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Great American Insurance revamps Bond Division site; Farmers Insurance's Farmers FastQuote launches this week ; Certified Professional Insurance Agents Society recognizes Selective Insurance Group as 2002 "Company Partner of the Year"...

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC, Kansas City) has announced that its Credit Scoring Working Group will "fast track" a planned study and review of credit scoring by insurers for rating purposes. Recently, use of credit scores by insurance companies for rating has come under fire from consumer advocate groups and state legislatures. The NAIC hopes to complete the review, which may include the adoption of a model act of regulation, by its December 2002 meeting.

Spending on XML-related technologies and Web services in 2002 by financial services companies should reach $985 million and is expected to grow to $8.3 billion by 2005, according to a study from ZapThink, LLC (Waltham, MA), an XML-focused industry analyst group. Financial services companies are using XML tools and technology for enterprise and B2B integration, financial document publishing, distribution, risk management and straight-through processing.

With e-business insurance premium expected to mushroom to $6 billion by 2006, there may be substantial rewards for insurers that successfully market these coverages. But with high reward, comes the possibility of high risk, according to a new study from Conning & Co. (Hartford). The study warns there are many questions about the short- and long-term viability of e-business insurance, such as how rapidly the market will grow and how the industry can manage the global scale risk for Internet-related catastrophes. Conning says indications are that threats to businesses on the Internet will continue to escalate as virus creators are able to exploit increasingly sophisticated malicious code and as businesses become more dependent on the Internet for their internal operations, as well as customer service and sales. This will make quantifying coverages and exposures extremely difficult, Conning forecasts.

DriverShield CRM Corp. (Plainview, NY) will provide Bankers Insurance Company of Florida (St. Petersburg, FL) with its DriverShield's CRM program to manage the automobile collision-repair claims process. Under the three-year contract, Bankers also will offer its insureds membership in DriverShield's ADS (Auto Discounts and Services), which will lower the severity of auto physical-damage claims and loss-adjusted expenses (LAE), while enhancing customer loyalty and retention.

Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio

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