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Economical Pilots ILOG

The Economical Insurance Group is piloting ILOG JRules as part of the carrier's new automated underwriting system for commercial and personal lines of business.

The Economical Insurance Group ($3.3 billion in assets), a Waterloo, Ontario-based property and casualty insurer, is piloting ILOG JRules as part of the carrier's new automated underwriting system for commercial and personal lines of business.

The Group selected Mountain View, Calif.-based ILOG's JRules to provide a centralized rule repository to a legacy underwriting system that was implemented in 2003. While The Economical Group's IT system was installing the new architecture, it saw a need for a central rules application.

"We had no consistent rules application. We needed a concurrent development because we are developing two lines of business at the same time without impacting the other," explains Ingrid Hentsch, initiative manager of The Economical Insurance Group.

ILOG's packaging of JRules being within a management system appealed to The Economical Insurance Group, Hentsch says. ILOG JRules is a key offering in ILOG's Business Rule Management System, which automates a highly complex underwriting process to deliver greater accuracy, speed and transparency for key functions such as eligibility determination, risk assessment and regulatory compliance, according to the vendor.

"Our business needs multiple versions of rules and we have to constantly be managing versions of rules with effective expiry dates. The Business Rules Management System looked liked it had the best basis for debugging, finding problems with rules, promoting them and enforcing robust processes about deployments," says Hentsch. "This system compliments our stringent standards on rules."

The technology is also J2EE compliant, which was a key factor for The Economical Group's business users. "The friendly interface is something our users would feel comfortable working with," says Hentsch. "This is our first attempt at actually trying to externalize rules outside of the application system that's using them so that they're visible to our end users that own the rules."

Other features motivating The Economical Group's selection of JRules include the role centralized rule change capacity can have in maintaining stability as market conditions and policies change, according to Hentsch. The solution also provides a user-friendly interface and ease of monitoring. The combination of features, Hentsch believes, will help The Economical Insurance Group's business going forward by improving decision making in an efficient and cost-effective manner creating a faster speed to market for underwriting goals.

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