Chicago - Insurance Networking News magazine, a SourceMedia publication, released the results of its 2007 INNovators Award, a special designation intended to advance the spread of business technology acumen in the insurance industry.Nominees for the 2007 INNovators program included insurance carriers, agencies and brokerages. Their "innovation" was required to have been in production long enough to have returned demonstrable, tangible results.
A panel of distinguished insurance industry experts, including industry analysts, consultants and members of the INN Board of Advisers, chose the winner from the nominees chosen by INN readers.
"The winners are deemed to have led or contributed to a business application, innovation or project anywhere in the insurance industry supply chain that uses technology to meet business requirements," noted Holli Gronset, Insurance Networking News' Associate Publisher. "In that regard, technology solution providers played a key role in helping these companies achieve their goals."
The 2007 INNovators program was designed as an educational vehicle and, as such, Insurance Networking News will publish the First Place winner's story in the August issue.
"From an editorial perspective, it's encouraging to see the depth and breadth of dynamic and versatile technology innovations that serve as critical engines moving our industry forward. Also encouraging is the level of human involvement in these innovations, which speak to the dedication, enthusiasm and teamwork necessary for excellence," said Pat Speer, Editor in Chief of Insurance Networking News.
First Place : CUNA Mutual Group, Madison, Wis.
CUNA Mutual provides insurance to the credit union marketplace. CUNA's IT department implemented a specialized claims processing solution that included end-to-end automated workflow, resulting in a 75% decrease in claims process payment backlogs and an increase in automatic payments by 30%. Partnering with their business units, the IT team then conducted a closed file audit to determine best practices, and incorporated further changes to improve the claims process even further. (Mumbai-based Mastek provided consulting services.)
Second Place : Mutual of Omaha, Omaha, Neb.
Mutual of Omaha serves individuals, families and small businesses with life and health insurance, financial services and investment options. This insurer replaced a legacy-home-office based proposal generation system with a Web-based system that enables 130 field sales professionals to create and produce their own proposals, resulting in an increase in sales, higher satisfaction among sales professionals, and faster response times to both new sales and cross-selling opportunities. (Document Sciences, Carlsbad, Calif., provided the document management system.)
Third Place : XL Insurance, New York, N.Y.
The company provides P&C, professional liability and specialty insurance to the commercial and industrial sectors. The carrier expanded its U.S. presence in the casualty risk management business, integrating a variety of outsourcing technology tools and building a complete program around outsourced technology solutions that would ensure underwriting discipline and expedited market entry success. (Chicago-based CS Stars provided support in the development of data transformation processes and edits to support the data needs of XL Insurance's book of complex, often customized programs.)
Honorable Mention #1: Midwest Insurance, Springfield, Ill.
Midwest is a provider of worker's compensation insurance to multiple states. The carrier replaced its aging legacy policy processing suite with a system that was able to process the volumes of data and seamlessly integrate with its front-end Web-based rating and rules engine to deliver real-time data to its underwriters, agents, salespersons and insureds. (Through its acquisition of InsureWorx, Fiserv Insurance Solutions, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, provided the PowerComp software, and HTC Global Services, Troy, Mich., provided implementation services.)
Honorable Mention #2: Insurance.com, Solon, Ohio
This direct-to-consumer carrier implemented a solution to improve the quote process, namely installing a database of drivers' license numbers and auto vehicle identification numbers that used rules-based technology to populate boxes as potential policyholders filled out an application. Tested in the company's sales center, the pilot resulted in 50% fewer touches per sale, a 6% lift in sales center conversions and a 4% lift in first-call closes. (Acxiom Corp., Little Rock, Ark., acted as vendor, consultant and business partner.)
Honorable Mention #3: Genworth Financial
The company's Print Solution Center of Excellence was created to help change the company's culture and instituted a document publishing standard within the organization to support branding and increase customer recognition and loyalty. The result was the elimination of redundant systems, acceleration of the overall design and development of its customer communications, cost savings and improved brand recognition. (Document Sciences, Carlsbad, Calif., provided software and services that enabled the company to standardize its customer communications onto one platform.)
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