Insurance Networking News magazine today released the results of its 2009 INNovators Award, a distinctive designation intended to advance the spread of business and technology acumen in the insurance industry.

Nominees for the third annual INNovators program included insurance carriers, agencies and brokerages. The 2009 winners were determined to have led, or contributed to, a business application or project anywhere in the insurance industry supply chain that uses innovation to successfully drive business impact, technical impact or the innovation itself.

The 2009 INNovators program was designed as an educational vehicle and, as such, Insurance Networking News will publish the first-place winner’s story in its special November/December print edition, with successive nominees featured in subsequent issues.

“From an editorial perspective, the range, depth and focus of nominations received this year reflect the industry’s evolution to innovation as an ongoing strategy, rather than as an end unto itself,” said Pat Speer, Editor-in-Chief of Insurance Networking News. “It’s impressive to see carriers of all sizes and lines of business so intent on giving life to innovation as a corporate-wide philosophy.”

A panel of judges, including Matthew Josefowicz from New York-based Novarica, Mark Gorman from Mark B Gorman & Assoc., Minneapolis, INN staff editors, as well as INN’s prestigious editorial advisory board members, determined this year’s winners. INN would like to thank advisory board members Eric Bulis, SVP & CIO, SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Co., Ursuline Foley, SVP and CIO, XL Capital/ XL Global Services/XL Reinsurance; Dennis Mehmen, CIO, VP, Business Information Services, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co.; Mike Murray, VP, Finance, OneBeacon Insurance Co.; Michael Romano, SVP, Risk & Administrative Services, , Highmark Inc., and Anthony Sisti, Information Systems Director, Travelers Insurance, for bringing a superior peer-based review to the process.

The following companies are recognized as 2009 INNovators:

Company Nominated (Nominator)

First Place: Farmers Insurance: IdeaPoint Initiative (Farmers)

Second Place: Esurance: Online Self-Service Claims (Innovation Group)

Third Place: Allstate Insurance Co.: Online Channel Application (Allstate)

Runner Up: Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.: IT Innovation Program (MetLife)

Runner Up: The Phoenix Cos. Inc.: Customer Service System (CSC)


The 2009 INNovators’ TOP 10 (in alphabetical order):

Alfa Life Insurance Co.: Systems Integration … (StoneRiver)

Allstate Insurance Co. … (Allstate)

APPQ - The Association for the members of the Quebec Provincial Police Force: Claims System ... (Xpertdoc Technologies Inc.)

Esurance … (Innovation Group)

Farmers Insurance: Agent Satisfaction  ... (Farmers)

Farmers Insurance: IdeaPoint Initiative ... (Farmers)

Kemper - a Unitrin Inc. Co.: Book Roll Solution ... (AgencyPort)

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. … (MetLife)

The Phoenix Cos. Inc. … (CSC)

Shelter Mutual Insurance Co.: Claims Processing … (StoneRiver)

“We were pleased to see the number of innovations that support enterprisewide collaboration, as well as those that are dedicated to increasing organizational awareness of emerging technologies,” Speer said. “Insurance Networking News would like to congratulate those carriers bold enough to use technology to create new opportunities for growth within the industry.”

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