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SCF Arizona Taps Sword Insurance for New Online Distribution Platform

SCF Arizona taps Sword Insurance for new online distribution platform; initiative is part of workers' comp provider's business transformation that Includes increased focus on independent agent channel.

In line with a planned increase in focus on the independent agent sales channel, Phoenix- based SCF Arizona, a provider of workers' compensation insurance in Arizona, will implement technology from Sword Insurance (Boston) to implement a new online distribution platform that will support its strategic business expansion.

As a result of new state legislation, SCF Arizona is undergoing a complete business transformation, expanding beyond a state insurance fund to a mutual insurance company. Additionally, SCF Arizona will expand its product offering beyond the current workers' compensation coverage, with regional territory expansion expected in the future. The most immediate change will involve increased focus on the independent agent sales channel.

To support this transition, SCF Arizona requires a technology platform that is flexible and reflects its commitment to making it easy for different distribution channels to do business with the company. SCF has licensed Sword Insurance's web-based platform AgencyPortal, the AgencyPortal ToolKit, and the off-the-shelf Workers' Compensation web portal template. SCF Arizona will launch new business web rate, quote and bind first, then follow with endorsements, renewals and policyholder self-service using these solutions.

"As our business transformation takes place, we need to be able to meet the evolving market and channel needs quickly, and we want to be recognized for providing our customers with the best quality service," said Rick Jones, SVP, Chief Sales & Business Development Officer, SCF Arizona, in a press release. "Sword Insurance's extensive experience in delivering distribution solutions makes it a natural choice."

SCF Arizona will go live with the new portal in several phases, with internal testing beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011.

SCF Arizona will also utilize Sword's recently launched Turnstile service to automatically handle new business submissions from agents whose ACORD forms are attached to e-mails. Instead of having to re-key the submission data into one or many systems, the Turnstile subscription web service takes data from many ACORD forms and converts them into a single stream of ACORD XML, which is then passed to rating, policy and other systems at SCF. A secure complementary service to a carrier's agent portal, Turnstile shortens the time agents have to wait for quotes, improving SCF's chances of binding new business, according to the vendor.

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

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