October 2006

Cover Story

Customer-Centric Cash Flow
Insurers typically neglect the critical customer touch points of premium and claim payments. A customer-centric approach to these traditionally back-office functions not only pleases customers, it also brings efficiency and transparency to insurers' processes as well.


One Charter to Rule Them All?
With an optional federal charter on the Senate floor, insurers are considering the regulation's businessimplications and its impact on IT systems.

One on One
A Scientific Method
John Anthony, Director, Innovation Lab, The Hartford Financial Services Group Before The Hartford Financial Services Group ($27.1 billion in revenue) launched its Innovation Lab in 2005, the Hartford-based company spent some time discussing what innovation should mean for its P&C division.

Case Study
Straight-Through Service
Western Reserve Group makes a long-term commitment to straight-through processing, starting with enabling online business submission for agents.

Wireless Blackout
Blue Cross of Idaho taps Network Chemistry application to control rogue wireless usage.

Thrilling Service
To maintain its dominant position in Maine's workers' compensation market, Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Co. leverages IT to improve service for its agent customers.

Names in the News
Balanced Governance
As a classic car restorer, Mike Mitchard, Pembroke, Bermuda-based Partner Re's ($4.2 billion in revenue) newly appointed CIO, appreciates starting with good material.

IT Claims Transformation

October Techwatch

From The Editor
Mixed Messages
The buzz among a number of female staffers in our offices a few weeks ago had nothing to do with industry acquisitions or emerging technologies.

Blues' Big Database
CSC is helping the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association build a healthcare/health insurance informatics resource drawing on data from 79 million individuals.

Healthy Options
The Principal Financial Group is pushing competition in consumer-driven healthcare with an integrated HRA and HSA product.

Vendors' Hot Summer
A predicted wave of insurance technology vendor consolidation manifested itself in August with the announcement of several deals that, collectively, are likely to reshape the sector.

Get Real (Time)
MetLife Auto & Home taps Xactware to simplify communication between the carrier's field staff and claims office.

Punching Up Processing
P&C start-up Homeowners of America Insurance uses online agent submission and processing to shake up the competition.

Contract News

Alliances & Partnerships

Executive News

Back To Business
Document Demands
In order to meet the document requirements of every state in which it operates, Chattanooga, Tenn.-based UnumProvident (UNM; $10.4 billion in revenue) is deploying Exstream Software's (Lexington, Ky.) Windows-based Dialogue enterprise document software as a common platform for designing, managing and producing policyholder communications.

From Auctions To Insurance
U.K. insurer Norwich Union (Norwich; US$373.6 billion in total assets) and electronic auction house eBay (San Jose, Calif.) have launched an online insurance center in an effort to boost sales through Norwich's online sales channel.

Main Street Gains N'Site
Jacksonville, Fla.-based The Main Street America Group (approximately $900 million in direct written premium) purchased Urbandale, Iowa-based N'Site Solutions' Web-based software application NSolutionsv4.Net to enhance the claims turnaround time in conjunction with the carrier's new Guidewire (San Mateo, Calif.) ClaimsCenter claims processing system.

Generali Policy Generation
With the goal of underwriting policies in the United States, New York-based Generali U.S. Branch ($100 million in total assets), a wholly owned subsidiary of Assicurazioni Generali (Trieste, Italy; US$62 billion in premium), implemented INSTEC's (Naperville, Ill.) QuickSolver Commercial Automobile and Commercial Package in January 2006.

Estimating Replacement Risk
South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. (West Columbia, S.C.; $114.4 million in total assets) is enhancing its catastrophe risk management system, AIR Worldwide's (Boston) CLASIC/2, with the vendor's ISO HomeValue Web-based residential replacement cost estimator.