Blog


Will Wal-Mart Be Competing With Insurance Companies?
June 29, 2007 @ 14:06 PM | By Kathy Burger

Could Wal-Mart soon be selling insurance products? It's not such a far-fetched possibility, based on last week's announcement by the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant that it will open 1,000 Wal-Mart MoneyCenters -- covering one-fourth of its stores -- by the end of 2008.

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RMS/Florida Reconcile, Sort Of...
June 27, 2007 @ 16:14 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

It wasn't long ago that public officials in Florida were casting serious aspersions on Newark, Calif.-based catastrophe/hurricane modeling specialist Risk Management Solutions (RMS) for supposedly stacking the deck in favor of insurance companies by switching to a medium-term model that emphasized the increased frequency and severity of recent storms. However, it seems the two parties have come to an understanding, or the State of Florida has made its point. RMS has issued a statement saying that Florida had certified an updated version of the vendor's hurricane model. During any other year, that would have been a routine announcement.

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Last Call For I&T's Elite 8 Nominations
June 19, 2007 @ 17:25 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

The insurance industry continues to struggle to attract talent, in great measure because the workings of the industry demand a high level of talent, despite what the more cynically minded among us might say. Here at I&T we're in the midst not so much of attracting talent as identifying it, as we move toward the deadline for nominations for Insurance & Technology's Elite 8. This annual issue profiles eight innovative and successful senior technology executives in the insurance industry (check out the I&T's 2006 Elite 8 issue).

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Liberty Mutual's Jim Sweeney Teams Up With Business, IT To Optimize Solutions Delivery
June 19, 2007 @ 17:15 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Jim Sweeney has built a career on partnering with business and IT to optimize solutions delivery, as exemplified by his recent role as second vice president at Guardian Life (New York), where he transformed the carrier's corporate project management office, and as a consultant before that.

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Insurance Call Centers Lag Behind Other Industries, Survey Says
June 19, 2007 @ 16:31 PM | By Nathan Conz

While there are many signs that the insurance industry has made overall customer service improvements in the past few years, a recent study shows it still has a way to go when it comes to call center satisfaction. According to the CFI Group's Call Center Satisfaction Index, the insurance sector trails all other industries surveyed - save personal computers - in terms of call center customer satisfaction.

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Safeco Insurance Launches Teensurance Program
June 19, 2007 @ 16:25 PM | By Nathan Conz

In an effort to differentiate itself in a crowded auto insurance marketplace, Seattle-based Safeco Insurance recently rolled out the Teensurance program, a bundle of technologies and services designed to aid parents as they deal with their new teen drivers. The program was launched by Open Seas Solutions, a division of Safeco formed last August to focus on research, development and innovation.

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What Does Beneducci's Departure From FFIC Signify for the CEO Role in Insurance?
June 18, 2007 @ 14:31 PM | By Kathy Burger

You've heard of the Sports Illustrated and Time jinxes -- no sooner does a prominent figure from the sports, political or business worlds appear on the cover of one of these magazines and they either go into a literal or figurative slump, or take on some kind of new assignment -- either way, rendering the previous coverage obsolete. Well, it appears now that there may be an Insurance & Technology jinx. No sooner had we featured Fireman's Fund Insurance Company's president and CEO Joseph Beneducci on the cover of our June issue as one of I&T's 2007 Tech-Savvy CEOs, when the Novato, Calif.-based carrier announced that Beneducci had suddenly and unexpectedly (according to the company) resigned.

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Fireman's Fund's CEO Resigns
June 11, 2007 @ 16:02 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Novato, Calif.-based Fireman's Fund has issued a press release saying CEO Joe Beneducci has resigned, effective immediately. The carrier has named former CEO, Chuck Kavitsky, president of Allianz of America, interim CEO.

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Skywire Launches InsBridge 3.8
June 05, 2007 @ 16:20 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Skywire Software (Frisco, Texas), announced the availability of InsBridge 3.8, the latest release of the rating, rules and underwriting system. InsBridge is a Web-based rating, rules and underwriting system that can integrate with any platform and operate on all major operating systems, according to Skywire. Key features of the new release inclue import and export of products, program call outs and program workflow.

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Trumbull Launches Subrogation Solution
June 05, 2007 @ 16:16 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Trumbull Services announced source-it vm, the newest in a series of products designed to improve the way subrogation claims are handled. In a BPO environment, source-it vm allows companies to improve productivity and eliminate tasks associated with managing a vendor network for subrogatable losses. An inventory scorecard provides performance measures including: collection, cycle time, settlement, and accurate and timely reports and payments.

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Pendo Signs American Agricultural Insurance Co.
June 05, 2007 @ 16:14 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Pendo Systems, Inc., New York-based provider of the portfolio accounting solutions BasisPoint, reported that it has signed Chicago-based American Agricultural Insurance Co. as its newest client. According to David Elstrom, VP, accounting systems and internal controls, at American Agricultural, "We selected BasisPoint for our nearly $1 billion of investments because it offers the most comprehensive features in an intuitive, easy-to-use package." The BasisPoint system, which runs on a Microsoft-based platform, provides the flexibility to support complex investments in multiple currencies and tax regimes, Pendo Systems says.

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Fiserv Debuts eFreedom Annual Statement
June 05, 2007 @ 16:12 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Fiserv has debuted eFreedom Annual Statement, a new system for NAIC filing software that is designed for enterprisewide deployment, and which offers enhanced security features. This new .NET solution represents a complete redesign and reinvention of the NAIC filing process for insurance accountants. According to Fiserv, waiting for crosschecks and internal calculations is eliminated with the system, as they are continuously updated "behind the scenes." According to Deborah Hopkins, VP Compliance Solutions for Fiserv Insurance, "The screen designs are based on Microsoft Excel, which is very intuitive to accountants. We've used automation at every turn to eliminate keystrokes, present an array of statements and pages simultaneously, and provide instant access to underlying data elements and formulas."

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CSC Launches Precedent ID for Claims Assessment and Negotiation
June 05, 2007 @ 16:06 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

CSC has announced the release of Precedent ID, a Web-based application that enables adjusters to search an insurer's unique closed claim database for potentially precedential claims to support assessment and negotiation, according to the vendor. The software incorporates new technology to analyze the relationships and constraints surrounding injuries, treatments, prognoses and loss payments. CSC claims that Precedent ID is the only commercially available software that integrates information across claims evaluation, negotiation and resolution.

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Business Objects Planning Solution Now For Life, Health
June 05, 2007 @ 16:00 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

San Jose, Calif.-based Business Objects announced that it has extended its insurance planning solution to life and health insurance. The build-out of the activity analysis solution will include the ACORD business processes in its insurance activities library. Life insurance-specific reports include balance sheets, income statements and life insurance planning models.

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Camilion Debuts New P&C Policy Admin System
June 05, 2007 @ 15:51 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Camilion Solutions introduced Authority Suite, which it describes as a next-generation policy administration system for the property and casualty market. Leveraging a service-oriented architecture and built on a tools-based technology platform, Authority Suite gives insurers the agility they need to overcome the challenges created by hard-coded legacy systems, according to Camilion, including the ability to quickly revise and develop new products, automate underwriting and provide online sales - all while reducing their systems maintenance costs.

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Hyland Releases OnBase
June 05, 2007 @ 15:14 PM | By Debra Kelly

Hyland Software released version 6.4 of the OnBase enterprise content management software suite. The latest version provides information workers with new ways to leverage the familiar Microsoft Office System user experience to interact with OnBase transactional content and process management solutions.

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MedRisk Unveils EMPower
June 05, 2007 @ 15:14 PM | By Debra Kelly

MedRisk introduced the EMPower Debit Card, a new service for issuing workers' compensation disability payments. Claims payers send payment files electronically to MedRisk, which then coordinates with the bank to issue debit cards to each new claimant.

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DAVID Launches NavRisk 4.0
June 05, 2007 @ 15:12 PM | By Debra Kelly

DAVID Corporation launched version 4.0 of NavRisk Risk Management Suite. Comprised of NavRisk Policy, NavRisk Central and NavRisk Claims, the solution is designed to automate and streamline labor intensive and error-prone tasks associated with claims and policy processing.

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Sapiens Announces New Version of INSIGHT
June 05, 2007 @ 15:10 PM | By Debra Kelly

Sapiens International released Sapiens INSIGHT for Reinsurance version 3.5. A web-enabled solution for the insurance market, the new version is designed to support carriers and reinsurers in the management of all types of reinsurance for P&C and Life business and is capable of providing ACORD compliant XML.

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Colin Powell Focuses On Openness In IASA Keynote; Attendees Hear Words Of Caution
June 05, 2007 @ 12:09 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

By Anthony O'Donnell There was a curious moment during former Secretary of State Colin Powell's keynote speech Monday at the 2007 IASA Educational Conference & Business Show. Powell rhapsodized about the open and generous character of the American people, and how in the post-9/11 era Americans need to cultivate that character and continue to welcome the outside world with open arms.

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Experts Debate Value, Future of SOA
June 05, 2007 @ 11:04 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

"I can believe, given all the hype, that we are, as an industry, once again on the cusp of doing something stupid," said Judy Johnson, Patni.

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Data Awareness Emerges At IASA 2007
June 05, 2007 @ 08:05 AM | By Kathy Burger

By Katherine Burger One of the themes that has emerged from discussions and presentations at this year's IASA Annual Educational Conference & Business Show in Minneapolis is the importance of insurers taking a different, more-savvy approach to information management, in order to leverage the opportunities enabled by the new generation of data management and analytical technologies, as well as to avoid the costs, inefficiencies and operational risk of poorly managed data.

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Moving on Legacy: When and How?
June 05, 2007 @ 04:05 AM | By Nathan Conz

By Nathan Conz The Monday, June 4, afternoon session, "Legacy Systems - When to Hold 'Em and When to Fold 'Em," at the IASA 2007 Educational Conference & Business Show, held in Minneapolis, Minn., touched on many common concerns held by insurance company IT professionals regarding the replacement of legacy systems.

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