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Carriers Can Better Utilize Fraud Mitigation Technologies
March 27, 2007 @ 17:06 PM | By Nathan Conz

By Nathan Conz, Insurance & Technology A recently released report from research and advisory firm Celent suggests that many insurance companies aren't taking full advantage of technology when it comes to fighting fraud. "There really isn't much excuse for an insurance company to not be using some of these technologies depending on how big they are and what the extent of their exposure is," says Donald Light, Celent senior analyst and author of the report. Despite the fact that insurers have started to put more resources into fraud mitigation technology, Light says that the traditional "red flag" method - where adjusters use predetermined lists of about 30 circumstances to gauge if a claim may be fraudulent - is still over used.

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Pitney Bowes to Acquire MapInfo
March 27, 2007 @ 15:12 PM | By Nathan Conz

By Nathan Conz, Insurance & Technology In a move to further expand its presence outside its core mailing business, Pitney Bowes ($5.7 billion in revenue) announced plans to acquire MapInfo Corporation (Troy, N.Y.) for approximately $408 million in cash. The deal could significantly strengthen the Stamford, Conn.-based company's position in geographic information system (GIS) technology.

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AML Still a Top Priority
March 27, 2007 @ 12:42 PM | By Nathan Conz

By Nathan Conz, Insurance & Technology Anti-money laundering (AML) compliance has been a high priority for insurance carriers and other financial services institutions since 9/11 and the subsequent Patriot Act, which placed a regulatory focus on money laundering and terrorist financing. As a result, significant AML investments have been made in recent years. Still, a recent survey suggests that companies have set AML benchmarks that they have yet to meet. A survey of banking, brokerage and insurance executives conducted by audit, tax and advisory services firm KPMG (New York) found that 75 percent of respondents plan to either implement an automated transaction monitoring system or upgrade their current one. It's a statistic that's all the more telling when one considers that 71 percent of those same respondents said their financial institutions already had automated systems to help monitor transactions and identify potentially suspicious activity.

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Fidelity National Title Launches Multilingual Web Sites
March 13, 2007 @ 12:25 PM | By Nathan Conz

By Nathan Conz As part of a larger effort to increase home ownership in Latino and Asian-American communities, Fidelity National Title Insurance, an underwriter for Fidelity National Financial (Jacksonville), has launched four new foreign language Web sites - in Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese. Fidelity National Title, along with FNF's other title insurance underwriters, issues approximately 29 percent of all title insurance policies in the United States. The sites are similar in content to Fidelity National Title's flagship Web site and provide access to information about real estate, escrow and title insurance as well as background on complicated industry terms. Translation for the sites was provided by Yamagata America (San Diego), the North American business arm of the Japan-based Yamagata Corporation. The sites are being marketed primarily through FNF's first line of customers -- real estate professionals and lenders.

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Online Compliance Data Review
March 13, 2007 @ 12:08 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

By Anthony O'Donnell Addressing retirement plan employer customers' increasing desire to interact with their plan provider online, Standard Retirement Services (a subsidiary of StanCorp Financial Group; 2005 revenue of $2.3 billion) has launched Compliance Data Review (CDR), a Web-based tool that enables employers to view a summary of plan information online. In addition to easing the preparation of data for annual reporting and compliance testing, the tool enables direct entry of data into the Web front end and automatically flags potential errors, such as missing or invalid data. "The end result is a more-efficient compliance testing and government filing process for plan sponsors," according to a StanCorp source.

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Commerce Banc Insurance Services, Travelers Team Up
March 13, 2007 @ 12:00 PM | By Nathan Conz

By Nathan Conz In an effort to offer increased value to customers and stay competitive in the marketplace, Commerce Banc Insurance Services (Cherry Hill, N.J.; $1 billion in annual premium volume) has launched a new service that allows customers to get instant automobile insurance rate quotes and initiate their purchase of coverage online. The insurance agency, a subsidiary of Commerce Bancorp, offers the new service through a partnership with Travelers, a business of St. Paul-based The Travelers Companies ($113.76 billion in total assets). Travelers has similar partnerships with other insurance agencies, says Peter Crichton, director of partnership marketing at Travelers. "We're trying to reach those customers whose preference is to shop online and who might normally only be exposed to direct-writer companies," he says. "Here, we can go into that segment of the marketplace and bring them to Travelers through an independent agent."

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