IN DEPTH: EASE OF USE
Gerald_Shields_Aflac
Gerald Shields, CIO, Aflac

Carriers Target Ease of Use, STP to Win Agents' Hearts and Minds
Carriers increasingly are targeting ease of use to win agents' hearts and minds, while also bringing them closer to true straight-through processing (STP).

Q&A: Peggy Scott, Liberty Mutual Agency Markets
Liberty Mutual Agency Markets seeks to deliver easy-to-use capabilities that feature the flexibility normally associated with a regional carrier but that are backed by the strength associated with a national brand, says Peggy Scott, assistant VP and manager of marketing information services.

Data Quality is Key to Agency Portal Performance
A relatively small investment in data quality can make a big difference in helping insurers get more out of their agent portals than they put in, writes Joel Curry, COO, Experian QAS North America.

UPDATE
Catastrophe Risk Models Show January 12 Haiti Quake Presages Future Caribbean Earthquakes
This time the insurance industry responded with charity, but the next Caribbean earthquake could require a massive claims response, given the region's seismic hazard.

The New York Insurance Exchange's Second Act Will Depend on Technology
Technology will play an important role in helping the recently proposed New York Insurance Exchange (NYIE) succeed, unlike its early-1980s predecessor.

eHealth Enters the Online Life Insurance Space
By entering the online life insurance space, eHealth, the company behind eHealthInsurance.com, may bring increased visibility -- and competition -- to the developing market.

West Bend Mutual's SOA-Based Underwriting System Drives Flexibility and Increased Revenue
The P&C carrier's best-of-breed automated underwriting solution leverages service-oriented architecture to support long-term profitability in small-commercial and other lines of business.

CHANNEL WATCH
Leading Through the Morass of Multi-Channel Marketing
CIOs are integrating channels to deliver business value, says Marie Carr, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants

NAMES IN THE NEWS
Jackson National Life CIO Mark Clark Emphasizes Simplicity and Service
Working in close partnership with operations, Jackson National Life CIO Mark Clark seeks to meet intensifying broker-dealer demands and drive 'explosive growth' while controlling costs.

FROM THE EDITOR
Insurers View Growth Pronouncements with Bemused Realism
The mood at Celent's 2010 CIO Roundtable was relatively hopeful, with executives and analysts expressing cautious optimism that the insurance industry is ready to move beyond crisis and retrenchment.

CARRIER CONFIDENTIAL
Selective Plans Right, Builds Right and Runs Right
Selective Insurance Group's IT organization supports the carrier's high-tech/high-touch approach to distributor relationships with judicious planning and a focus on execution.

Virtual Roundtable Header
Emerging Markets: What are the top opportunities and challenges that insurers face in doing business in emerging markets, and what are the key technologies that support an emerging markets strategy while addressing the risks?

Immaturity of Emerging Markets Deters Efficiency
By John Sullivan, SVP and Head of Technology, XL Insurance

Emerging Markets in Dire Need of Insurance Expertise
By Ravi Nawal, Analyst, Celent

China Market Opportunities Obscured by Language Barrier
By George McKinnon SVP, CIO/Engineering, Bleum Software

Developing Markets Require Unique Insurance Products
By Randall Day, Head of Claims Solutions, FINEOS Corp.


CASE STUDY
Penn National Empowers Agents With Easily Customized Documents
Penn National Insurance has extended its relationship with HP Exstream to deliver documents to agents in real time via the carrier's agent self-service portal.

Permanent General Moves E-Mail Archiving to the Cloud
Permanent General Assurance Corp. improves business continuity and reduces e-discovery risk by tapping Mimecast software-as-a-service solution for archiving, continuity and disaster recovery.

REGULATION WATCH
Legislative Reform Remains a Long-Term Issue for Health Insurance IT
The derailment of proposed reform legislation in Washington could mean more rather than less regulation for the insurance industry. But it is unlikely to change the course of IT investment influenced by long-term reform considerations.

MOBILE WATCH
1st Guard Insurance iPhone App Demonstrates Small-Carrier IT Agility
1st Guard's TRUCKER1 application for the iPhone includes claims reporting capabilities and a variety of self-service functions for customers as well as a suite of functions useful to all truckers.