  6/23/2010  | 
Profitability returns and reserves are well-stocked, but potential snags could still come, organizations say.
Algorithmics Acquires Actuarial Software Solution Provider VIPitech from Towers Watson
News  |  6/23/2010  | 
Algorithmics acquires actuarial software solution provider VIPitech from Towers Watson; deal is part of Algorithmics’ commitment to the insurance and pension fund sectors.
Leveraging Text Mining in Insurance
News  |  6/23/2010  | 
Recent advances in text mining technologies have made it possible to harvest valuable information buried in unstructured data and leverage it for business results.
Insurance Technologies Adds Data Management to POS System
News  |  6/22/2010  | 
Giving carriers who use ForeSight control over data updates will help them reduce costs, the manufacturer says.
Choice Administrators, E-chx Partner for Health Insurance Payroll Product
News  |  6/22/2010  | 
Choice Administrators Payroll Services aims to streamline potentially costly employee changes, the companies claim.
Health-e-Web Acquires Electronic Translation and Transmittals
News  |  6/22/2010  | 
The subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield Montana sees electronic transactions as an extension of its core revenue cycle management business.
Principal Financial Executive Named Chairman of International Insurance Society
News  |  6/22/2010  | 
Principal Financial's Norman Sorensen named Chairman of International Insurance Society.
Sagicor Life Names Todd Campbell President and CEO
News  |  6/22/2010  | 
Former partner of Atlanta law firm Arnall, Golden, Gregory, LLP will provide strategic direction for Sagicor's U.S. operations.
Mitchell Updates RepairCenter with FastPhoto Manager
News  |  6/21/2010  | 
New system helps collision centers communicate images quickly to stakeholders in repairs.
Baldwin & Lyons Selects Systema for Claims
News  |  6/21/2010  | 
SIMS Claims, a browser-based system, will replace legacy systems for two property-and-casualty insurance companies under the B&L umbrella.
Direct Auto Writers Top Traditional in Online Experience: Forrester
News  |  6/21/2010  | 
Though auto insurers haven't been in the game as long as some other financial services firms, online-first companies like Progressive and Geico have effectively implemented best practices, a Forrester study says.
Survival of The Coolest
Commentary  |  6/18/2010  | 
HM Insurance Group Acquires Mutual of Omaha Practice
News  |  6/18/2010  | 
The employer stop-loss business line goes to Pittsburgh’s HM Insurance Group from Mutual of Omaha.
AllMed Launches MedCert to Aid Physician Reviews
News  |  6/18/2010  | 
The MedCert extension to PeerPoint helps insurers cut costs by outsourcing reviews, AllMed says.
SBLI Opens Mobile-Optimized Website
News  |  6/18/2010  | 
Smartphone users are the target audience for Savings Bank Life Insurance Company’s full-service mobile site.
Consumers Wary of Insurers Accessing EMRs: Harris Interactive Survey
News  |  6/17/2010  | 
The percentage of poll respondents agreeing that insurers should have access to their EMRs fell three percent year-over-year.
Progressive Picks Mitchell Service for Physical Damage Claims
News  |  6/16/2010  | 
Mitchell’s WorkCenter solution, led by the Total Loss application, will help Progressive with claims.
The Dentists Insurance Company Names Mayo Vice President of Business Operations
News  |  6/16/2010  | 
The former consultant for CastleBay has particular expertise in processing systems and reporting.
Progressive Leads Largest Auto Insurance Websites in First Forrester Rankings
News  |  6/15/2010  | 
Forrester study modeled on a similar review of bank websites finds that insurers excel at transaction and service content and functionality, but lack in navigation.
SugarCRM Incorporates Experian QAS Address Verification
News  |  6/15/2010  | 
QAS for SugarCRM aims to reduce operational costs associated with inaccurate customer address data.
Congressional Hearings Unlikely to Threaten Insurers’ Use of Credit Scoring
News  |  6/15/2010  | 
Property and casualty insurers have long used credit scores to help build consumers' risk profiles, a practice generally regulated at the state level. Congress recently held informational hearings on the practice, but experts don't see federal regulation of the use of insurance scores in the near future.
AIR Worldwide Hurricane Model Certified in Florida
News  |  6/15/2010  | 
Version 12.0 of AIR’s offering includes more detailed modeling, the company says.
Main Street America Adds Third-Party Functionality to Bonds System
News  |  6/15/2010  | 
Main Street Station for Bonds now allows high-volume clients to initiate, approve or order bonds.
iPipeline Awarded Patent for Computerized Insurance Apps
News  |  6/15/2010  | 
The vendor has filed a continuation application claiming additional subject matter for the patent covering a computerized method of insurance applications.
Nathan Golia Joins I&T as Associate Editor
News  |  6/14/2010  | 
In one more sign that -- fingers crossed -- the insurance and technology industries (and maybe even the media business) are back on a growth track, Nathan Golia has joined the Insurance & Technology editorial team as Associate Editor.
First Medical of Puerto Rico Picks Edifecs, Microsoft for HIPAA Compliance
News  |  6/14/2010  | 
Three vendors collaborate to help insurer improve transaction processing, visibility and support.
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York/BlueShield of Northeastern New York Launch Online Care NY, On-Demand Healthcare Services
News  |  6/14/2010  | 
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York/BlueShield of Northeastern New York launch Online Care NY, on-demand healthcare services, which will enable eligible members to have immediate live encounters, via Internet or telephone, with credentialed physicians from the plans' provider networks.
Sagicor Life Implements Insurance Technologies' ForeSight 5.0
News  |  6/14/2010  | 
Sagicor chose to upgrade on ForeSight based on version 5.0's enhanced capabilities, including SmartPhone/PDA, CRM, FNA, and a summary values section.
Vertafore to be Acquired by TPG Capital
News  |  6/14/2010  | 
Pending regulatory approval, TPG will purchase Vertafore from Hellman & Friedman and its co-investor JMI Equity for $1.4 billion by the third quarter of 2010.
Risk, Reputation and the World Cup
News  |  6/11/2010  | 
Americans have taken a lot of abuse over the years for supposedly not being up to competing in the World Cup. Attitudes are slowly changing owing to some impressive performances against great teams, such as Germany. Here's a light-hearted take on the American team from John Oliver of the Daily Show.
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