eAutoclaims Raises $1.6 Million In New FinancingEAutoclaims Inc., an Oldsmar, Fla.-based claims service provider, has received approximately $1.6 million in new financing. Of the $1.6 million, $1.35 million was a sale of equity to multiple investors at $0.28 per share, and $250,000 was an 8% convertible debenture from one of the company's directors. Both the equity and convertible debentures include warrant coverage. The company expects to use the additional funding for working capital and to meet certain existing financial obligations.

Prudential Financial Uses E-App For Broker Licensing

Newark, N.J.-based Prudential Financial Inc. has introduced an automatic, online licensing application for brokers seeking appointment to sell the company's insurance and annuity products. The electronic data collection tool, called Online Confidential Data Sheet (CDS), was developed by BISYS Education and Licensing Services for Prudential.

Nationwide Financial Gives Advisors Best of America Tool

Nationwide Financial, Columbus, Ohio, is offering its advisors an online quarterly report that recommends investment options and percentage allocations for the company's BEST of AMERICA variable products. Called Investment Selector, the tool uses research and evaluation methods developed by Morningstar Associates LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based Morningstar Inc. Used in conjunction with asset-allocation tools, the Investment Selector's report can help investment professionals and their clients choose specific fund mixes (even within style boxes) that are most likely to help them meet their own retirement goals, according to Nationwide.

Guardian Aims To Demystify Financial Planning

The Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America has launched a new, easier to use Web site at www.GuardianLife.com. The new Web site aims to demystify the financial planning process and educate visitors on the role that Guardian's products and financial representatives play in an overall financial planning strategy. The new site replaces Guardian's existing Web address at www.glic.com. The launch of GuardianLife.com is just one of several Web initiatives to improve the customer experience. Recently, Guardian Investor Services LLC (GIS) introduced a new Web site called www.guardianinvestor.com. The site, launched in late 2003, replaced parkavenueportfolio.com and the former guardianinvestor.com sites.

AccessAllstate Opens To Financial Institutions

AccessAllstate.com, the Web site of Allstate Financial, is now available to Allstate Financial Institution Divisions' partners. The Web site had previously only been available to financial advisors or Allstate agents who were registered to sell Allstate or Lincoln Benefit Life Co. products. Producers who register and log onto www.accessallstate.com see a tailored view, which only allows products that have been approved by their financial institution to be displayed. In addition, the site provides listings to Allstate products and riders approved by each state. The site also provides product comparison tools, investment options, a support center and information on training, compliance and Web site support. Allstate Financial is a business unit of Northbrook, Ill.-based Allstate Corp.

The Hartford Offers Mid-Market eSubmission

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, Conn. and Windsor, Conn.-based AMS Services, have teamed to enable agents to submit applications for the four key middle market lines of business-property, general liability, auto and workers' compensation-directly to The Hartford from their AMS agency management system. AMS is using ACORD XML standards to provide the automated submissions for the four major middle market lines of business. The Hartford will begin piloting its enhanced eSubmission capabilities with a select group of AMS users in early fall to ensure maximum benefit to agents, and a broader rollout is scheduled for January 2005.

Fireman's Fund Arranges Safety Training

Hotel clients of Novato, Calif.-based Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. can now buy an extended package of online employee safety training that satisfies all OSHA requirements for hospitality industry employees, such as housekeepers, clerks, and bellhops. This service, which includes courses, testing and tracking, is offered by WebFire Training, an e-learning company endorsed by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. Fireman's Fund negotiated a month of complementary service for hotel clients of its iCustomer Series coverage when they subscribe to a year's safety training for their employees regardless of the customer's property size or employee turnover rate.

Safeco Launches Integrated P&C Agent Site

Seattle-based Safeco Corp. has launched Safeco Now, a Web site for independent agents and brokers who sell personal and small-commercial insurance products. Safeco Now gives agents access to 90% of their daily online work tools with just one click. But the highlight of the system, according to Safeco, is the single platform sales tool that enables distributors to quote and bind, in just minutes, seven major lines of P&C and surety business: personal auto, homeowners, business owners policy, commercial auto, workers' compensation, business umbrella and surety. The single-platform interface is an expansion of the company's successful small-business sales tool introduced last year. That new-business interface proved so easy for agents that BOP sales in 2003 jumped 50%, and commercial auto climbed 39% after its introduction onto the sales tool.

Zurich Offers Agents Documents On Demand

In an effort to simplify and facilitate the insurance placement process for agents serving the small business sector, Zurich Financial Services, Schaumburg, Ill., is offering easy online access to a wide range of policy documents through its popular eZSB Web site at www.ezsb.com. Key forms, such as declarations pages, schedules, forms listings, signature pages and automobile identification cards, can now be obtained and printed on demand. Documents are available within minutes of issuing the policy online.

Health Net Life Offers Internet-Only Insurance

Health Net Life Insurance Co., Woodland Hills, Calif., is offering an Internet-only health plan for individuals and their family members, called Net Saver. With Net Saver, there are no paper-based application or enrollment materials. Once a secure, encrypted online application is completed, it is downloaded by the consumer for record-keeping and submitted to Health Net for processing. Net Saver is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan that comes with various deductible levels and premiums for individuals and their family members who do not have access to employer- or government-sponsored health plans. Health Net Life Insurance Co. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Health Net of California, which serves nearly 2.5 million members statewide. Net Saver is available at www.health.net.

Hartford Speeds Up Electronic Claims

The Hartford Financial Services Group now enables its independent agents to electronically submit a commercial auto or property first notice of loss, with attachments, from their Applied agency management system. It does this using IVANS Transformation Station, a managed data exchange using Web services and ACORD XML for real-time transactions between agency and carrier systems. To take advantage of this new capability, agents complete a standard ACORD Loss Notice form within their agency management system, then submit the loss notice and documentation electronically to the Hartford, Conn.-based insurer's claim department. Evaluation of the reported claim begins immediately upon receipt.

Standard Insurance Offers Employer Tools

Standard Insurance Co., a subsidiary of StanCorp Financial Group Inc., Portland, Ore., has launched enhancements to its AdminEASE plan administration tools to enable its clients to manage more aspects of their insurance plans online. Employers can now initiate claims and analyze claims experience as well as check the status of insurance applications that require medical underwriting. The AdminEASE plan administration tools are available to The Standard's group disability, life and dental insurance customers at no additional charge.

Quotesmith Acquires Life Quotes Assets

Darien, Ill.-based Quotesmith.com Inc. has completed the asset acquisition of Life Quotes Inc. using cash on hand and external financing. As part of the Life Quotes asset acquisition, Quotesmith.com intends to sell approximately 2.4 million shares of common stock at a price of $5.50 per share to Zions Bancorporation, raising $13,000,000 of additional capital.

WhoWritesIt Has New Look, Feel, Content

WhoWritesIt Corp., an Orlando, Fla.-based online search marketing services has launched version 4 of it information platform. The site now offers visitors a new design, new technology and content enhancements. WhoWritesIt.com serves life, health and annuity insurance professionals in search of unbiased product and carrier information. Site visitors select from four search profiles; product, company, market or marketing organization. WhoWritesIt's proprietary Search-and-Match technology compares the user's request to a database, then instantly displays the exact matches.

ri3k Hub LMP- and ACORD-Compliant

London-based ri3k has released a version of its reinsurance hub, called InSynch, that enables users to create LMP-compliant slips. The site also has ACORD certification for contract placement messages covering all treaty types and classes. The LMP Office has approved the ri3k contract structure, which will be used for June renewals onward for tradable electronic slips on ri3k's system. ri3k also has been certified under the ACORD RLC 2003.1 XML standard for its ACORD contract placement messages and its SOAP framework. As a result, any company with an ACORD-compliant implementation can exchange contract data electronically with the ri3k hub virtually immediately.

IVANS Enhances Transformation Station

IVANS, Inc., Old Greenwich, Conn., has added new features to Transformation Station, which make it easier for carriers and agents to communicate in real-time. The features include the ability to send and receive attachments, receive alerts regarding activities such as claim actions or cancellations, streamline endorsement processing and conduct Web site navigation and sign-on. Transformation Station is an Internet managed data exchange using Web services and ACORD XML to enable real-time transactions between insurance carriers and independent agents and brokers.

Selective Rolls Out Web Commercial Lines

Selective Insurance Group Inc., Branchville, N.J., has successfully completed the rollout of its integrated Web-based commercial lines system. Called Web-based CLAS, it offers policy quote, issue, endorsement and renewal processing for commercial lines products over the Web directly from independent agencies. CLAS provides quote and endorsement at the point of customer contact, with automatic delivery of policies. Agents can access the same rate files at Selective regional offices and work simultaneously on accounts with their Selective underwriter. CLAS also enables agents to access all of their Selective commercial policy activity through one system.

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