Peak Hurricane Season Arrives
A second tropical storm is in currently in the neighborhood, as former Hurricane Gustav was weakened by slamming into the unfortunate island of Hispaniola. However, Gustav is predicted to gain enough strength to qualify as a hurricane again by tomorrow and is headed toward the Gulf Coast. It remains to be seen whether the storm's path and intensity will be enough to call claims executives back from their vacations.
Chu Resigns SVP & E-Business Position at The Hartford
John Chu has resigned from his position of senior vice president, e-business & technology at The Hartford's property casualty company. According to a memo circulated internally at The Hartford, Chu has chosen to spend more time with his family. According to sources, Chu's contract with The Hartford had expired and he declined to renew it.
Explaining Coverage to the Consumer
The next step for efforts such as Allstate's "Coverage Checkup" will be for them to rise from being a gimmick to attract customers to being a standard service by which insurers can further differentiate themselves. This service will likely develop as have others in the e-commerce realm, appearing early on in the form of tools in the hands of CSRs and distributors, and later as self-service functionality available through the carrier's customer portal.
Need to Speed up U.S. Broadband
The speed at which Americans access the Internet has declined from first place to 15th since the network came into existence, according to Speed Matters, a Communications Workers of America union (CWA) non-profit outlet that just published its second annual state-by-state survey of broadband speeds. InformationWeek's report on the survey noted that while the median download speed enjoyed by Americans is 2.35 Mbps, Japan's speed is 63.6 Mbps. That decimal point is not misplaced.
New Aetna chief technology officer Michael Mathias will focus on the insurer's integrated platform strategy, services-oriented architecture, business process optimization and improved technology delivery.
Analytics Key to Proactive Detection and Prevention of Fraud
Advancements in technology have made it so that fighting fraud is no longer as closely linked to searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack. The availability of a greater number of tools to insurance companies is changing special investigation units from reactive to proactive organizations.
Passwords Are Dead, Long Live Passwords
To someone who just wrote a cover story on single sign-on technology, the theme of a recent New York Times article was pretty out-there. It suggested that it was time to abandon password-based log-on procedures all together in deference to a authentication model that relies upon cryptographic "handshakes" between computers.
Mapping the World of Risk
Risk atlases can be useful to companies in all industries seeking to expand their geographical footprint. These resources can also be valuable to insurers as the industry globalizes further, or simply as P&C companies consider selling lines of business covering executives who travel to places like Colombia or Pakistan.
OpenQuote 1.0, an open-source software, is designed to reduce costs of web enabling quotations for insurance products.
When Good Isn't Good Enough
I've written enough articles on transparency tools, mobile-enabled provider search capabilities and physician rating systems that, as an insurance technology journalist, I feel that the health industry is in a pretty good place with their consumer-facing web sites.
However, as a consumer, I know that the industry still has a long way to go. Health insurers' web sites are still, in many ways, limited. At least in my experience, I've found basic tools such as provider networks directories to be
BPO Continues to Evolve
With financial services-specific expertise increasing among BPO providers, knowledge process outsourcing looks to be the next generation of outsourcing services.
Santam Launches Text-based Fraud Hotline
South Africa-based Santam has implemented a text-based fraud reporting system to provide tipsters with an easier, more confidential way to report fraudulent activity.