Insurance & Technology is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Policy Administration

03:55 PM
Connect Directly

Smoother Selling

The Main Street America Group moves to develop point-of-sale system to support straight-through processing.

In response to agent requests for more-streamlined transactions, The Main Street America Group (MSA Group; Jacksonville, Fla.) is developing an end-to-end, Web-based point-of-sale (POS) system. As part of the technology transformation, MSA Group has introduced agent and policyholder tools for its personal and commercial lines that support straight-through processing.

"We put together a picture of where we were in personal lines ... and benchmarked that against what our agent-customers were asking from us in order to grow," says Sharon Petrell, director of personal lines marketing and integrated solutions for MSA Group ($1.4 billion in total assets). From there, she relates, the insurer constructed a road map for a five-year business and technology transformation.

The process began in March 2005 when the insurer rolled out a personal lines electronic policy application -- built on IBM's (Armonk, N.Y.) WebSphere based in ACORD AL3 format -- to allow agents to submit business over the Internet through MSA Group's agent-only site. Completed applications are transmitted to the carrier via Applied Systems' (University Park, Ill.) Transformation Station, a routing service supported by IVAN's (Greenwich, Conn.) managed data exchange that uses ACORD (Pearl River, N.Y.) standard XML to exchange data over the Internet in real time. To enable agents to access billing, claims and policy information, MSA Group also implemented AMS' (Bothell, Wash.) TransactNOW interface. The carrier will release a commercial lines electronic policy application later this year.

Next, MSA partnered with Priority Data Systems (Omaha, Neb.), a ChoicePoint (Alpharetta, Ga.) company, to develop a Web-based comparative rating system and online data capturing tool to supply agents with real-time quotes and pre-fill data on applications. In February 2006, MSA Group created Personal Lines Quick Quote, a customized rating engine based on Priority Data's It is integrated with ChoicePoint's Motor Vehicle Records and Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange databases and insurance score information. The insurer then tied the platform into its personal lines electronic policy application.

"We can capture all of the rating information and much of the underwriting information in Priority Data to generate accurate quotes," says Irv Kantar, MSA Group's agency automation manager. When that information is uploaded to MSA Group's Web-based policy application, "all remaining data needed to issue the policy is captured," he explains.

In another move to establish an end-to-end POS system, MSA Group recently introduced an online payment option in collaboration with BillMatrix (Dallas) that allows policyholders to submit payments online or over the phone. "These two deliverables are baby steps to a major transformation and are absolutely necessary steps we need to take to remain competitive and improve our ease of doing business," says Petrell.

Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters