Carriers making the best use of new technologies are getting their due at the 2010 Celent Model Insurer Awards in New York. At the fourth annual event, insurers representing the breadth of the industry were recognized in eight separate categories spanning all insurance operations. Due to the current set of challenges facing carriers in the wake of the financial crisis, this year's awards focused more on channel integration strategies and SOA/Web services.

This year, Celent recognized 28 insurers for their efforts in realizing significant business value by applying technology to the insurance process. According to Celent Senior Analyst Mike Fitzgerald, many of this year's submissions dealt with growth initiatives, such as the rationalization of automation across distribution channels. Fitzgerald also noted that, during the review process, they also observed a greater use of industry standards (ACORD, DTCC) to tie together partners in new, effective ways.

Celent’s premiere award—Model Insurer of the Year—is bestowed upon the carrier that exhibited “superior performance in all categories." This year’s winner is Columbia, Miss.-based Missouri Employers Mutual (MEM). Not only did MEM—utilizing solutions from Guidewire and HCL—bring in their claims system replacement project both on time and on budget, but the initiative introduced multiple new capabilities to their IT and business organizations, Fitzgerald said.

The complete list of carrier winners in each category and, if applicable, their vendors, follows:

ClaimsEsurance (Innovation Group), Highmark (FICO), Hertz Europe (Innovation Group)

Distribution ManagementAllianz Life Insurance Company of North America (DTCC), AVIVA-COFCO Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (Siebre Systems Ltd.), Erie Insurance Group (Dell Perot Systems), Farmers Insurance (SAS), FBL Financial Group (CSC and DotNetNuke), Harford Mutual Insurance Co. (AgencyPort and CGI)

Infrastructure/ArchitectureKansas City Life Insurance Co. (Hyland Software, Open Text and DataCap), LV= (edgeIPK), The Phoenix Cos. (CSC), Unitrin Direct (Optical Image Technology and DRC)

IT ManagementAtava, RSA Scandinavia (Affecto), PMI Group (HP, Microsoft, ComponentSoftware Inc. and Infosys), Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd., Zurich Financial Services (Accenture)

Policy AdministrationAmerican Modern Insurance Group (Innovation Group), The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Co. (Camilion Solutions Inc.), Calliden Group Limited (SSP)

Product Design and Development RatingErie Insurance (CGI), Liberty Mutual Agency Markets (FICO), Suncorp (FJA-US)

ServiceThe Church Pension Group (StoneRiver), Nationwide (Exigen Insurance Solutions), The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

UnderwritingCapitol Insurance Cos. (OneShield)

 

Additional details on the MEM implementation, and on all of the Model Insurer designees, are available here.

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