Farmers Teaches Lesson In Niche MarketingLos Angeles-based Farmers Insurance Group of Cos. has launched a Web site devoted to helping educators obtain insurance-related information on both a personal and professional level. The program was inspired by the many alliances Farmers has forged over the years with educators on safety and cultural diversity. The Web site, www.teachers.farmers.com, is organized into two basic areas: Solutions for Professional Life and Solutions for Personal Life. Under Solutions for Professional Life, teachers can navigate to information dealing with such areas as lesson plans, continuing education and child safety. Solutions to Personal Life has three sections: auto insurance, home and liability insurance and life insurance. The Web site is not exclusive to Farmers policyholders.
Ebix.com Eyes Expansion In India
Atlanta-based Ebix.com Inc., an online insurance marketplace, has set its sights on the Indian market. In the wake of government deregulation in India, Robin Raina, Ebix.com president and CEO, says there's currently a tremendous opportunity to create an insurance infrastructure for the world's largest population. During a recent interview with the British Broadcasting Co. (BBC), Raina revealed the company's intention to expand into the Indian market, a strategy that would be a major step forward in its plans to become a global supplier of Internet-based insurance tools for consumers and insurance professionals. The Indian insurance market was recently deregulated after more than 50 years of government control. Raina, a native of India, has already begun discussions with a few potential partners. "We are looking for either strong banking partners or major corporations who understand the difficulties of working with a country coping with the reality of deregulation of its insurance industry," says Raina.
INSpire Recommends Reverse Stock Split
Following its request for a hearing to appeal a Nasdaq determination that its common stock is subject to delisting, Fort Worth, Texas-based INSpire Insurance Solutions Inc. is presenting a recommendation to its shareholders for a reverse stock split. A special meeting is scheduled for October 31 for shareholders to authorize a reverse stock split in a ratio of 1 new share for each 5 shares currently outstanding. "The purpose of the reverse stock split is to increase the market price per share of our common stock above the minimum level required to maintain our listing on the Nasdaq National Market System, which we believe will be in the best interest of the shareholders," says John F. Pergande, chairman and CEO.
Fraud Defense Network Will Close Oct. 15
The Fraud Defense Network, an online community that brought together carriers and third-party administrators to fight insurance fraud, is shutting down. Founded in 1994 and funded by Alpharetta, Ga.-based ChoicePoint Inc., the Fraud Defense Network had 31 carrier members and roughly 450 participating organizations as of August 31. "FDN is a small, community-based fraud system that we had hoped to grow to a large community, and although we invested heavily in it, we found that the industry was not interested in long-term continued support," says Richard Collier, ChoicePoint's vice president of marketing and sales. Participating carriers who contributed fraud data paid a monthly fee of $700 to have access to the organization's 11 databases, while other carriers that didn't contribute data paid $1,000 a month to access the data. Only 13 of the 31 participating carriers were contributing data, Collier says. "It was a nice service but it didn't solve the problems it needed to solve," he adds.
IIAA Chapters Endorse AgentSecure
AgentSecure, a subsidiary of Fort Worth, Texas-based InsureZone Inc., picked up new exclusive co-marketing endorsements from Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) organizations in Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina, Virginia and New York. This brings to nine the number of state IIAA organizations that have formally aligned themselves with AgentSecure since its acquisition by InsureZone in June. The IIAA organizations in Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Texas had already gone on record endorsing InsureZone's AgentSecure product for agents who want to expand their access to property and casualty markets.
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