AlliancesMember companies of American International Group Inc., New York, will provide insurance products and services to users of leading automotive-related sites including Kelley Blue Book, CarReview.com and ExpressAutoParts.com via aigdirect.com, AIG's consumer and small business e-commerce site. Kelley Blue Book publishes pricing reports for new and used cars. CarReview.com is a Web site for auto enthusiasts, offering reviews written by consumers ranging from the latest automobiles to car audio equipment. ExpressAutoParts.com is an online automotive parts and accessories store, offering parts and accessories for domestic and foreign cars, trucks and SUVs. Each site will offer links to aigdirect.com where visitors have the ability to purchase insurance products and review automobile and insurance-related news.
InsLogic Corp., a Columbia, Md.-based provider of turnkey, private-label insurance brokerage solutions, will provide insurance services and products on www.Key.com, the flagship Web site for Cleveland-based financial services company KeyCorp. The partnership will enable KeyCorp customers to purchase auto, term life and homeowners policies online, while also reviewing personal insurance needs and comparing competitive carrier coverage and costs.
Online financial services firm Answer Financial Inc., Encino, Calif., will provide users of the Gay Financial Network with access to Answer Financial's array of insurance products via gfn.com's Internet portal. New York-based gfn.com is a provider of financial and business news, information and services to gays and lesbians. The two companies are also collaborating on Answer Financial's agent-training program to ensure an informed and effective service, tailored to handle insurance-related questions from members of the gay and lesbian community.
Geico, the Washington, D.C.-based direct marketer of auto insurance in the United States, and Working Concepts have deployed PeopleSoft's Pension Administration for Geico's 19,000 active associates and 3,000 retired and term vested participants. The addition of the PeopleSoft Pension Administration software enhances Geico's ability to deliver pension administration services to active associate and plan participants. By implementing the pension administration solution, Geico hopes to reduce unnecessary data entry, prepare faster pension calculations and produce more meaningful reports. Working Concepts is a Columbia, Md.-based provider of human resources consulting and e-business services.
CNA E&S, a business division of Chicago-based CNA, has announced an alliance with Reston, Va.-based ICSA.net, an Internet security assurance provider, and Sherwood Insurance Services, an insurance brokerage firm based in Irvine, Calif. CNA E&S, Sherwood and ICSA.net will promote CNANetProtect, an e-commerce insurance product, and TruSecure, an ICSA.net service that assures security of Internet operations for all types of business enterprises. Sherwood will function as CNA E&S's program manager for CNANetProtect.
Commercial property/casualty insurers will soon be able to eliminate the need to re-enter ISO information from paper documents into their rating and policy-issuance systems. Insurance Office Services Inc., New York, has developed ISO IntegRater, an electronic delivery system that eases loading ISO commercial lines advisory loss costs and rating factors into carriers' systems. ISO IntegRater will use a delimited format to deliver the information, which users will be able to access using a search utility from the ISO Web site. Insurers using ISO IntegRater can select data by line of business, circular number, update date, state, table number, implementation date and filing identification number.
A Web site has been launched that enables two parties involved in a dispute to negotiate and settle legal claims. Developed by New Orleans-based Resolutions LLC, www.claim-resolve.com was designed to facilitate resolution of smaller claims that typically involve more paperwork and professional time than they are worth to participants. Costing $100 per claim, once an offer or demand is entered into claim-resolve.com, the system notifies the other party, which can then log on to view the offer and enter a response. The site allows for an unlimited number of offers and counter-offers for 60 days after the claim is initiated. It also creates a viewable and printable history of the negotiations, which both parties to a claim can use for reference. Resolutions LLC is a subsidiary of Mediation Arbitration Professional Systems Inc., Metairie, La.
Another provider has joined the growing ranks of the burgeoning online employee benefits market. Partnering with more than 40 U.S. insurance companies to offer a variety of employee benefits packages, Greenwich, Conn.-based ebDirect launched its aggregator Web site promising to provide the advantages of the Internet with personalized offline services at the regional level. Within the program, ebDirect plans to offer employers group health, dental, disability, life and vision coverage, and will also provide tools and services for streamlining and administering human resource programs. Employers will be able to provide services from the company's Web site www.ebdirect.com, offline through ebDirect sales and service centers located in six states or through one of ebDirect's partner companies. These companies include Staples.com, BizBuyer and BuyerZone.com.
An online property/casualty marketplace for insurance agents and brokers has been launched by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., an Itasca, Ill.-based international insurance brokerage and risk management services firm. The Web site, www.coveragefirst.com, offers niche products, live customer assistance and real-time insurance news. CoverageFirst, a division of Risk Placement Services Inc., also offers agents a blanket appointment process with all its listed providers rather than the traditional practice of requiring agents to obtain individual agency agreements with each provider.
MTW Corp., Mission Woods, Kan., is offering property/casualty carriers a multifaceted platform that combines P&C eComponents Plus-a component-based administration system for policy rate, quote, issue and administration-with a component-based development methodology called PROgression. The package, designed to work with legacy systems, enables commercial and personal P&C insurers to Web-enable any process. P&C eComponents Plus, which was developed using MTW's PROgression methodology, enables business-focused product development as well as policy processing. The system enables rapid development and modification of insurance products for all P&C lines. Policy processing highlights include real-time access to product rules and data, complete policy administration, automatic introduction of new fields without system changes and programming, dynamic responses to different data capture needs and scripted questions.
Insurers face an opportunity to significantly reduce the cost of policy administration transactions. To that end, The Freedom Group, a unit of Fiserv Inc., Brookfield, Wis., recently introduced a Web-based policy administration system called PolicySTAR. The Java-based policy administration system for property and casualty insurers is designed with component-based architecture that provides a set of services to support scalable transactional server components. The client subsystem enables users to see all the relationships a client has with the insurer regardless of different policies. Users have online, real-time capability for all quote and policy processing functions, including real-time processing of out-of-sequence amendments. PolicySTAR will move into beta testing in the second quarter of 2001.
In October Newsline Briefs, the Web site address for the Web-based portal, ClaimScope Navigator, from Chicago-based CCC Information Services Inc., was incorrect. The correct URL is www.claimscope.com.
Stephen Milne, president and chief executive officer of Erie Insurance Group, Erie, Pa., was elected chairman of Des Plaines, Ill.-based National Association of Indepenedent Insurers.
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