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BlueWave Claims System Rollout Latest Stage in Naragansett Bay’s Enterprise Systems Overhaul

The PipelineClaims implementation follows the implementation of corporate financial systems, a data warehouse and an agent portal as the latest phase in the Rhode Island-based carrier's APEX technology transformation.

Narragansett Bay Insurance Company (NBIC), a Pawtucket, R.I.-based P&C insurer that underwrites homeowners, dwelling fire and umbrella policies, has gone live on Honolulu-based BlueWave’s flagship claims system PiplelineClaims. The implementation marks the latest stage in the P&C carrier’s APEX technology transformation initiative, which began in Sept. 2009.

PipelineClaims, which went into production at NBIC on Aug. 1, supports typical claims processes, available to adjusters or other claims personnel remotely via the Web, according to NBIC CIO Mike Anselmo. The carrier explored several other claims systems, including those belonging to vendors who supply NBIC with other capabilities, but regarded BlueWave’s PipelineClaims as “best of breed” within the context of NBIC’s technology strategy, Anselmo says. The insurer sought a solution from a claims-only vendor that would integrate well with its target technology environment.

“We chose BlueWave because its solution is built on open source technology, the application is easy to work with, and the company has excellent project management capabilities and was very responsive to our needs,” Anselmo comments. “They really partnered with us.”

The BlueWave PipelineClaims implementation follows NBIC’s implementation of a new self-service agency portal, corporate financial applications and a new data warehouse and as the latest stage in the carrier’s APEX initiative. Approved by NBIC’s board June 1, 2009, the APEX initiative is what Anselmo calls “an entire transformation on a greenfield approach” that will replace all of the carrier’s legacy systems with best-of-breed alternatives. “The idea is to have everything integrated via the Web — no more client/server or running anywhere else,” Anselmo comments.

NBIC’s agent portal, which went live on March 1 set the stage for the replacement of corporate financial systems with StoneRiver (Oakland, Calif.) applications by April 1, 2010, and an in-house built data warehouse built on Microsoft SQL 2008.

“We designed our self-service agency portal that allows users to access from anywhere — our users had four systems and four passwords before,” relates Anselmo. “The portal strategically set us up to go live with all other systems, because once they’re on the portal it’s simple to provision any application to it.”

Next month the carrier will go live on Exigen’s (San Francisco) PolicyCore policy administration system, according to Anselmo. The new system, which is based on accounts rather than policies, Anselmo says, will give agency customer service representatives (CSRs) access to quotes, policy documentation, claims and billing through the NBIC portal.

“It will allow CSRs straight-through processing, the ability to quote, issue and make all changes in one Web-based system with the fewest referrals possible,” Anselmo claims. “We struggle in the industry with quick quotes that might not be final, but with these capabilities CSRs will get a final, real quote with credit endorsement in under three minutes.”

The rules-based, SaaS-delivered Exigen system will reduce manual processes by automating procedures such as policy renewal and cancelation, according to Anselmo. It will also produce policies in real time, including the production of declaration pages. The system will integrate with third parties such as Lexis/Nexis (Albany, N.Y.; formerly ChoicePoint) for loss reporting and credit scoring, e2Value (Stamford, Conn.) for insurance-to-value estimation, and RiskMeter for geocoding and home classification. “While CSRs are filling in the necessary information about the customer, these processes are being executed via Web services, which is why we can complete the application process so quickly,” Anselmo says. “We simultaneously set up payments with a bank and automatically schedule a home inspection.”

NBIC has established a data migration strategy whereby it will migrate policies agency-by-agency. “We have used AgencyPort’s BookSmart product and have improved our book rolls,” Anselmo says. “We are now able to take a book for business, run the policies through and do quotes through the Exigen system.”

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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