CHUBB ENHANCES RMIS DIMENSIONS INTERNET TOOLThe Chubb Group of Insurance Cos., Warren, N.J., has added new features to its RMIS Dimensions Internet-based risk management information system. The enhancements to RMIS Dimensions version 7.2 include new ways to analyze data, format changes, a location maintenance facility tool, and the source target actions results (STAR) application. The Location Maintenance Facility (LMF) enables users to modify their claim location codes to reflect their operational structure and the STAR application enables users to define claim information including the cause of the accident (source), the part of the body affected by the accident (target), what the employee was doing at the time of the accident (action) and the outcome of the accident (result). RMIS Dimensions was launched in 1999 to provide customized loss information to Chubb clients, agents and brokers via the Internet seven days a week. It is a fee-based service available to Chubb clients.
TRAVELERS LIFE ADDS INSURANCE REVIEW TO WEBSTORY
Travelers Life & Annuity, Hartford, Conn., has added a life insurance review component to its WebStory Sales Concept Library, along with a complementary set of insurance review marketing materials. WebStory is Travelers Life & Annuity's customized, Web-based sales presentation system. The presentations work with Travelers Life & Annuity's two illustration systems, the Travelers Life Illustration System and WinFlex. Information derived from those systems is automatically integrated into the WebStory life insurance review. Producers can then choose from a variety of presentation templates, save the presentation in a PDF format and either print the presentation for clients, or send it to them via e-mail.
THE HARTFORD BROADENS SMALL COMMERCIAL INSURANCE AUTOMATION
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, Conn., has made quoting and submitting new business applications faster and easier for independent agents. The Hartford's ICON 2.0 electronic quoting and submission system offers agents Web-based access and a host of integrated features that streamline the submission process for the company's key small business coverages. Those include Spectrum business owners' policy, workers' compensation and commercial auto. Similar support for The Hartford's new "Xpand" products is currently being piloted. Key features of The Hartford's ICON 2.0 tool include Web access via The Hartford's Electronic Business Center (EBC), integrated online sales guide and insurance risk appetite tools, dynamic, class-specific underwriting questions and coverage options, and risk-specific information incorporated into submission process. ICON 2.0 is currently being rolled out countrywide.
MEDICAL MUTUAL SITE EARNS 'ULTRAWEB' AWARD
Cleveland-based Medical Mutual has been recognized with a permanent Ultraweb Level 3 Award for consistency in providing an attractive Web site with meaningful content and minimal down time. The site, at www.medmutual.com, was recognized for excelling in all review categories-overall impression, content, presentation and design, and technical operation. The Ultraweb Awards, established in 1999, recognize Web sites at four levels (Level 4 is the highest) based on the evaluation of judges who include Web masters and graphic artists at Web site development firms.
GROUP HEALTH PARTNERSHIPS AIMED AT IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE
Group Health Inc. (GHI), a statewide not-for-profit health insurer in New York, has launched several new initiatives to improve customer service for its members, including 100% online plan enrollment and disseminating important coverage updates through brief automated phone calls. GHI has partnered with eHealthInsurance, Sunnyvale, Calif., to enable individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance coverage with GHI online, in real time and without any printing, signing or mailing of forms. It also has partnered with Silverlink Communications, Burlington, Mass., to extend outreach to members through targeted, automated voice messages. In addition, GHI now features WebMD Health content on its Web site at www.ghi.com.
VANTISLIFE EXTENDS WEB ACCESS TO BANKS AND INVESTMENT INSTITUTIONS
East Hartford, Conn.-based VantisLife Insurance Co., which operates in Connecticut as The Savings Bank Life Insurance Co., has accelerated its growth in states outside Connecticut by implementing a Web-based quotation and application submission platform for bank branch and investment sales representatives. The system is accessed through the "Agentweb" portion of the company's Web site and is password-protected. Licensed and appointed agents from financial institutions that have agency agreements signed with VantisLife can access all the features of Agentweb, which include access to policy forms, marketing materials and status of pending business. The system instantly conveys application data to the VantisLife underwriting system for rapid assessment and decisions. The application also automatically accepts data from the sales illustration system, enabling representatives to enter customer information only once.
AGENT ASSOCIATION ADDS TECHNOLOGY VENDORS TO ITS WEB DATABASE
Glenmont, N.Y.-based Professional Insurance Agents of New York State, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Hampshire has updated its Web-based TechnologyBase-a searchable database of vendors who provide technology services to insurance agents. The updated database enables members to search on the association's Web site by two new categories-agency management systems and rating software. Other categories already listed in the database include agency software, computer training, hardware, Internet connectivity and Web site design. By accessing the Technology Info Central at www.piaonline.org, members also can find articles on technology issues, consumer materials to include on their agency's Web site, and anti-virus information.
SAFECO AND AON INTRODUCE INTERFACE TO IMPROVE SURETY PROCESS ONLINE
Seattle-based Safeco Corp. and Aon Risk Services, Chicago, have jointly launched an online interface designed to improve communications between the two companies to improve service for risk managers and contractors. The technology uses the latest ACORD XML standards and improves speed and accuracy from new-business issuance through bond renewal, including endorsements, cancellations and reinstatements. The streamlined billing and instant and accurate bond reporting made possible by the Aon/Safeco interface can shave days, and even weeks, off previous processes, according to the companies.
SURVEY REVEALS TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES FACING FINANCIAL PLANNERS
Integrating client account information from disparate sources and investment product firms is the biggest technology challenge faced by financial planners today, according to research released by the Denver-based Financial Planning Association (FPA). Financial planners responding to an online survey say getting information from multiple custodians into portfolio management software, manually keying in client information that is not downloaded electronically, reconciling electronic downloads, and re-keying client data a number of times because software packages do not talk to each other are among the major technology challenges they face, according to the report titled, "Technology and Internet Usage of Financial Professionals," produced by the Financial Planning Association with Pyramid, a Forest Hills, N.Y.-based research firm.
UNDERWRITINGJOBS.COM REACHES #1 RANKING ON YAHOO! FOR "UNDERWRITING" SEARCH
UnderwritingJOBS.com, a niche employment site for the underwriting community, has reached the No. 1 ranking on Yahoo! for the search term "underwriting." Located at www.underwritingJOBS.com, the site provides a national database of underwriting opportunities in the insurance and financial services industry. In business since 1999, Dallas-based underwritingJOBS.com provides an inventory of underwriting jobs at firms including Marsh, Pacific Life, Washington Mutual, Banner Life and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
IFS JOBS SELECTS SALARY.COM FOR TARGETED WEB TRAFFIC TO ITS SITE
Dallas-based IFS Jobs has chosen Salary.com Inc., Wellesley, Mass., to provide targeted Web site traffic to the IFS Jobs national employment site. IFS Jobs is a niche employment site designed for the insurance and financial services industries. IFS Jobs will benefit from the targeted traffic Salary.com will bring to its site at www.ifsjobs.com, and Salary.com will benefit by offering its users highly targeted career opportunities advertised on the IFS Jobs site.
FREEERISA LAUNCHES PREMIUM SERVICE FOR EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION LOOKUP
FreeERISA is offering premium access to its database of nearly 5 million Federal Employer Identification Numbers with its EIN Finder. The database is composed of businesses, and contains the name and current address of the employer, prior addresses where available, phone numbers, and business activity (NAICS) codes. This data is now accessible using a more versatile Web search engine as a PremiumERISA product. Users can search by a number of different criteria including company name, location, and industry type. A reverse-lookup is also available for users who wish to search by EIN number only.
MYHEALTHBANK AND HSA BANK COLLABORATE FOR WEB-BASED BANKING, INSURANCE SYSTEMS
To support insurers' initiatives in the health savings account (HSA) market, Portland, Ore.-based MyHealthBank is collaborating with HSA Bank, Howards Grove, Wis., to provide insurers with an integrated banking and technology offering for health savings account-based plans. Through this relationship, MyHealthBank will integrate technology from HSA Bank for health savings account banking transactions with MyHealthBank's Unify platform, a Web-based, self-service platform for broker quoting, member enrollment and benefits administration.
MASSMUTUAL ADDS TOOL FOR DI INSURANCE TO PROTECT RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS
Springfield, Mass.-based MassMutual has introduced e-Worksite Solutions 2.0, the next generation of its online individual disability income insurance application and administration tool. With e-Worksite Solutions 2.0, company benefits administrators can provide employees access to apply online for RetireGuard, a stand-alone concept or rider that can be added to base coverage as a disability income insurance solution for protecting the ability to make retirement contributions.
EAUTOCLAIMS COMPLETES CAPITAL INFUSION
EAutoclaims, Oldsmar, Fla., has raised $2.5 million in new financing. Of the $2.5 million, $2.25 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. Noble International Investments acted as placement agent and will continue to advise the company as its investment banker. eAutoclaims has deployed the capital to fulfill certain financial obligations, has begun investing in its special markets division, and has expanded efforts in the direct marketing channel. The special markets division supports the company's co-marketing agreement with ADP Claims Services Group.
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