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Zurich Launches Customer Information Portal

Zurich Financial Services Group has launched Global Financial Intelligence, a Web-based account management platform that provides interactive access to risk-related information.

Schaumburg, IL-based Zurich Financial Services Group has launched Global Financial Intelligence (GFI), a Web-based account management platform that provides customers with interactive access to risk-related information. GFI will initially offer this through two access points: a claims module, supplying information on customers' claims, and a risk engineering module providing access to risk engineering data.

Geared to corporate customers with global risk management concerns pertaining to property, casualty and marine coverage, GFI "gives customers a technology that they can use to better leverage their own work, and improve their own efficiency," says Joseph Lunn, program manager for GFI. Eligible international program customers would otherwise need to make separate information inquiries to individual company sites around the globe, he adds. "Now they can get it instantaneously by tapping it into the Web site in automated way."

GFI manages a global database of claims and risk engineering information from more than 50 countries. Customers access their information online through a three-tiered security system that includes encryption, storage of data on a secure SSL server and random number-generated passcodes which change every 60 seconds. "Customers carry a secure ID token that tells them what the passcode is," Lunn says.

Features of the the system's claims module include client access to worldwide claims information, standard or customized online reporting, loss reports in nine major currencies, personalized claims-related data capture and report data that can be uploaded to other software applications. "Reports can be tailored such that customers can adjust the level of detail from summary by country all the way down to individual claims," Lunn explains. "They can also vary the amount of history according to their requirements and can slice the information by line of business or product type."

Through the risk engineering module, customers have access to a global risk assessment reporting system with advice and implementation management functions; virtual risk management and a safety training application; and a knowledge repository, including customizable search capabilities.

The form and content of the information "puts customers more in a decision-making role as opposed to playing out an administrative role," Lunn comments. "We also believe it builds a stronger partnership with the customer because they can imbed their own information with user-defined fields."

Zurich tapped 58 research studies to determine customer expectations, Lunn says. In addition to comprehensive claims and risk information, "they also want info on coverage, coverage detail and financial information. Those are the next two areas that we're working on and defining with the customers," he says. "It's a work in progress." Zurich's ability to provide its customers with the quality of information that GFI provides puts the firm in a strong competitive position, Lunn asserts. "All the research I encounter suggests that risk managers are going to demand more and more integrated information, and they're going to want it in one place." The client, he adds, "says 'I'm like a private banking customer: I want one door, with the array of products and services in one place.' They regard it as important that we can do that for them in one Web portal. That's going to help us against competitors who may force them to look for that information in three or four places."

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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