JACKSON LAUNCHES BENEFITS CENTERThe Living Benefits Selection Center (LBSC) from Jackson National Life Insurance Co., Lansing, Mich., is designed to enable registered representatives to get instant, client-approved output based on a client's profile information after answering a handful of qualifying questions. The tool also features multimedia presentations, fact sheets and side-by-side comparisons of Jackson's optional living benefits.

Advisers can access the LBSC through Jackson's corporate Web site.


ClaimStatus PLUS from Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group is designed to empower Internet users to search for claims, create custom claims reports and track claims changes when they need the information.

ClaimStatus PLUS is designed to enable businesses to:

* Search for more detailed claim information, such as case status, claimant information and case handler.

* Set up e-mail notification alerts that appear when other system users make changes to claims information.

* Create customized reports that tailor report frequency and format to the company's needs.


The Reston, Va.-based Association for Insurance Compliance Professionals (AICP) a 1,200-member industry organization that promotes an exchange of compliance-related information, announced the election of its 2007-2008 board of directors. Steve LeHew was elected vice president; Joe Bieniek, secretary and Charles Whiffen was elected treasurer. The organization also elected regional directors and chapter officers, reports AICP.


Human error and a failure to address security on an enterprise-wide basis, are undermining efforts by top financial institutions to safeguard data, according to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu's 2007 Global Security Survey, from the New York-based organization.

The survey, which queried senior IT executives from 169 major global institutions, revealed that the greatest root cause of external breaches continues to be the human factor: an organization's employees, customers, third parties and business partners. It also found that only 63% of the top 100 global financial services organizations have an information security strategy, and only 10% have their information security led by business line leaders.


The U.S. property/casualty insurance industry's net income after taxes rose 10.7% to $32.6 billion in first-half 2007 from $29.4 billion in first-half 2006.

Fueled by the industry's net income, policyholders' surplus-insurers' net worth measured according to Statutory Accounting Principles-increased $26.5 billion to $512.8 billion on June 30, 2007.

But the insurance industry's overall profitability as measured by its annualized rate of return on average policyholders' surplus (or statutory net worth) slipped to 13.1% in first-half 2007 from 13.5% in first-half 2006 as underwriting results deteriorated. Net gains on underwriting fell 4.1% to $14.4 billion in first-half 2007 from $15 billion in first-half 2006. The combined ratio worsened to 92.7% in the first half of this year from 92% in the first half of 2006, according to Jersey City, N.J.-based ISO Properties Inc. and Des Plaines, Ill.-based Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

The figures are consolidated estimates for all private property/casualty insurers based on reports accounting for at least 96% of all business written by private U.S. property/casualty insurers.


New York State is now requiring all employers with employees working in the state to have a New York state workers' compensation policy or have New York specifically listed on their workers' compensation policy.

The rule change redefines who is considered an employee. The new definition says that anyone working in the state for any period of time, even a person attending a single-day convention or meeting, is an employee, and therefore requires New York workers' compensation coverage.


A new research report says claims processing represents up to 80% of running costs for European insurers.

The report, by London-based Datamonitor, titled "Building Process and Product Excellence for European Insurers," was commissioned by Westlake, Ohio-based Hyland Software, a provider of enterprise content management software to the insurance market.

Insurance companies are spending millions on claims processing, and the research indicates that it takes up between 70% and 80% of the running costs of a typical general insurance company. Twenty percent of this is spent on administration costs.

The study says these inefficiencies must be addressed if European insurance carriers are to remain competitive.

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