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News & Commentary
Content posted in June 2007
Will Wal-Mart Be Competing With Insurance Companies?
News  |  6/29/2007  | 
Could Wal-Mart soon be selling insurance products? It's not such a far-fetched possibility, based on last week's announcement by the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant that it will open 1,000 Wal-Mart MoneyCenters -- covering one-fourth of its stores -- by the end of 2008.
RMS/Florida Reconcile, Sort Of...
News  |  6/27/2007  | 
It wasn't long ago that public officials in Florida were casting serious aspersions on Newark, Calif.-based catastrophe/hurricane modeling specialist Risk Management Solutions (RMS) for supposedly stacking the deck in favor of insurance companies by switching to a medium-term model that emphasized the increased frequency and severity of recent storms. However, it seems the two parties have come to an understand
CUNA Mutual Group CIO Tom Gosnell Talks With I&T About The Company’s Customer Operations Transformation
News  |  6/20/2007  | 
The shake-up continues: Gosnell and his team are in the midst of a three-year customer operations transformation that includes merging more than 50 call centers into three and consolidating 37 product administration systems into a few applications.
Insurance Industry Leaders Discuss The Opportunity Of Web 2.0
News  |  6/20/2007  | 
By enabling a higher level of user empowerment, Web 2.0 tools promise to revolutionize business collaboration and consumer interactions. But adoption has moved slowly.
HumanaOne Teams Up With Molecular For Web Site Overhaul
News  |  6/20/2007  | 
Humana division selects internet consulting firm Molecular to give their outdated site a revamp, boost sales, and help consumers make confident decisions.
Last Call For I&T's Elite 8 Nominations
News  |  6/19/2007  | 
The insurance industry continues to struggle to attract talent, in great measure because the workings of the industry demand a high level of talent, despite what the more cynically minded among us might say. Here at I&T we're in the midst not so much of attracting talent as identifying it, as we move toward the deadline for nominations for Insurance & Technology's Elite 8. This annual issue profiles eight innovative and successful senior technology executives in the insurance indus
Liberty Mutual's Jim Sweeney Teams Up With Business, IT To Optimize Solutions Delivery
News  |  6/19/2007  | 
Jim Sweeney has built a career on partnering with business and IT to optimize solutions delivery, as exemplified by his recent role as second vice president at Guardian Life (New York), where he transformed the carrier's corporate project management office, and as a consultant before that.
Insurance Call Centers Lag Behind Other Industries, Survey Says
News  |  6/19/2007  | 
While there are many signs that the insurance industry has made overall customer service improvements in the past few years, a recent study shows it still has a way to go when it comes to call center satisfaction. According to the CFI Group's Call Center Satisfaction Index, the insurance sector trails all other industries surveyed - save personal computers - i
Safeco Insurance Launches Teensurance Program
News  |  6/19/2007  | 
In an effort to differentiate itself in a crowded auto insurance marketplace, Seattle-based Safeco Insurance recently rolled out the Teensurance program, a bundle of technologies and services designed to aid parents as they deal with their new teen drivers. The program was launched by Open Seas Solutions, a division of Safeco formed last August to focus on
What Does Beneducci's Departure From FFIC Signify for the CEO Role in Insurance?
News  |  6/18/2007  | 
You've heard of the Sports Illustrated and Time jinxes -- no sooner does a prominent figure from the sports, political or business worlds appear on the cover of one of these magazines and they either go into a literal or figurative slump, or take on some kind of new assignment -- either way, rendering the previous coverage obsolete. Well, it appears now that there may be an Insurance & Technology jinx. No sooner had we featured Fireman's Fund Insurance Company's presid
Insurance Industry Still Unclear As To How To Proceed With Legacy Systems
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
Doing nothing with their legacy systems is not necessarily an option, but what it is that insurance carriers should be doing is not always so clear.
SOA Adopters Discuss Best Practices
News  |  6/18/2007  | 
As more insurers embrace service-oriented architecture to create the building blocks of business value, best practices regarding implementation and organization are emerging.
Fireman's Fund's CEO Resigns
News  |  6/11/2007  | 
Novato, Calif.-based Fireman's Fund has issued a press release saying CEO Joe Beneducci has resigned, effective immediately. The carrier has named former CEO, Chuck Kavitsky, president of Allianz of America, interim CEO.
Skywire Launches InsBridge 3.8
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
Skywire Software (Frisco, Texas), announced the availability of InsBridge 3.8, the latest release of the rating, rules and underwriting system. InsBridge is a Web-based rating, rules and underwriting system that can integrate with any platform and operate on all major operating systems, according to Skywire. Key features of the new release inclue impor
Trumbull Launches Subrogation Solution
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
Trumbull Services announced source-it vm, the newest in a series of products designed to improve the way subrogation claims are handled. In a BPO environment, source-it vm allows companies to improve productivity and eliminate tasks associated with managing a vendor network for subrogatable losses. An inventory scorecard provides performance measures including: collection, cycle time, settlement, and accurate and timely reports and payments
Pendo Signs American Agricultural Insurance Co.
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
Pendo Systems, Inc., New York-based provider of the portfolio accounting solutions BasisPoint, reported that it has signed Chicago-based American Agricultural Insurance Co. as its newest client. According to David Elstrom, VP, accounting systems and internal controls, at American Agricultural, "We selected BasisPoint for our nearly $1 billion of investments because it offers the most comprehensive features in an intuitive, easy-to-use pac
Fiserv Debuts eFreedom Annual Statement
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
Fiserv has debuted eFreedom Annual Statement, a new system for NAIC filing software that is designed for enterprisewide deployment, and which offers enhanced security features. This new .NET solution represents a complete redesign and reinvention of the NAIC filing process for insurance accountants. According to Fiserv, waiting for crosschecks and internal calculations is eliminated with the sy
CSC Launches Precedent ID for Claims Assessment and Negotiation
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
CSC has announced the release of Precedent ID, a Web-based application that enables adjusters to search an insurer's unique closed claim database for potentially precedential claims to support assessment and negotiation, according to the vendor. The software incorporates new technology to analyze the relationships and constraints surrounding injuries, treatments, prognoses and loss payments. CSC claims th
Business Objects Planning Solution Now For Life, Health
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
San Jose, Calif.-based Business Objects announced that it has extended its insurance planning solution to life and health insurance. The build-out of the activity analysis solution will include the ACORD business processes in its insurance activities library. Life insurance-specific reports include balance sheets, income statements and
Camilion Debuts New P&C Policy Admin System
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
Camilion Solutions introduced Authority Suite, which it describes as a next-generation policy administration system for the property and casualty market. Leveraging a service-oriented architecture and built on a tools-based technology platform, Authority Suite gives insurers the agility they need to overcome the challenges created by hard-coded legacy systems, according to Camilion, including the ability to quickly revise and develop new pro
Hyland Releases OnBase
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
Hyland Software released version 6.4 of the OnBase enterprise content management software suite. The latest version provides information workers with new ways to leverage the familiar Microsoft Office System user experience to interact with OnBase transactional content and process management solutions.
MedRisk Unveils EMPower
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
MedRisk introduced the EMPower Debit Card, a new service for issuing workers' compensation disability payments. Claims payers send payment files electronically to MedRisk, which then coordinates with the bank to issue debit cards to each new claimant.
DAVID Launches NavRisk 4.0
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
DAVID Corporation launched version 4.0 of NavRisk Risk Management Suite. Comprised of NavRisk Policy, NavRisk Central and NavRisk Claims, the solution is designed to automate and streamline labor intensive and error-prone tasks associated with claims and policy processing.
Sapiens Announces New Version of INSIGHT
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
Sapiens International released Sapiens INSIGHT for Reinsurance version 3.5. A web-enabled solution for the insurance market, the new version is designed to support carriers and reinsurers in the management of all types of reinsurance for P&C and Life business and is capable of providing ACORD compliant XML.
Colin Powell Focuses On Openness In IASA Keynote; Attendees Hear Words Of Caution
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
By Anthony O'Donnell There was a curious moment during former Secretary of State Colin Powell's keynote speech Monday at the 2007 IASA Educational Conference & Business Show. Powell rhapsodized about the open and generous character of the American people, and how in the post-9/11 era Americans need to cultivate that character and continue to welcome the outside world with open arms.
Experts Debate Value, Future of SOA
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
"I can believe, given all the hype, that we are, as an industry, once again on the cusp of doing something stupid," said Judy Johnson, Patni.
Data Awareness Emerges At IASA 2007
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
By Katherine Burger One of the themes that has emerged from discussions and presentations at this year's IASA Annual Educational Conference & Business Show in Minneapolis is the importance of insurers taking a different, more-savvy approach to information management, in order to leverage the opportunities enabled by the new generation of data management and analytical technologies, as well as to avoid the cos
Moving on Legacy: When and How?
News  |  6/5/2007  | 
By Nathan Conz The Monday, June 4, afternoon session, "Legacy Systems - When to Hold 'Em and When to Fold 'Em," at the IASA 2007 Educational Conference & Business Show, held in Minneapolis, Minn., touched on many common concerns held by insurance company IT professionals regarding the replacement of legacy syst
Jaime Sguerra Joins MetLife
News  |  6/1/2007  | 
Former Guardian Life CTO Jaime Sguerra has joined MetLife as vice president, institutional service center systems.
Grange CIO Volunteers at Columbus Non-Profit Amethyst
News  |  6/1/2007  | 
Michael Fergang serves as president of the board to Columbus, Ohio non-profit Amethyst, Inc., which helps to reintegrate women with addiction problems into the mainstream of society.
Insurance Start-up PURE High Net Worth Chooses OneShield’s Dragon Platform for Policy Administration
News  |  6/1/2007  | 
PURE looks to take advantage of its status as a start-up as it builds its IT systems.
Anthem BCBS Expands Transparency Tool to Cincinnati, Lexington, Louisville and all of Indiana
News  |  6/1/2007  | 
Anthem BCBS expands pilot program designed to increase transparency for consumers.
Kansas Tornados Are Occasion to Hone CAT Management Skills
News  |  6/1/2007  | 
Insurance carriers were able to hone their catastrophe response capabilities in the aftermath of Kansas tornadoes.
Forrester Researcher Predicts Increased Insurance Carrier IT Spending in 2007
News  |  6/1/2007  | 
Insurance IT professionals expect their budgets will increase this year as legacy system replacement becomes a more-pressing need.
Insurers Advance on the ECM Ideal
News  |  6/1/2007  | 
By stressing context over content, next-generation insurance enterprise content management (ECM) solutions transparently and efficiently access information from disparate source systems.

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