CCC Exits U.S. Claims Outsourcing MarketCCC Information Services Inc., a Chicago-based supplier of software to the automotive claims industry, says it will exit the U.S. claims outsourcing market. This market is served by CCC Consumer Services Inc. (CSI), a U.S. subsidiary handling claims administration and policy fulfillment outsourcing to private passenger auto insurance businesses. CCC will begin to wind down its claim services products including ACCESS Shop Network (audit of appraisals generated by a nationwide network of repair facilities), ACCESS Quality Audit Services (audit of appraisals generated by CCC and non CCC collision estimating systems), Total Loss Complete (a total loss claims resolution service) and CARS Direct (a rental car reservation service).

Keys To Containing Claims Costs

Innovative technology and workforce training can help insurers reduce claims settlement costs by up to 15% and still comply with good market conduct practices, according to research released by the claims solution group of New York-based Accenture. The study, based on an analysis of more than 7,000 settled claims and interviews with more than 3,000 claims personnel throughout North America and Europe, concludes that new technology infrastructures are needed to enable claims handlers to work more efficiently and accurately. Specifically, carriers can ensure these efficiencies six ways: segment claims more precisely, provide updated information, encourage consistency, automate routine functions, educate claims handlers and integrate with vendors.

NetInsurance.com Makes Its Debut

Online insurance agency NetInsurance.com has launched a national online insurance transaction fulfillment service. NetInsurance.com already has several marketing partners, including autobytel.com and abilizer.com, both of which launched online purchase of automobile insurance policies in February. Quotes are available from Travelers, Progressive, Hartford, Safeco, Kemper, Atlanta Casualty, CSE, Infinity, Leader, Omni Insurance Group, Orion Auto and Windsor. San Francisco-based NetInsurance.com provides standalone online fulfillment and end-to-end online transaction automation-including comparison quotes, binding and payment. Service is provided by licensed agents online or by phone.

American Family Leads WebCriteria Ranking

The American Family Insurance Web site led the ranking in a benchmark study released by WebCriteria Inc., Portland, Ore. Also ranked (in order) were National Merit, Travelers, State Farm, Prudential, Progressive, Geico, InsWeb, e-insure and Allstate. The sites were ranked by the time and effort required to locate, complete and submit an auto insurance quote application according to WebCriteria's Task Analysis service. Customers on the American Family site could complete these tasks in 13 steps, taking just more than four minutes. By contrast, the Allstate site requires 17 pages and more than eight minutes to accomplish the same tasks. The detailed results can be found on WebCriteria's Web site at www.webcriteria.com/reports/insurance.cfm.

Manulife Financial Shareholders Vote Online

Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp. claims to be the first Canadian financial services organization and the first demutualized insurance company to offer the Internet as a method of proxy voting. Approximately 403,000 shareholders of Manulife can now vote for annual meeting resolutions via the Internet or automated telephone. Shareholders who were unable to attend Manulife's annual meeting in May were encouraged to place their vote for the election of directors and the appointment of auditors by using the Web site shown on their proxy or voting instruction form.

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