Blues Association Unveils Sales PortalThe Chicago-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) has unveiled a new national sales portal that will enable it to create a more interactive and customer-centric Web site for its 250,000 monthly visitors seeking health insurance purchasing information. The portal directs consumers seeking health insurance purchasing information to the appropriate local Blues plan through a ZIP code match. In markets with overlapping Blues plan service areas, users can select from a list of available plans. Since the pilot site was launched, nearly 110,000 sales leads have been generated for Blue plans.

Insurers Frequently Targeted On Internet

Between March 26 and June 24, the financial and insurance service sectors were targeted the most (23%) by Internet threats and malicious activity compared with 5% in the government and 3% in the telecommunications sector. These figures come from a study conducted by the Internet Security Systems (ISS), an Atlanta-based security software firm. Also in the report, titled "IRIS: Internet Risk Summary Report," is a ranking of the types of Internet emergencies handled by emergency response and forensics teams at ISS (see chart).

AAA Life Launches National Web Site

The Washington, D.C.-based life insurance affiliate of the American Automobile Association (AAA) has launched a Web site, powered by Motor City Interactive, Southfield, Mich. AAA Life Insurance Co. has launched www.aaalife.com, which enables the company to sell its products, educate consumers about life insurance and provide preliminary rate estimates online through 43 individual AAA club Web sites nationwide. Each different AAA club has a Web site that reflects its local brand identity, which required Motor City Interactive to develop an elaborate database scheme to integrate with those sites and retain those brands, according to Jeff Stanislow, CEO of Motor City Interactive. A link to AAA Life's information is usually found in the "life insurance" section of approved clubs' Web sites.

Twelve States Join CARFRA Initiative

Twelve more states have joined the Coordinated Advertising Rate and Form Review Authority (CARFRA) program of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Kansas City, Mo. According to the NAIC, the CARFA program provides a building block for its proposed interstate compact for life, disability income and annuity and long-term care products. Ten states originally participated in the limited launch of CARFRA: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. The 12 additional states are: Alaska, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin. CARFRA provides a single point of filing and review, along with national standards for insurance products. The process initially focused on life and health products, annuities, Medicare supplements and term life. CARFRA uses the NAIC's System for Electronic Rate and Form Filings (SERFF) to accept and process filings. More information about the program can be found at www.carfra.org.

ACLI Hosts Leadership Forum

Washington, D.C.-based American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), along with A.T. Kearney, EDS, and SOLCORP, will host an inaugural summit of the Global Financial Leadership Forum at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on Nov. 17-19, 2002. Aimed primarily at life insurers and reinsurers, the two-and-a-half day summit will examine marketplace opportunities and challenges brought on by economic globalization and industry convergence. The inaugural board includes representatives from AFLAC, AXA, CHUBB, Citicorp, Dai-ichi Mutual Life, Gerling Global Life, Hampton Re, Hartford Life, Lehman Brothers, Lloyds of London, Manulife Japan, Max Re, Munich American Reassurance, Nationwide, New York Life, Principal International, RGA (Canada), and SunLife Financial. For more information, visit the ACLI's Web site at www.acli.com.

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