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Core Modernization: CNA Upgrades in Search of the Truth

Chicago-based CNA has embarked on a multiyear journey at the center of which is the upgrade of its core claims system.

Tim Shea acknowledges that he's making a big statement, but the VP of worldwide claims strategy at CNA ($9.2 billion in 2010 revenue) insists that the commercial P&C carrier's ambition is to have the best claims organization in the industry, without exception. Toward that goal, he reports, Chicago-based CNA has embarked on a multiyear journey at the center of which is the upgrade of its core claims system.

"We have set out a seven-year process to examine all of our organizational processes to make sure that we're doing the right thing, sequencing the stages of each claim, serving our policyholder and agent customers, as well as our internal partners," Shea relates. "That's who we serve every day -- giving the information they need to make more nimble decisions on product introduction and add to both top- and bottom-line growth of the organization."

The carrier is now in its fourth year of the initiative, during which it has teamed with Capgemini to develop its transformation road map, reevaluate and reengineer processes to maximize efficiency and efficacy and achieve standardization across the enterprise, and perform an upgrade of its Guidewire (San Mateo, Calif.) ClaimCenter system from version 3.0 to 5.0. The carrier also established a new service center in Littleton, Colo., to complement an existing facility in Reading, Pa.

CNA began the core system upgrade in January 2010 to move toward its vision of a single claims platform across all lines of business. According to Shea, the upgrade will enable the carrier to more tightly integrate claims with key company processes, standardize claims processes across the enterprise, capture and analyze claims data more effectively, and document claims with greater speed and flexibility.

ClaimCenter version 5.0 went live at CNA in November 2010 for commercial lines and will be extended to specialty lines and the company's U.K. and Canada operations in the near future, Shea says. The Guidewire application will be the single central repository for CNA's enterprise claims operations going forward, he explains, and in June the carrier will deploy the first generation of operational metrics that measure the time and efficacy of claims functions.

"This will be accessible to many more people than in the past, when we have had to gather the information in different ways through different channels," notes Becky Nelson, VP of IT. "It will be propagated throughout the organization so that more people will be able to access this 'single source of the truth.'"

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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