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News & Commentary
Content posted in September 2012
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How Great American Made the Business Case for Mobile Innovation
News  |  9/28/2012  | 
It took the right combination of factors for the specialty insurer to kick off its award-winning mobile initiative.
Amerigroup to Sell Va. Unit Separately from Wellpoint Deal
News  |  9/28/2012  | 
The health insurer will sell its Virginia unit to Inova as the company as a whole goes to Wellpoint.
Top 9 Soundbites from the SMA Summit
Slideshows  |  9/28/2012  | 
Boston-based analyst firm Strategy Meets Action held its first summit this past Monday in its home city. Innovation was the watchword, with sessions focusing on how insurers can leverage five key next-generation technologies to advance the business: mobile, social media, cloud, big data/analytics, and social media. Here are some soundbites that show what's on insurers' minds when it comes to innovation.
Prudential Buys The Hartford's Life Unit
News  |  9/28/2012  | 
The Hartford has been working to divest itself of its life insurance operations this year.
Top 10 Criticisms of Insurance Companies
News  |  9/27/2012  | 
Wolters Kluwer Financial Services studied market conduct exams in both P&C and life to find out what pain points are most common in dealings with insurance carriers.
Bundling Discounts Improve Homeowners Insurance Satisfaction, but Claim Costs Rise for Insurers
News  |  9/27/2012  | 
Though consumers report high satisfaction with insurance carriers that allow them to bundle their homeowners coverage -- and save money on their premium -- other industry research finds more claims losses in the line of business.
Prudential Near Deal to Buy Hartford Life Unit: WSJ
News  |  9/27/2012  | 
Prudential Financial Inc is close to a deal to acquire the individual life insurance business of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc, and a deal could be struck as soon as Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

CNA's Alok Mehta Brings World Champion Focus to Transformation
News  |  9/27/2012  | 
The former Allstate chief architect brings data, analytics and legacy systems insights to the Chicago-based commercial insurer.
Report: Ameriprise in Talks to Buy ING Asian Asset Management Arm
News  |  9/26/2012  | 
Ameriprise Financial Inc is in advanced talks to buy most of ING Group's asset management business in Asia, Bloomberg reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

American Family Buys Permanent General for $239 Million, Citing Direct Sales Experience
News  |  9/26/2012  | 
The target company specializes in nonstandard auto insurance.
Aetna Joins Payer Trend Toward Embracing Clinical Big Data, Analytics
News  |  9/26/2012  | 
The insurer has partnered with GNS Healthcare to identify members at risk for metabolic syndrome.
Mike Scunziano Named President and CEO of CS STARS
News  |  9/25/2012  | 
Scunziano seeks to more effectively serve CS STARS' clients as they look for technology, data and analytical solutions to help them manage their claims and risk programs better.
Phoenix Drives Rapid Annuities Growth with Unique Technology Platform
News  |  9/25/2012  | 
Phoenix's new eApp combines with its earlier REALIZE system to provide a unique distribution platform in support of a product diversification strategy that has already taken the company from zero to $1.5 billion in fixed indexed annuity funds under management in only two years.
SMA's 5 "V"s of Big Data
News  |  9/24/2012  | 
SMA's Mark Breading says there are two more "V" words than commonly used to consider when thinking about big data.
Chubb's 4 "P"s of Innovation
News  |  9/24/2012  | 
Chubb's Judy DeLaRosa says one particular approach works to get her organization behind innovative ideas.
SafeAuto Selects Thunderhead NOW for Policy, Billing and Claims Document Generation
News  |  9/24/2012  | 
The Columbus, Ohio-based P&C carrier sought to extent its document management capabilities with a new solution compatible with Guidewire InsuranceSuite.
4Sight BI Version 3 Includes P&C Mobile Analytics Capabilities
News  |  9/24/2012  | 
The vendor's "affordable" solution, containing dashboards and over 70 configured reports, enables users in multiple areas of a property/casualty carrier to uncover meaningful patterns and correla­tions that may otherwise be hidden with standard analysis and reporting.
8 Ways Insurance CIOs Can Maximize Success — Novarica
News  |  9/24/2012  | 
The rapid evolution of insurance technology over the last 5 to 7 years has yielded lessons on how insurance CIOs can maximize their success, secure the confidence of senior leadership and maintain a seat at the strategic table.
Great American, GuideOne Win Innovation Awards from SMA
News  |  9/23/2012  | 
Effective leveraging of next-generation technologies was key to the companies being recognized.
What's The Big Deal About Big Data?
Commentary  |  9/21/2012  | 
With the continuing growth in the volume of data and the variances in the types of information collected, there are many challenges and costs for IT departments when it comes to ensuring the accuracy, security and storage of that information.
3 Steps to Effective Mobile Development from RLI Insurance
Commentary  |  9/21/2012  | 
At MajescoMastek's user conference this week, Murali Natarajan, VP of IT for RLI Insurance shared the considerations his organization takes into account before developing a new mobile capability.
Insurers Face Tougher Times as Somali Piracy Drops
News  |  9/21/2012  | 
A dramatic fall in pirate attacks off the Somali coast is forcing down the cost of piracy insurance for commercial ships, taking the shine off a fast-growing and lucrative market for London-based insurers.

5 Mobile Insurance Apps That Help Policyholders Inventory Possessions
Slideshows  |  9/20/2012  | 
For insurers, creating a top-notch digital experience goes beyond just policy management. Ellen Carney, of Forrester Research, discusses five insurance apps that help customers take an inventory of their possessions in case of a loss.
Only 17% of Insurers Use Predictive Analytics in Claims: Towers Watson
News  |  9/20/2012  | 
However, the seventh installment of the company's Property & Casualty Claim Officer Survey indicates that use of these technologies is on the rise.
Former Minn. Gov. Pawlenty to Head U.S. Financial Lobbying Group
News  |  9/20/2012  | 
Former Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty will become the head of the Financial Services Roundtable, a U.S. bank lobbying group that represents Allstate, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, among other financial companies, the group said on Thursday.

Is Insurance Innovation Really Happening?
Commentary  |  9/19/2012  | 
SMA's Deb Smallwood breaks down how the various replacement efforts at insurance companies tie into true technological innovation.
Penn Mutual Invests in Modeling Software Company
News  |  9/19/2012  | 
The company has made a strategic investment in LEAP Systems, which makes software for financial advisors.
Pirate Financiers See Robust Returns in Tough Economy
Commentary  |  9/19/2012  | 
Political transition in Somalia offers faint hope that pirate ransom will cease to be a cost of doing business for marine insurance clients for some time to come.
Donegal Insurance’s 7 Keys to Successful Acquisitions
Commentary  |  9/18/2012  | 
Donegal Insurance Group CIO Sanjay Pandey shares seven guidelines that have emerged from the company’s successful technology integration of four new companies acquired during the last four years.
New York Life Ad Campaign Emphasizes Positive of Both Product and Industry
Commentary  |  9/18/2012  | 
There's no doubt that fear sells life insurance, but a positive emphasis, delivered with the assistance of collaborative technology, may benefit both New York Life and the industry in general.
CSC Launches New Policy Admin Component
News  |  9/18/2012  | 
The Java-coded Policy Accelerator is aimed at mid- and upper-tier insurers
Insurers Pressure Big Data to Deliver
Commentary  |  9/18/2012  | 
Insurance CEOs and CIOs aren't content with sinking money into analytics projects, says Dennis Sullivan of Robert E. Nolan Consulting.
XL Adopts SAS Visual Analytics to Get a Jump on Big Data's Potential
News  |  9/17/2012  | 
The SAS tool will foster a partnership of exploration between XL's analytics team and underwriters to leverage data for "enormous" competitive advantage and shareholder value, says XL SVP.
Colonial Life Releases iOS App
News  |  9/17/2012  | 
Policyholders can now access claims information and policy details from their iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.
Reinsurers Must Optimize Data Utilization to Maximize Profitability
Commentary  |  9/17/2012  | 
Many reinsurers fail to fully utilize their data, leaving open the potential to make costly mistakes regarding what business they book, how they allocate capital and how they prepare for changes in the market.
4 Reasons Ingenie's Usage-Based Insurance Strategy is Different
News  |  9/14/2012  | 
The British insurer is shaking up the marketplace across the pond with its unique approach to usage-based insurance.
Myanmar to Open Insurance Sector to Foreigners in 2015
News  |  9/14/2012  | 
Myanmar will allow foreign investors into its insurance sector by around 2015 once local private insurers have had time to establish themselves, a senior government official told Reuters.

GoDaddy Outage a Cautionary Tale for Cloud Enthusiasts
Commentary  |  9/14/2012  | 
In order to be competitive, insurers need to take advantage of the economic benefits of the cloud, but they should discriminate carefully in their use of public, semi-private and private cloud options.
Insurers Deserve More Credit for Innovation
Commentary  |  9/14/2012  | 
It's a familiar refrain that insurance companies lag behind other industries when it comes to embracing new technologies. Here's why that's an inaccurate, outdated concept.
Zuckerberg Pans HTML5 for Mobile Development: Is He Right?
Commentary  |  9/14/2012  | 
The Facebook impresario recently classified the social network's use of an HTML5-based mobile app as "the biggest mistake we've made." Is he right?
LA Doctors, Patients Sue Health Net for Denying Claims
News  |  9/14/2012  | 
The group representing Los Angeles doctors has joined with two patients to sue Health Net Inc for denying claims based on the insurer's definition of "medical necessity."

Deciding When BPO Makes Sense: Homesite Insurance's 3 Criteria
News  |  9/13/2012  | 
The Boston-based personal lines P&C carrier recently called on Blue Cod Technologies to manage its California earthquake business. Homesite CIO Peter Settel shares the criteria that the BPO relationship had to meet.
Alberta Motor Associate Selects MajescoMastek for Billing
News  |  9/13/2012  | 
The company will implement STG Billing first in its auto, property and accident insurance books.
Blue-Led Claims Database Partners with Pharma Analytics Company
News  |  9/13/2012  | 
Health Intelligence Company, which operates as Blue Health Intelligence, will offer some of its data to IMS Health, which is planning a new pharmaceutical data product.
4 iPhone 5/iOS 6 Features Insurers Should Watch
Commentary  |  9/12/2012  | 
The latest editions of Apple's iPhone and its operating system, announced yesterday, may not seem like much of an upgrade at first glance. But the updated offerings should push insurers in new directions when it comes to mobile development.
Patriot National Completes Phase I of Legacy Replacement with Quoting Portal
News  |  9/12/2012  | 
The carrier’s launch of the Vikaran Solutions-based QuoteExpert portal marks the successful completion of Patriot’s first phase of its WorkersCompExpert suite legacy replacement initiative.
Primerica Taps IBM for Social Collaboration Software
News  |  9/12/2012  | 
The company believes IBM offerings will help its agents improve the customer experience with better back-end connections.
Amica Guidewire Contract Validates Billing/Customer-Centricity Nexus
Commentary  |  9/11/2012  | 
Carriers continue to obsess over their ability to transition from being policy- to customer-centric, and billing is a key component of that ambition.
Travelers: Pricing Power Strengthens in Third Quarter
News  |  9/11/2012  | 
Insurance rates continued to rise in the third quarter for both businesses and individual customers, extending the pricing power that developed late last year, insurer Travelers Cos Inc said on Tuesday.

9/11/2012: Reflections on a Normal Day
Commentary  |  9/10/2012  | 
"Back to business" in the post-9/11 era has also meant many changes in routine business activities.
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