24-HOUR ACCESS TO FINANCIAL FITNESSNew York-based Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America launched a proprietary Web-based system designed to help financial representatives enable their clients to instantly gauge their financial health and simplify their personal and business finances. The system enables financial reps and their clients to coordinate accounts from a menu of more than 3,000 financial institutions, access copies of important legal and financial documents from anywhere in the world, and get a comprehensive, up-to-date snapshot of their financial well-being.

ONLINE INFO FOR A&E INSUREDS

Boston-based Lexington Insurance Co., a member company of American International Group Inc., launched a new online site to provide relevant information to professionals carrying architects and engineers (A&E) liability insurance. Created as a free service for Lexington's and New Hampshire Insurance Company's A&E insureds, www.lexaehelp.com provides architects and engineers with a multitude of risk management and educational resources, ranging from legal information to certified online education.

E-DEPOSITS FOR EXPAT CLAIMS

CIGNA International Expatriate Benefits (CIEB), a business unit of Philadelphia-based CIGNA International, introduced ePayment Plus, a service designed to speed payments for expatriates' health claims through electronic deposits to members' bank accounts. The service, available for expatriates working in the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, Canada, Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore, includes automatic e-mail notification of payments so members know when funds are available in their accounts.

SAUERLAND NAMED PROGRESSIVE PRESIDENT

The Progressive Corp., Mayfield, Ohio, has appointed John Sauerland as president of the Progressive Direct Group of Insurance Companies. Sauerland, 41, served as Progressive's claims general manager for the company's Midwest region, having first joined Progressive full time in 1991 as an assistant product manager.

HURRICANE ACTIVITY PREDICTIONS

In a white paper titled "Understanding Climatological Influences on Hurricane Activity: The AIR Near-term Catalog," Boston-based AIR Worldwide Corp., reviews research on climatological impacts on hurricane activity. The white paper explains the approach used to create AIR's near-term sensitivity catalog, which quantifies the influence of sea surface temperature (SST) forecasts on insured losses for the next five years. The result of more than eight months of research by AIR's scientists, in collaboration with Accurate Environmental Forecasting (AEF), is reflected in an upcoming near-term catalog of potential hurricane activity.

For the 2006 hurricane season, AIR is offering three stochastic catalogs for its U.S. hurricane model: the standard catalog, which is based on more than 100 years of historical data and 20 years of research and development; a near-term sensitivity catalog, which reflects recent research on the influence of SSTs on near-term (five-year) hurricane activity; and a 2006 seasonal hurricane catalog that accounts for the influence of current climate signals on hurricane activity for the upcoming season.

GNAIE LAUNCHES REDESIGNED SITE

New York-based The Group of North American Insurance Enterprises (GNAIE) launched a newly redesigned Website, www.insuranceaccounting.org, to serve as a central source of news, research and analysis on the development of accounting standards for insurance companies. An expanded news section now provides updates on major events in the development of insurance accounting and international convergence, including the development of an international accounting standard for life insurance jointly produced with the leading life insurance companies in Japan. Also included is the latest news from the IASB, FASB and other organizations involved in the development of accounting standards affecting insurance companies.

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