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News & Commentary
Content posted in November 2011
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Armed Forces Insurance Licenses ISCS for Policy Administration
News  |  11/30/2011  | 
Armed Forces will realize better customer service and efficient operations post-migration, CIO Drew Mazeitis says.
Infinity Property & Casualty Builds a Smarter System for Fraud
Commentary  |  11/30/2011  | 
By using analytics to better identify claims least likely to require investigation, Infinity has achieved a 35.5 percent improvement in claims processing speed and has been able to improve customer satisfaction levels.
Barney Frank's Next Role -- Treasury Secretary?
Commentary  |  11/29/2011  | 
Barney Frank, the Dodd-Frank co-author and advocate of tougher bank regulation, who announced he will not seek reelection to the House of Representatives in 2012, leaves a mixed legacy for the financial services industry -- and says he will not be "a lobbyist or historian" when he leaves Congress.
Q&A: CNA's Innovative SIU's Next Step Is to Adopt Social Networking Analysis
News  |  11/29/2011  | 
Tim Wolfe, Director of CNA's Special Investigative Unit (SIU), tells how the Chicago-based P&C carrier's SIU has evolved with changing business challenges and technology opportunities.
Gaining Leverage from a Policy Administration Replacement
Commentary  |  11/29/2011  | 
Justifying the cost of a policy administration replacement can be a challenge for carriers because some of the benefits are indirect and don't surface until years later. But in the long run, you may find that the indirect benefits have the largest impact on overall profitability.
Sun Life Partners with Kony on Claims Mobile App
News  |  11/29/2011  | 
The app lets group benefits, retirement and savings plan members submit benefit claims check plan balances on iPhone or BlackBerry.
Intermap to Provide European Data for AIR Models
News  |  11/28/2011  | 
The data will be used to develop flood models.
Irene, Joplin Loss Estimates Still Rising
Commentary  |  11/28/2011  | 
Reports this week remind carriers that the true cost of a catastrophe can't be known until weeks have past.
Physicians Mutual Offloads Card Processing Into the Cloud
News  |  11/28/2011  | 
Physicians Mutual leverages a SaaS-based accounts receivable solution to meet PCI and NACHA compliance requirements for securing customer credit card and bank account data by moving it into the cloud.
From Data to Insight to Answers: The Key to Meaningful Information Flow is Customer-Centricity
Commentary  |  11/23/2011  | 
An understanding of the entire information flow across the business is critical to being able to truly craft and communicate a meaningful story to different layers of information consumers.
What's the Potential of Allstate's Online Life Insurance Sales?
Commentary  |  11/23/2011  | 
The carrier takes a big step forward by allowing customers to buy life insurance online.
Torus Insurance Completes Rapid Implementation of Guidewire ClaimCenter
News  |  11/22/2011  | 
The carrier's hub-and-spoke architecture minimized the integration and data challenges related to the implementation.
MetLife Tech Head Marty Lippert Takes Over Operations After Reorganization
News  |  11/21/2011  | 
Lippert, the former CIO of Citi and RBC, joined MetLife in August.
Alleghany to Acquire Transatlantic
News  |  11/21/2011  | 
The news follows aborted bids for Transatlantic by Validus and Berkshire Hathaway.
Inside John Hancock's iPad App Design Contest
News  |  11/21/2011  | 
With morale low following the financial crisis, CIO Allan Hackney and his team kicked off an employee competition to design apps for the recently released iPad — and got more results than they expected.
Aspen Selects ClaimCenter
News  |  11/18/2011  | 
The Guidewire product's automation capabilities were a differentiatory in its selection, the insurer says.
Liberty Life Goes With IPipeline for Distribution
News  |  11/18/2011  | 
Several iPipeline apps will be delivered via a custom portal to Liberty Life agents.
Can You Achieve Better Sales and Service Through Animated Characters?
Commentary  |  11/18/2011  | 
Stonebridge Life's Encore Dental direct-to-consumer website has increased the conversion rate by double digits through intermediation of animated "interactive assistant" Harvey; Aetna and other insurers have enjoyed similar successes.
Proactive Regulatory Compliance Creates a Competitive Advantage for Insurance Companies
News  |  11/18/2011  | 
Insurers have tended to scramble to meet new regulatory demands only when forced to do so. But technology is giving insurers ways to build compliance agility -- and business value -- into their processes and capabilities.
Top 10 Areas of Focus for Health Organizations in 2012
News  |  11/17/2011  | 
PwC's Top Health Industry Issues studies forecasts new payer/provider partnerships, investments in informatics and social media, and new approaches to privacy in an unsettled political and regulatory environment.
Concerns Persist on Insurance Company Social Media "Spying"
Commentary  |  11/17/2011  | 
Some people out there understand insurers' actions, but carriers need to do a better job of communicating the impact of fraud to the general public and honest policyholders in particular.
21st Century Taps Epsilon for Third-Party Consumer Data
News  |  11/17/2011  | 
The direct writer says Epsilon's data will help it optimize its one-to-one marketing.
CUNA Mutual Charts Desktop and Mobile Device Strategy to 'IT Personas'
News  |  11/17/2011  | 
Overruling conventional wisdom on platform standardization, CUNA Mutual has implemented a choice model for mobile computing and is matching corporate devices to 18 distinct user types within the enterprise.
Not Going Quietly: More Tornadoes Hit US South
News  |  11/17/2011  | 
Several states were hit in an outbreak mirroring one at the beginning of tornado season.
Time to Focus on Agent Experience
Commentary  |  11/16/2011  | 
Amid all the focus on customer experience, agents find their experiences with insurers to be lacking, some industry observers say.
The State of Insurance Regulation: Q&A With NAIC President Susan Voss
News  |  11/15/2011  | 
Between healthcare reform and Dodd-Frank, insurance regulators have a full plate of rules to implement that will affect all lines of business. Iowa insurance commissioner and NAIC president Susan Voss spoke recently with I&T associate editor Nathan Golia about how regulators are harmonizing their efforts, what solvency means for insurance Carriers and where social media fits in insurance.
Highmark Plans Private Exchange with Array Health Technology
News  |  11/15/2011  | 
The health insurer will open an online store with several different plans designed for the small business employee.
Neighborhood Health Plan of R.I. Implements HealthEdge Benefits Administration, Claims Platform
News  |  11/14/2011  | 
The HealthRules product suite allows end users to configure it to meet new market demands, the companies say.
Who Will Be the Winners and Losers When Supreme Court Rules on Healthcare Reform?
Commentary  |  11/14/2011  | 
Supreme Court will consider challenges to healthcare reform law's individual mandate requirement; oral arguments will be presented in March and a decision could come by June 2012.
Manulife Financial and Bank of China Sign Cooperation Agreement
News  |  11/11/2011  | 
Manulife Financial and Bank of China sign framework cooperation agreement that aims to strengthen cooperation in insurance custody and bancassurance in China.
Wilton Re CIO Completes Marathon for DMD Research
News  |  11/11/2011  | 
Andy Wood raises 10 percent of the Run for Our Sons team’s contribution of $278,000 for research into a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
The Return of Insurity: Analysts React
News  |  11/10/2011  | 
The acquisition of LexisNexis' insurance software business by Genstar Capital will benefit insurance carrier customers while clarifying LexisNexis' insurance-related business and delivering a cautionary message to companies ambitious to enter the insurance software market.
Insurance CIOs Debate Policy Admin Success Factors at I&T Executive Summit
News  |  11/9/2011  | 
Technology executives at an I&T Executive Summit roundtable agreed that rules-based, configurable systems had arrived, but disputed what was the system of record and how much technology really matters.
Result of Live Budget, Strategies Poll from I&T Summit
Commentary  |  11/9/2011  | 
We polled attendees on the same questions we posed to readers in advance of the event, comparing and contrasting the results.
Insurers Must Embrace Constant Innovation in Mobile Capabilities: IBC's Yetter
News  |  11/8/2011  | 
Insurers must deliver the basics of mobile capabilities and expect to adapt to customer demand as it emerges, according to Michael Yetter, director of eBusiness Development, Independence Blue Cross, speaking at Insurance & Technology's Executive Summit.
Executive Summit Q&A: Piyush Singh on Transformation
Commentary  |  11/7/2011  | 
The Great American CIO talked with I&T editorial director Kathy Burger about getting the business side on board with a major transformation effort.
Adopting an Insurance Data Model For a Single Version of the Truth
Commentary  |  11/6/2011  | 
To combat the existing silo approach and to alleviate problems with data quality, a growing number of insurers are undertaking enterprisewide data management projects, and fundamental to these data initiatives should be an Insurance Data Model.
A Clearer Crystal Ball: More Accurate Health Plan Modeling through Better Data
Commentary  |  11/6/2011  | 
New technology allows more customized data to be used to more accurately reflect the needs of a specific plan's participants. The result is vastly more dynamic plan models that lead to better coverage choices.
Crowd-Sourcing Insurance Regulations
Commentary  |  11/4/2011  | 
Many insurance industry players are opposed to any kind of regulatory change, but the industry faces a number of critical regulatory issues in 2012.
Accenture P&C Suite Announcement Prompts Enthusiasm, Skepticism
News  |  11/4/2011  | 
Systems compatibility and aggressive action following the Duck Creek acquisition have enabled rapid integration progress, but industry observers suggest that it's too early to declare "Mission Accomplished."
Amerihealth Pedometer App Latest Sign of Insurers' Wellness Commitment
Commentary  |  11/4/2011  | 
Like Independence Blue Cross, New Jersey-based Amerihealth is parlaying a simple sponsorship into a wellness play — and technology is a major component of its value proposition.
Sharpening Compliance With Cloud-Based Analytics Tools
News  |  11/4/2011  | 
The Warranty Group taps Clearwater's SaaS-enabled reporting and analytics solution for compliance and risk insight.
Life Insurance Companies Face Fight Over Death Benefits
News  |  11/4/2011  | 
Life insurers face a new data management challenge as state regulators demand that they proactively search for life insurance beneficiaries. But who really benefits?
Preparing for the Unknown: Analytics Are Key to Compliance With Healthcare Reform
News  |  11/3/2011  | 
With the final shape of healthcare reform still uncertain, insurance IT departments are focusing on improving data and analytics capabilities to prepare for developing rules.
Insurers Push Boundaries of Social Media Use in Claims, Underwriting
News  |  11/3/2011  | 
Insurers are pushing boundaries in their uses of information from social networking sites. But how far is too far?
John Hancock CIO: Education the Key to Better Data Security Habits
Commentary  |  11/3/2011  | 
Working in Massachusetts, an environment with stringent data security and privacy regulations, has taught John Hancock CIO Allan Hackney the value of education in preserving the integrity of corporate data. He spoke with I&T about how the company works with employees to stay secure as the iPad rises quickly within the enterprise.
United Heartland Names VP of Insurance Operations
News  |  11/2/2011  | 
Curt LeBeau is responsible for he company's corporate underwriting, underwriting support services, premium billing/audit and data analysis functions.
Treasury Appoints 15 to Advise on Insurance
News  |  11/2/2011  | 
The Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance will advise the Federal Insurance Office on its responsibilities.
Let's Face it: We Don’t Care That Much About Data Security
Commentary  |  11/2/2011  | 
Whenever experts discuss best practices for protecting personal or corporate data, we nod in agreement. But we don't follow them as closely as we should.
Andover Companies Sees Quick Delivery through SaaS Delivery of iPartners Insurance Scorecard
News  |  11/2/2011  | 
The Massachusetts-based holding company, which does business as Merrimack Mutual, Cambridge Mutual, and Bay State, tapped iPartners for quality of its product, and the company's extensive P&C insurance expertise and specific knowledge of the company's own core systems.
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