Insurance & Technology is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

 Maria Woehr

Profile of Maria Woehr

Blog Posts: 177
Articles by Maria Woehr

A New Extension

Safeway implements ShoreTel's Enterprise IP Phone System, reducing maintenance costs and improving disaster recovery capabilities.

Customer Insight A Key Competitive Advantage

It can be hard for insurers to quantify the specific financial benefits of investments in customer analytics. But the competitive advantages enabled by improved customer insight are countless.

Inspecting Gadget

To automate and manage its underwriting inspection process, Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Company implements Myriad's Risk Manager.

Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Carriers need to improve financial modeling for actuaries and align them with the IT organization, according to Ernst & Young roundtable findings.

Balancing Act

Western & Southern Financial Group pursues IT initiatives that support growth while keeping expenses in check.

Message Mania

E-mail and instant messaging offer convenient communications and often boost productivity, but the technologies also can expose financial institutions to privacy breaches, embarrassment and litigation. To combat the threat, insurers are stepping up efforts to monitor e-mail and IM, and improve security procedures.

On the Road Again

Norwich Union is driving competition in the U.K. with the launch of usage-based auto insurance policies.

Tracking Trouble

To fix Web portal errors in real time and increase the productivity of its independent sales force, State Auto Insurance Companies taps TeaLeaf CX Solutions.

Rewriting a Legacy

Munich Re completes a worldwide legacy system consolidation to speed business processes and improve data quality.

Paying for the Future

Technologies such as SOA and modeling will be key to insurers' compliance with the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Anthem Pilots Cost Estimation Tool

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield launches an online tool that breaks down the cost of medical procedures to enable consumers to make informed decisions about their health care spending.

Growth Engine

Al Bowen, SVP of information systems, is modernizing Ohio National Financial Services' infrastructure to support agents' use and aggressive business growth.

Customer Insight

Rick Roy is refocusing CUNA Mutual Group's technology to improve service, beginning with a systems consolidation effort designed to create a single view of the customer.

Up in Arms

For Liberty Mutual's Stuart McGuigan, increasing speed to market is an arms race. To stay ahead of the competition, he is tapping technology to drive business productivity.

One Charter to Rule Them All?

With an optional federal charter on the Senate floor, insurers are considering the regulation's businessimplications and its impact on IT systems.

Straight-Through Service

Western Reserve Group makes a long-term commitment to straight-through processing, starting with enabling online business submission for agents.

Estimating Replacement Risk

South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. (West Columbia, S.C.; $114.4 million in total assets) is enhancing its catastrophe risk management system, AIR Worldwide's (Boston) CLASIC/2, with the vendor's ISO HomeValue Web-based residential replacement cost estimator.

Generali Policy Generation

With the goal of underwriting policies in the United States, New York-based Generali U.S. Branch ($100 million in total assets), a wholly owned subsidiary of Assicurazioni Generali (Trieste, Italy; US$62 billion in premium), implemented INSTEC's (Naperville, Ill.) QuickSolver Commercial Automobile and Commercial Package in January 2006.

Main Street Gains N’Site

Jacksonville, Fla.-based The Main Street America Group (approximately $900 million in direct written premium) purchased Urbandale, Iowa-based N'Site Solutions' Web-based software application NSolutionsv4.Net to enhance the claims turnaround time in conjunction with the carrier's new Guidewire (San Mateo, Calif.) ClaimsCenter claims processing system.

From Auctions To Insurance

U.K. insurer Norwich Union (Norwich; US$373.6 billion in total assets) and electronic auction house eBay (San Jose, Calif.) have launched an online insurance center in an effort to boost sales through Norwich's online sales channel.

Thrilling Service

To maintain its dominant position in Maine's workers' compensation market, Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Co. leverages IT to improve service for its agent customers.

Document Demands

In order to meet the document requirements of every state in which it operates, Chattanooga, Tenn.-based UnumProvident (UNM; $10.4 billion in revenue) is deploying Exstream Software's (Lexington, Ky.) Windows-based Dialogue enterprise document software as a common platform for designing, managing and producing policyholder communications.

Punching Up Processing

P&C start-up Homeowners of America Insurance uses online agent submission and processing to shake up the competition.

Get Real (Time)

MetLife Auto & Home taps Xactware to simplify communication between the carrier's field staff and claims office.

Healthy Options

The Principal Financial Group is pushing competition in consumer-driven healthcare with an integrated HRA and HSA product.

Web Appeal

Harleysville Insurance collaborates with its agents on IT projects to break away from the competition.

Policy Roundup

Frankfort, Ky.-based Investors Heritage ($433 million in total assets) has joined three other unnamed carriers in issuing life insurance policies under CrailHuntly's (Overland Park, Kan.) Combosurance package -- Basic Permanent.

Compliance Automation

Responding to growing pressure on insurers to comply with federal regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Federal Information Act and HIPAA, ControlPath (Englewood, Colo.) launched ControlPath Compliance Suite 3.0.

Rating Risk

Fitch Ratings (New York and London) unveiled Prism, a global economic insurance capital model that will be added to its evaluations of carriers' enterprise risk management.

Rapidfire Connection

Fiserv Insurance Solutions (Brookfield, Wis.) and Scene Genesis (Rochester, N.Y.) will integrate their claims solutions -- Fiserv's Claims Workstation system and Scene Genesis' Scene Access and SceneConnect -- to streamline P&C claims settlements.

Enhancing the Enterprise

Insurers are rethinking ECM strategies to benefit the entire enterprise rather than business silos, resulting in customer service, productivity and compliance improvements.

Deadline Debate

Citing significant IT modifications and investment, health insurers request a deadline extension for bill requiring upgrade of HIPAA codes.

MetLife Auto & Home Taps Xactware

In an effort to speed claims turnaround MetLife Auto & Home has chosen Xactware's Xactimate and XactAnalysis estimation software to simplify communication between the carrier's field staff and claims office.

Consolidating Risk

To help insurers manage their risk exposure across the enterprise, Toronto-based Algorithmics has enhanced its Algo Risk solution to calculate risk for insurance liabilities and investment assets consistently within a single framework.

Navigating Sales With SunGard

Then Cleveland-based First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association, a fraternal insurance society, decided to build an independent agency force, one of its first challenges was to implement a sales illustration system to meet state requirements, according to Pat Braun, national sales manager at FCSLA.

Recognizing Excellence

Three years ago, New Haven-based Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency decided to automate its claims processing and integrate its core business systems.

Virtual Policy Processing

Peak Performance (Hoboken, N.J.) has launched PolicyPointe, a Web-based application for P&C insurance companies that rates and underwrites risk in real time through embedded business rules, the company says.

Scanning Time

As recently as January 2005, to meet Sarbanes-Oxley retention and retrieval requirements, Burlington, Mass.-based workers' compensation insurer AIM Mutual Insurance manually scanned 8,000 pieces of paper into its storage system a day.

Digging for Dollars

Insurers are mining data and implementing sales force automation tools to manage distribution channels more effectively.

Follow the Rules

Blue Shield of California centralizes human resources systems and automates workflows with Enterprise Human Capital Management solution.

Not Risking It

To limit its risk exposure, Allstate cuts earthquake coverage, citing limitations of catastrophe modeling technology.

Staying In The Game

For insurers that rely on independent agents, moving to Web-based policy administration systems to enable producers to submit business electronically has become a competitive necessity.

EMC Acquires RSA Security

Deciding that security is essential to information management, EMC has acquired RSA Security to enhance its data storage and management offerings for financial institutions with a security portfolio.

RSA Secures Transactions

RSA Security has unveiled two new authenticators for enhancing the security of online transactions between agent and carrier, including the submission of electronic signatures.

Uncovering Crooked Claims

Finding fraudulent claims can be challenging. But with the use of rules-based analysis, data mining and predictive modeling, insurers are waging a war on scam artists.

Opening a Gateway

Looking to speed the launch of a new annuity product, West Des Moines, Iowa-based Midland National Life Insurance, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Sammons Financial Group, implemented XAware's Annuity XCelerator, a catalog of SOA-based services that provides a standards-based gateway between the carrier and its broker-dealer network, according to Paul Swenson, second vice president of Midland.

The Big (Not So) Easy

The Louisiana Senate Insurance Committee has approved legislation that the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America fears could raise rates for consumers and drive insurers that still are dealing with the effects of Hurricane Katrina from the Louisiana market.

Acquiring Automation

American Capitol Insurance has completed the consolidation of the disparate administration systems it inherited from eight acquisitions in the '90s.

Implementing Advantage

Penn National Insurance is overhauling systems and driving IT initiatives to achieve STP -- and boost competitiveness.

Doubling Up Data

GGI develops an in-house solution for enterprisewide business continuity with NSI's Double-Take software.

A Tight Schedule

OSF HealthPlans eliminates manual errors in batch and claims processing with Advanced Systems Concepts' ActiveBatch Job Scheduler.

Cooperative Care

To take care management to the next level, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee brings disease management in-house.

Driving Competition

The next competitive push in auto insurance could be driven by usage-based policies.

Mass. Revision

In an effort to create more-affordable health insurance, the state of Massachusetts has passed legislation that will overhaul the market, requiring carriers to rethink their IT.


ACORD presented insurance industry carriers, vendors and individuals with awards recognizing leadership and achievement at the ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum in Las Vegas this week.

ACORD Awards

ACORD presents industry leaders with awards at ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum in Las Vegas.

Mapping Out Risks

Seeing that many reinsurance executives want the convenience of conducting risk analysis themselves, Guy Carpenter & Company (New York), part of Marsh & McLennan Companies (New York), has launched the online risk management platform i-aXis.

Everyone on The Same Page

In order to enhance its claims processing, Delta Dental of California (San Francisco; gross revenues of $4.8 billion) will standardize disparate systems in offices throughout 16 states with EDS' (Plano, Texas) MetaVance Administration and Finance System.

Give ’Em What They Want

To stay ahead of the competition in the volatile health insurance marketplace, CIGNA is turning to the Web to strengthen its appeal to consumers.

Making Things Easier

By keeping it simple, Kent Cannon drives IT to facilitate business growth at Beneficial Financial Group.

Crossing the Bridge

Elizabeth Haar's technology-driven business strategy led to Accident Fund Insurance's e-business model solution and national expansion.

A Winding Road to Success

To manage an influx of claims processing documents for its TRICARE division, Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance selected Cincom Intelligent Document Solutions.

Kyobo Outsources IT to IBM

Alocal-market-oriented company with an IT infrastructure designed and operated by a local business cannot support global expansion, which is why Seoul, Korea-based Kyobo Life Insurance ($35.5 billion in total assets) has signed a 10-year IT services outsourcing agreement with IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) worth $340 million.

Opting In or Out?

As the optional federal charter for insurers hits the Senate floor, industry leaders weigh cost savings and enhanced competition against possible risks to carriers -- and policyholders.

Principal Enhances Market Research Capability

Seeking to optimize market research collaboration on cross-business unit initiatives, the Principal Financial Group has implemented Novintel's Viva Intelligence Plaza automated business intelligence platform.

CIGNA Offers Virtual Doctor Visits

CIGNA HealthCare has teamed up with RelayHealth to offer customers Physician webVisits, a Web-based solution that allows customers to schedule doctors appointments, view laboratory results, and receive prescription refills and renewals online.

Multifunction Printers

Lexington, Ky. • Lexmark introduced a new collection of multifunction printers, including the Lexmark X644e, X646dte, X850e, X852e and X854e.

Cover Your Assets

Insurers must focus on internal risk management rather than depend on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which is set to expire in two years, to mitigate losses from a terrorist attack, according to Risk Management Solutions (RMS).

Hanover Goes Commercial

In an effort to strengthen its commercial business, Worcester, Mass.-based The Hanover Insurance Group (2005 net premium of $2.2 billion) deployed OneShield's (Westborough, Mass.) browser-based rating and policy administration platform, Dragon, for commercial package policies.

Harleysville Taps AQS

To reduce time to market for new commercial lines products and provide ease of use to its agents, Harleysville Insurance (Harleysville, Pa.; $3.7 billion in total assets) will implement AQS' (Hartland, Wis.) Web-based AQS/advantage suite.

Taking Action On AML

Responding to The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network mandate that life insurance companies establish an anti-money laundering (AML) program by May 2, 2006, Actimize (New York) and IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) will jointly deliver an AML solution to the industry.

To automate its medical/personal-injury protection (MED/PIP) claims processing, Farmers Insurance Group ( Los Angeles; $18.4 billion in total assets in 2004) deployed Clear Technology's (Westminster, Colo.) Med/PIP Claims Processing Solution.

Call Forward

Promises of cost savings, enhanced customer service and improved business continuity are driving insurers to make the switch to Voice over IP.

Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters