News & Commentary
Content posted in August 2011
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Tokio Marine Management Implements Sapiens Core Systems
News  |  8/31/2011  | 
TMM expects efficiency and greater speed-to-market when Sapiens' RapidSure Policy Administration and Reinsurance solutions go live later this year.
How Do Story Cards Enable Agile Development?
Commentary  |  8/31/2011  | 
Story cards specify the automated system capabilities that are desired by the business community, and represent the major point of communication between that side and the software delivery team.
Irene Shows Why More People Should Consider Flood Insurance: Deloitte's Mills
Commentary  |  8/30/2011  | 
While much of the talk around Hurricane Irene focused on potential wind and storm surge damage to the five boroughs of New York City, rain from the storm flooded upstate rivers and streams causing heavy — and potentially uninsured — losses.
Tech-Savvy Insurance Consumers Reshape Distribution and Service Concepts
Commentary  |  8/30/2011  | 
As younger, more technologically sophisticated customers continue occupy a larger part of the market, insurers need to bridge looming "expectation gap" between what consumers want and what they feel they are receiving.
Insurers Address Irene's Claims and Business Continuity Challenges
News  |  8/29/2011  | 
Insurers across the nation used social media channels to reach out to policyholders, while carriers in Irene's path ramped up not only their claims responses but also their business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
'Tale of Two Counties' Shows Value of Preparation
Commentary  |  8/29/2011  | 
For me, Westchester County was a safe haven during Irene. Others weren't so lucky.
10 Steps to Minimize the Impact of a Disaster
Commentary  |  8/29/2011  | 
As the Northeast cleans up in the wake of Hurricane Irene, it's appropriate to review and implement some key business continuity best practices.
Map Tracks Irene With Innovative Combination of Official Data and Social Media Input
Commentary  |  8/26/2011  | 
ESRI's Hurricanes & Cyclones map illustrates both now standard tracking features and also the kind of private interaction undertaken to preserve lives and property and mitigate insured losses.
Insurance Industry Reacts to Jobs' Retirement
Commentary  |  8/25/2011  | 
During his tenure, the former Apple CEO has been credited with revolutionizing technology. We reached out to several industry players for thoughts on how those innovations influenced insurance technology specifically.
Can Insurers Compete in the Global Competition for Qualified Workers?
Commentary  |  8/25/2011  | 
New research from the ManpowerGroup indicates that one in three employers is having trouble filling jobs due to lack of available talent. Do insurance companies have the right strategies to compete in this environment?
Ameritas Life Insurance's IT Organization Ramps Up for Business Transformation
News  |  8/25/2011  | 
Richard Wiedenbeck, VP of IT for Ameritas Life Insurance, is leading an IT strategy to help the carrier fulfill its potential as an innovator in the annuities and retirement space.
Va. Earthquake Spurs Discussion Over Insurance
Commentary  |  8/24/2011  | 
After a relatively minor temblor spooked residents of the densely populated Boston-Washington corridor, consumers may begin to take this risk seriously.
HP Enhances Life, Health and Annuity Policy Admin Systems
News  |  8/24/2011  | 
Enhancements to the RADIENCE Administration and INGENIUM systems foster greater speed-to-market, lower project risk and cost, accelerated implementation and greater accessibility to distribution and customer service channels, according to the vendor.
Guild Insurance Selects Thunderhead For Delivery of Customer Communications
News  |  8/24/2011  | 
Thunderhead NOW will allow Guild Insurance to centralize corporate identities and customer information to simplify the process of creating documents and policies while improving the usability of documents for its customers.
MajescoMastek Introduces Elixir Group Policy Admin for Annuity, Health and Life in North America
News  |  8/23/2011  | 
The new offering responds to increasing demand for systems supporting more sophisticated group products.
Despite Preparation, It's Hard to Avoid Hurricane Losses
Commentary  |  8/23/2011  | 
In a post-Katrina world, hurricane losses aren't defined by how unprepared we are, but rather through the lottery of storms' paths.
Accenture Completes Duck Creek Acquisition
News  |  8/23/2011  | 
About 370 Duck Creek employees will join Accenture Software.
Sapiens Finalizes Merger with FIS and IDIT
News  |  8/23/2011  | 
The resulting entity will aim to realize "many potential synergies" between the three companies, says CEO Roni Al-Dor.
Vertafore to Acquire Kaplan Compliance Solutions
News  |  8/23/2011  | 
Vertafore's wholly owned subsidiary Sircon will incorporate Kaplan's producer on-boarding compliance capabilities into its existing solution.
MetLife Taps Former Citi/RBC Exec to Lead Global Technology
News  |  8/22/2011  | 
Martin Lippert will join the insurer as EVP and head of global technology next month.
Fidelity National Financial Implements Analytics Engine
News  |  8/22/2011  | 
Fidelity National Financial develops a continuous-monitoring audit solution using ACL Services' analytics engine as its core.
Sentry Insurance Boosts Performance with Application Monitoring Solution
News  |  8/22/2011  | 
Adopting a comprehensive application performance management tool removes administration bottlenecks and results in immediate application and system performance improvements at Sentry Insurance.
Q&A: BCBS of Rhode Island's CIO
News  |  8/19/2011  | 
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island CIO Bill Wray draws on his experience in the banking industry as he steers an unwieldy core systems replacement project back on track and helps the carrier position for a more consumer-focused healthcare environment.
AIG Reduces U.S. Investment in Subsidiary by Approximately $2 Billion
News  |  8/19/2011  | 
The company applied capital from the $2.16 sale of Nan Shan Life Insurance to Ruen Chen Investment Holding Company to reduce the U.S. government investment.
Sabrina Hart Named COO for Zurich Global Corporate in North America
News  |  8/18/2011  | 
Hart's experience includes serving as chief underwriting officer for Zurich North America Commercial's (ZNAC) Specialty Products business and, most recently, head of risk operations within the carrier's Group Risk Management organization where she was responsible for driving Zurich's operational risk and control activities.
What Companies Should Consider When Exploring the New Government Mandate on E-Payments Initiatives
Commentary  |  8/18/2011  | 
A survey of the technology landscape, showing more and more companies turning to e-payments and ways to expedite payments through integrated solutions, makes a case for going electronic that should put the most critical skeptics at ease.
Want Loyal Insurance Customers? Align Four Key Customer Touch Points
Commentary  |  8/17/2011  | 
The insurance companies that will retain customers in the long run are the those that can develop an overall corporate customer strategy that aligns multiple customer touch points and improves business execution.
In Which U.S. State are 5 of the Top 10 Tornado Risk Metro Areas?
Commentary  |  8/16/2011  | 
The ability to predict where tornadoes are more likely to strike becomes more attractive in a year that has seen over 1200 of the funnel clouds and over $1.1 billion in property damage. What state do your underwriters think has more high-risk zones?
Ready, Fire, Aim! -- Don't Miss the Point of a Policy Administration Transformation
Commentary  |  8/16/2011  | 
The convergence of aging legacy platforms, complex market demands, and a more mature vendor landscape have ushered in a unique period of policy administration transformation where it is possible for carriers to embark on this journey by taking on less risk than before but carriers who misapprehend drivers of their transformation programs risk firing at the wrong target.
Insurers: Are Your Analytic Projects Tied to Your Business Strategies?
Commentary  |  8/15/2011  | 
Many insurance companies struggle to understand the areas where analytics can have an impact in their business. Here’s how insurers can enable business strategies and quantify business results through analytics.
Unitrin Changes Name to Kemper
News  |  8/15/2011  | 
Unitrin changes name to Kemper; initiative to create unified brand coincides with trading on NYSE under KMPR ticker symbol.
RMS Unveils New Version of Data Quality Toolkit for Enhanced Exposure Data Management
News  |  8/15/2011  | 
The release offers a new building valuation capability that RMS says helps re/insurers to identify potential valuation issues with particular lines of business, regions, or portfolios, and to understand the risk associated with under and over-valuation of properties
Vertafore Names Head of Newly Integrated Sales and Client Services Organization
News  |  8/12/2011  | 
Vertafore names former Thomson Reuters exec Mark Sonders SVP of sales and client services.
Aetna Offers Mobile Tools to Florida Doctors
News  |  8/12/2011  | 
Mobile alerts and e-prescribing are available through NaviNet Mobile Connect.
Government Mandate Gives the Insurance Industry's E-Payments Initiatives a Big Push
Commentary  |  8/11/2011  | 
Reduction in paper processing is only the beginning of benefits insurers gain through the electrification of payments, including acceleration processing and clearing, reduction of errors, improving visibility into receivables, eliminate information float, plus a range of service enhancements.
SCF Arizona Taps Sword Insurance for New Online Distribution Platform
News  |  8/11/2011  | 
SCF Arizona taps Sword Insurance for new online distribution platform; initiative is part of workers' comp provider's business transformation that Includes increased focus on independent agent channel.
Reflections on Accenture's Emergence as a Multi-Tier Software Contender
Commentary  |  8/11/2011  | 
Since the notorious suit against Guidewire, Accenture has abundantly clarified its status as a software provider and caused industry observers to energetically anticipate the meaning of its latest acquisition in terms of the insurance software competitive playing field.
Health Insurers Take Bold Steps in Social Media
News  |  8/10/2011  | 
Forward-thinking companies are inviting consumers to take part in conversations around health, wellness and insurance issues.
Mutual of Omaha Creates Interactive Benefit Planning Service
News  |  8/10/2011  | 
The goal is to help employees better understand the carrier's benefit offerings.
EU Solvency II Deadline Extension Helps, But Insurers Still Scrambling
Commentary  |  8/10/2011  | 
The European Parliament supports an implementation deadline extension from Jan. 2013 to Jan. 2014, but insurers will still have to get systems and processes in place by the end of 2012.
Prudential Launches Online Tool for Disability Clients
News  |  8/10/2011  | 
The program helps employers manage benefit costs through enhanced worker productivity and effective return-to-work strategies, the insurer claims.
4 Critical Questions About the Cloud
News  |  8/9/2011  | 
Four questions insurance executives should be asking about the value and security of the cloud computing model.
Insurers Likely to Develop Hybrid Clouds
News  |  8/9/2011  | 
Insurers are likely to develop hybrid clouds that connect internal core competencies with external data and services.
Donegal Insurance Group Better Connects Distant Data Centers
News  |  8/9/2011  | 
Donegal Insurance Group improves communication performance between distant data centers and cuts costs with Silver Peak's enterprise WAN optimization appliance.
Embracing the Cloud -- But Only to a Point
News  |  8/9/2011  | 
Insurers are expanding their use of cloud-based offerings. But carriers are avoiding any cloud-related services that could jeopardize the security and privacy of sensitive data.
Insurance Industry's Financial Strength Overwhelms Any Threat from S&P's Downgrade
Commentary  |  8/9/2011  | 
The P&C industry has limited exposure to government bonds and has enough financial strength in reserve to cover the equivalent of 12 Hurricane Katrinas, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Competitive and Regulatory Pressures Will Drive Insurance M&As: KPMG Survey
News  |  8/8/2011  | 
Insurers will also be making investments in technology to adapt to the changing business environment, the consultancy found.
Improving Insurance E-mail Delivery
Commentary  |  8/5/2011  | 
A clean e-mail database is paramount for insurance carriers to maintain good standing with ISPs and continue to reach customers via the channel.
Study Suggests Canada's Single-Payer System Costs Less than U.S.
Commentary  |  8/5/2011  | 
The research from Cornell University and the University of Toronto found that American doctors must pay on average $61,000 more per year for administrative costs associated with insurance claims.
Appelate Court Throws Out AIG, Gen Re Finite Reinsurance Convictions
Commentary  |  8/3/2011  | 
The reversal in convictions in U.S. v. Ferguson raises questions about prosecutors' zeal, and have implications for civil case against Hank Greenberg filed by former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in 2005.
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