Demonstrating its "continued and aggressive support of the agent distribution model," The Hartford (Hartford, $177.9 billion in assets) updated its Electronic Business Center (EBC) extranet portal over the summer to provide agents easy access to content and transaction capabilities for personal and commercial insurance, according to Joseph Gauches, executive vice president, e-business and technology, The Hartford.
Among the new features of the EBC are personal lines quote-to-issue, providing quoting for standard and non-standard auto policies for California, Connecticut and New York; a downloadable small business sale guide that shows agents the carrier's underwriting appetite by class and line of business; online small business quoting and submission, including an insurance scoring feature, which provides information to identify small commercial accounts the firm is likely to accept, providing a quote and allowing agents to submit the business electronically; and billing status reports and online commission statements by producer code.
Caroline Delahunt, office manager, Associated Insurance Agencies (Hamden, CT), says, "There's a couple of systems out there that are similar, but I haven't found one that's as complete and user friendly."
Jamie Bisker, senior analyst, insurance practice, TowerGroup (Needham, MA) says that the portal "puts The Hartford in the top tier of leveraging the Internet." Improvements to the extranet constitute "leveraging what was really more of a brochureware and information portal into a second-generation dashboard-type system," he says. Now that insurers possess the necessary e-commerce and eCRM capabilities, "the agency force is the first place to provide 'e-service,'" Bisker adds.
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