Information technology strategy plays a critical role in the success of American Modern Insurance Group Inc. (AMIG), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Midland Co., Amelia, Ohio.The provider of specialty personal lines insurance products has an average annual premium of just $450 across its book of business. So having information technology in place "so that the business can flow relatively untouched by human hands is critically important to us. There's not enough money in a $450 premium for us to have to fondle each file," says John Hayden, CEO and president of The Midland Co., and president, CEO and chairman of AMIG.

Like most carriers, AMIG has its own in-house proprietary legacy information system. Back in 1998-99, "We realized that our legacy platform was beginning to limp, and the chain was rattling pretty loudly. If we were going to facilitate our future growth, we needed to attack the core IT platform, not just come up with a quick-fix solution," he says.

"We need an automated capability that will allow us to handle our specialty business as efficiently as a major standard writing company handles homeowners or auto policies," points out Hayden.

American Modern Insurance Group has been very successful in the last decade. It has grown its property and casualty business an average of 13.5% a year over the last 10 years compared with 5% for the overall property and casualty industry. In addition, it has produced a combined ratio of 96.8 in the last decade while the industry has averaged 107.5. The company will write an estimated $750 million in premiums in 2003.

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