Insurance companies historically have been hesitant to outsource core business processes, fearful that relying on vendors to perform processing and support services is a risky proposition. That perception may change, now that one of biggest names in insurance IT is delving into BPO processing and support services for life policies and annuities.IBM Corp. announced in November that it is purchasing Liberty Insurance Services Corp. (LIS), the Greenville, S.C.-based processing subsidiary of RBC Insurance. The new IBM subsidiary will assume LIS' life and annuity processing services for more than a dozen life carriers and will provide contact center management, policy administration and claims processing.

In addition, IBM will assume these responsibilities, along with payment receipt and reconciliation, for RBC Insurance's U.S. operations under a long-term agreement. It is anticipated that 700 LIS employees will remain with the new subsidiary. RBC Insurance has more than 200 employees at its Greenville, S.C., location, along with a field force of approximately 400 captive agents in Kansas City, Mo.

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