Insurance Networking News recently interviewed Michael Bieniek, a partner in Lord, Bissell & Brook LLP's Business Technology Group, Chicago. With more than 26 years of experience in various technical and legal roles relating to computer technology, Bieniek provides advice on negotiating outsourcing and IT agreements, and on various issues relating to intellectual property, such as copyright protection for Web sites and trademark licensing.INN: What is the typical duration of an insurance outsourcing contract?

BIENIEK: The duration of insurance outsourcing contracts generally ranges from three to 10 years. Vendors typically prefer long-term contracts. Insurers may also want a long-term contract, based on several factors: the value to the insurer of any favorable terms included in the contract; the complexity of providing the services; the difficulty the insurer would have changing vendors; the insurer's certainty the vendor will perform the services satisfactorily throughout the term of the contract; the pricing of the services; and the insurer's level of comfort that the vendor will cooperate in accommodating unanticipated changes.

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