CHUBB GOES TO SEA AS WELL AS TO WEB

With companies of all sizes looking to buy and sell overseas, the Chubb Group of Insurance Cos., Warren, N.J., is offering ocean cargo policies and providing CargoPort, an online system that enables customers to view their policies, submit claims and monitor shipping.

CargoPort, which is available through Chubb's secure Internet site for agents, brokers and customers, generates cargo insurance certificates and management reports.

It also offers automated reporting of shipment and storage declarations, electronic submission of first notices of loss, automated vessel verification and OFAC searches, and online review and printing of invoice details.

Chubb's ocean cargo insurance policy includes a summary declarations page and simplified rate schedule. Coverage applies to sales samples in transit or at sales visits. It also applies to props, sets and materials in transit, storage, awaiting exhibition or on exhibition.

Chubb officials say they expect shipping to continue to grow. Annual U.S. international trade is approaching $2 trillion, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce predicts that figure will double by 2020, says Terry Montgomery, vice president at Chubb & Son and ocean marine manager at Chubb Commercial Insurance.

'WEB OF WEB SITES' TO PROVIDE INFO ON EXTENDED CARE

A proposed "web of Web sites," would dispense information about a form of protection that puzzles many Americans: long-term care insurance.

The sites, developed by Kirkland, Wash.-based LTC Financial Partners LLC, a long-term care insurance brokerage, are expected to approach the subject with help from texts, graphics, video and live presentation. A state-licensed field underwriter will stand by on each site, ready to answer questions by phone or e-mail.

When consumers search online for information on long-term care insurance, they usually find agents who represent a single carrier or a lead-generation systems that sells names to multiple agents, says Cameron Truesdell, LTC Financial Partners CEO.

BRIDE AND GROOM CAN SAY, 'I DO,' WITH COVERAGE

Travelers, Hartford, Conn., is launching a Wedding Protector Plan, an insurance policy covering weddings.

The company plans to attract that niche market with a Web site, AgentProtectMyWedding.com. The site is designed to help consumers learn about wedding insurance and includes a premium calculator and risk quiz to help users determine how much risk surrounds their wedding.

Site visitors can use the online agent locator to find a nearby Travelers independent agent. The Web site also offers an e-newsletter for newlyweds, covering topics from lifestyle to money management.

The Wedding Protector Plan provides coverage, with no deductible, for a range of unfortunate occurrences.

HOW DO CEOS FEEL ABOUT CIOS?

Forrester Research Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., surveyed 75 global CEOs to find out how they feel about information technology/business technology (IT/BT).

The survey reveals: 60% of CEOs are satisfied with the overall performance of IT/BT. But only 28% see IT/BT as a proactive leader in innovation. And only 30% see IT/BT as a proactive leader in process improvement.

This isn't bad news, says George Colony, chairman of the board and CEO at Forrester. "The CIO should not be, indeed cannot be, the driving force in these two areas."

He does believe the CIO has a role in process change. "While the CIO brings technology to the table, business executives must spend political capital to change process and organization. This is a collaborative effort, with the CIO working with the business people to get the right mix."

When it comes to business innovation, the CIO needs to be an educator, says Colon. "For business executives to effectively drive process change and innovation, they must have a solid understanding of technology," he says. "The CIO must be in the business of educating and teaching the business people so that they can make the leap."

AWARDS RECOGNIZE ITIL ACHIEVEMENTS

Pink Elephant has announced the winners of its 2007 ITIL Awards. The awards, honoring the best in four categories, went to:

* State of North Carolina (ITIL Project of the Year)

* Cathy Kirch, Allstate Insurance Co. (ITIL Practitioner of the Year) n Johnny Cox, service desk team leader, ACC (ITIL Certification Student of the Year)

* Catherine McGregor, department manager of process support services, BMO Financial Group, and Stacy Prescott, process strategy manager, Capital One (ITIL Case Study of the Year)

INSURERS CLING TO ANTI-TRUST EXEMPTION

Insurers are urging Congress to preserve a federal anti-trust exemption granted to the industry in 1945. The exemption has come under scrutiny by legislators in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, insurance trade associations say.

The Insurance Industry Competition Act, proposed legislation to end the exemption, "would level the playing field so that insurance companies must abide by the same competition laws as every other industry," says U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a sponsor of the bill.

Although the proposed law would give the federal government the power to pursue anti-trust cases against insurance companies, it would not establish a federal charter to replace state regulation in other insurance matters, published reports say.

Losing the anti-trust exemption would harm small- and medium-sized insurance carriers that cut costs by pooling information on risk, according to insurance industry trade associations.

Similar legislation is pending in the House.

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