Westwood, Mass.-based MIB Group Inc., a purveyor of database and information management tools to the global risk management community, has launched a program to help locate life insurance policies for the families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. With support from a coalition of North American life insurance companies, MIB is working directly with tenants of the World Trade Center. A Web site, located at www.mib.com, contains full details, including a "MIB Affidavit in Lieu of Death Certificate," which can be downloaded, and links to other disaster relief, industry and governmental organizations.Responding to customer requests for a way to connect their Applied management databases to the Internet and other third-party applications, University Park, Ill.-based Applied Systems Inc. released a translator that enables Applied's Agency Manager, to exchange information with another database using XML technology. Called Applied ConneXion, the toolkit enables data exchange between an agency Web site, for example, and The Agency Manager. Customer and prospect information, policy details and claims and billing information no longer have to be rekeyed, the company says.

Jersey City, N.J.-based Insurance Services Office Inc. (ISO) has expanded the functionality of its antifraud claims solution to enable insurers to perform more in-depth cross-line searches. The expansion of ISO's ClaimSearch antifraud system, a data repository designed largely for auto insurance claims, has been expanded with a detailed database of auto physical damage claims (APD) records. The composite database has grown to 129 million detailed claims records, including five years of new claims-history records. ISO plans to expand the APD database with APD FastCheck service this year, which will provide immediate information on prior auto physical damage claims at first notice of loss-to insurers' call center or claims department.

Pittsburgh-based SEEC Inc. released an agent self-service product that enables a carrier's agents to quote, underwrite and issue policies in real-time over the Web. Called Axcess for Insurance, the product includes agent productivity tools and customizable application components for Web-based quoting, underwriting and issuance in specific lines of business. It also contains integration components that access current agency and carrier systems and third-party databases using ACORD XML and other industry standards.

FinanCenter, a Tucson, Ariz.-based developer of Web personalization and marketing tools, has released the FinanCenter Small Business Center, an integrated set of small-business finance tools that financial institutions can use to connect with customers and prospects. Small Business Center provides customized tools and information for small-business owners, while also capturing extensive profile data that financial institutions can use to personalize their marketing campaigns. The Small Business Center can feed data into legacy databases and link granular customer profiling with existing marketing and customer relationship management systems, the company claims.

Canton, Mich.-based Interlinx LLC has implemented a new underwriting software program-the BudgetLife Expert Quoting System-at its www.budgetlife.com Web site. The system uses proprietary technology to help consumers locate life insurance rates for which they best qualify. BudgetLife, an Internet service for life insurance consumers, was launched by Interlinx in 1996 to provide consumers a compilation of competitive life insurance rates. In 1998, BudgetLife, which does not actually sell life insurance, implemented an instant-quote system, using the Compulife database of 160 term life insurance companies, to locate the lowest rates for a consumer's specified age and gender.

Staffware Corp., a business process automation provider based in Maidenhead, U.K., has launched a series of business process templates for non-life insurance companies to improve claims handling workflow. The templates incorporate best practice standards in all areas of claims activity, the company claims, from notification, opening, investigation and payment to closing and recoveries. Staffware says the templates enable claimants, brokers and third-party providers to communicate better.

Atlanta-based Seagull, a legacy enhancement software firm, has developed new features for its Web-to-host solutions for legacy applications. New releases of WinJa (for mainframes) and Jwalk (for iSeries) include functional enhancements for developers, expanded server support for multi-platform environments, open architecture through XML, and integration with Seagull's host application integration product, Transidiom.

Insurance Technologies Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo., released ForeSight Brokerage, an enhanced version of its ForeSight Enterprise product. ForeSight Brokerage is a multi-carrier, multi-product, point-of-sale product serving the broker-dealer marketplace. Designed to enable brokerage offices and insurance carriers to work together, it provides a single interface for each insurance carrier a brokerage firm represents, as well as cross-product comparisons, advanced marketing applications, and illustrations and forms that comply with the National Association of Securities Dealers' standards.

With health insurers spending millions to meet upcoming compliance to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 3M Corp., Minneapolis, has a simple solution to the problem of keeping patient information private in the workplace. 3M's desktop privacy filters use a proprietary microlouver technology that works like mini-blinds. With the filter, only the person sitting directly in front of the computer can see the data on the screen.

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