Insurance companies that have learned to use technology to become information users rather than information gatherers have a decisive competitive advantage over their peers. But few insurance companies have "turned that corner."This is the assessment of John Bareiss, senior director at Fitch Ratings, New York. Fitch and Pearl River, N.Y.-based ACORD recently released a strategic briefing to provide insight into how the rating agency evaluates the technological capabilities of insurance companies, reinsurers and intermediaries.

"There is little correlation between the amount an insurance company spends on technology and the success of the company," according to Bareiss. As a result, technological investments receive credit in Fitch's rating assessment after the benefits of that investment can be demonstrated through lower cost or additional sales.

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