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Center Mutual Selects Comtec

Center Mutual Insurance selects Comtec's Total Insurance System to replace its legacy insurance processing system.

Seeking greater automation of business processing, Center Mutual Insurance Company (CMIC) has selected New York-based Comtec's (New York) Total Insurance System to replace the Rugby, N.D.-based carrier's legacy insurance processing system.

"We wanted a much more efficient and better method of doing business for the people we serve," says Robert Hovland, president of CMIC. Currently, the property and casualty insurer manually processes policy administration, claims, reinsurance and collections on a UNIX-based, COBOL-customized mainframe, according to Hovland.

Center Mutual's (total assets of $28 million) business depends on an independent agency network for sales, so time and accuracy are necessary for competition in the market space. However, the process was time consuming; also, because agents had to calculate quotes, rekey applications and mail in forms the process was prone to inaccuracy. "It was just a really labor intensive and time consuming process," Hovland says, "We needed to know that our customers were getting accurate quotes, and with an automated system we will be able to process applications in a day instead of a month."

CMIC started its search for a vendor by attending trade shows. After a year -- and with 15 vendors in mind -- Hovland turned to Richmond, Va.-based consultant Appix to whittle down the options. "We were concerned about finding a vendor with a Web-based system that was able to meet our needs as an insurer," Hovland explains.

The insurer purchased the Comtec solution in September 2005 based on cost, experience and the flexibility of the system. The Comtec system, built on a AS400 IBM series COBOL platform with a .NET architecture Web interface, will automate the quoting and rating process with customized business rules, explains Tom Krug, vice president of Comtec. "It is an end-to-end solution to support the agency production."

CMIC and Comtec plan to implement the system together by the end of 2006. The efficiency associated with an automated system will give CMIC a competitive advantage, according to Hovland. "It will pay for itself in the long run. As the system is configured we anticipate a continued stream of enhancements to our business."

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