Over the past year, The Hartford Financial Services Group has launched several technology initiatives aimed at making life easier for distributors. Those efforts will continue this year as new features and functionality are added to The Hartford's eService and eSales programs.Last year, the company introduced the industry's first premium audit search tool available to agents through the Internet. This online tool augments the company's policy, billing and claims service capabilities available to agents through its Electronic Business Center (EBC), a secure Web extranet built exclusively for independent agents that represent The Hartford. Using this tool, agents can use the Internet to quickly determine the outcome of a commercial customer's audit and the reasons for any premium adjustment.

Another eService effort the company launched makes it easier for agents using agency management software from Applied Systems Inc., University Park, Ill. to do business with The Hartford. New features provide billing inquiry, direct-bill commission statement download, first notice of loss and policy inquiry. First notice of loss, which will be launched this spring, will enable the agents to take information about a loss over the telephone, put the information directly into the Applied system, and electronically submit it to the insurer.

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