May 2006

Cover Story

Partners and Rivals
As growth in the health savings account market skyrockets, health insurers and banks are simultaneously partners in the value chain and rivals seeking to control customer relationships.

In It Together
Using client research, Philadelphia-based Cigna determined that the best offering for its employer health plan market was an integrated health savings account solution that offered a seamless experience for members accessing healthcare, performing transactions and navigating between the insurance and banking realms associated with HSAs.

Out of the Gate
As a marketer of health insurance plans to individuals and small businesses, Milwaukee-based Assurant Health already dealt with a market population used to making decisions about its healthcare.


Case Study
Go With the Flow
As part of a network redesign in 2003 that involved redeploying its IT infrastructure at colocation facilities in Boston and Dallas for business continuity and disaster recovery purposes, Amica Mutual Insurance Co. wanted to ensure its investment was protected.

True Insight
Coradiant's TrueSight solution enables OneBeacon Insurance's IT department to locate and solve Web application problems quickly.


One on One
Transparent Technology
Jim Hanson, EVP of Information Services, Mutual of Omaha Jim Hanson and Mutual of Omaha have a long history together. Hanson joined the mutual company right out of college and has served in his current role as the carrier's EVP for information services for 10 years. During his tenure, Hanson has been able to update the organization's legacy systems with new technologies while making the resulting IT environment appear seamless to the company's internal and external customers. In fact, Hanson and his IT team have provided so much value that organizations outside of insurance are asking Mutual of Omaha to provide IT services for them as well.


Feature
Call Forward
Promises of cost savings, enhanced customer service and improved business continuity are driving insurers to make the switch to Voice over IP.


Virtual Roundtable
Strong Incentive
Automated compensation systems offer a way to improve efficiency, streamline compliance and attract agents. But legacy environments stand in the way of flexible commissions processes.


Names in the News
Maier Globalizes Zurich N.A.
In taking on the top technology post at Zurich North America as part of a restructuring of IT, Andy Maier has left behind the alpine splendor of parent company Zurich Financial Services' Zurich, Switzerland, headquarters.

Van Wyk Heads ING U.S. IT
Having served as CIO and COO of Morgan Stanley, Steve Van Wyk brings valuable financial services, IT and operations experience to ING U.S. as its new CIO.

Executive News

From The Editor
Back In Style
Just like lapels and skirt lengths, management concepts go in and out of style. Consider the concept of innovation.


Update
Sign Me Up
Insurers increasingly are reaping the benefits of electronic signatures, but lagging back-end technology and compliance concerns are slowing adoption by many.

Rocky Mountain Low
A new Colorado House bill would saddle insurers with requirements to disclose more financial data and restrict rating methods.

UnumProvident Shifts to ACS
Increased outsourcing competition has led UnumProvident to modify its IT outsourcing procedures.

Figuring It Out
MetLife changes the way it sells life insurance with new life insurance benefit calculator.


Back To Business
Clearing Up Case Handling
To automate its medical/personal-injury protection claims processing, Farmers Insurance Group deployed Clear Technology's Med/PIP Claims Processing Solution.

Taking Action On AML
Responding to The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network mandate that life insurance companies establish an anti-money laundering program by May 2, 2006, Actimize and IBM will jointly deliver an AML solution to the industry.

Harleysville Taps AQS
To reduce time to market for new commercial lines products and provide ease of use to its agents, Harleysville Insurance will implement AQS' Web-based AQS/advantage suite.

Hanover Goes Commercial
In an effort to strengthen its commercial business, Worcester, Mass.-based The Hanover Insurance Group deployed OneShield's browser-based rating and policy administration platform, Dragon, for commercial package policies.

Cover Your Assets
Insurers must focus on internal risk management rather than depend on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which is set to expire in two years, to mitigate losses from a terrorist attack, according to Risk Management Solutions (RMS).

TechWatch

Connected Enterprise
Beyond the crapshoot
Return to growth has been the management mantra of the past couple of years, but how do you drive growth when you can't compete on products or price?


Reaching New Product Heights
To develop innovative products that support consumers' needs, insurers must overcome information silos and foster collaboration across the enterprise.

Know Your Customers
For insurance companies looking to capitalize on customer-centric product development, knowledge of consumers' needs and behaviors is key.

Third-Party Support
In an effort to expand its customer-centric portfolio of products, St. Paul, Minn.-based Securian Financial Group turned to Woodland Hills, Calif.-based third-party administrator LifeCare Assurance Company for help developing Securian's new long-term care insurance product, LTC Guard. Securian's Ben Roth, director of life product research and promotions, and Mary Anne Smith, director of individual business technology, recently spoke with I&T Associate Editor Maria Woehr about the product's development.