JEVCO INSURANCE GOES LIVE WITH POINT-OF-SALE PORTAL

Jevco, a subsidiary of Kingsway Financial Services Inc. and a provider of standard and specialized property/casualty insurance products, is now live on a point-of-sale portal called Jevcom from Harcase Software Ltd., Mississauga, Ontario, for its personal automobile line of business. The Montreal-based insurer successfully rolled out new business functionality to its internal workforce, and has initiated a pilot program with its broker network.

Harcase’s portal provides Jevco with a customized platform pre-populated with queries and exception underwriting rules to deliver rapid decision-making and policy delivery to its broker field force.

President and CEO Serge Lavoie remarked that in partnering with Harcase to deliver Jevcom, Jevco was able to go from “Wang to Web” in a matter of five months.

“In the past, our brokers were paperbound—it took us a number of weeks to deliver a policy document,” Lavoie says. “With the Harcase portal in place, our brokers can input complete policy information online and will receive client documents immediately and a policy document within a day or two.”

Currently, Jevco brokers can take advantage of the portal’s Centre for Studies in Insurance Operations standards-related download capabilities. Within the next 12 months, additional phases of the implementation project will include CSIO upload capabilities as well as enhanced support for the automobile line of business and support for the property and motorcycle lines of business, report the companies.

PEKIN LICENSES FISERV ADVANCED BILLING SYSTEM

Pekin Insurance Co., a provider of property/casualty, life, individual, business, and group products, plans to implement an advanced billing solution from Fiserv Inc., a Brookfield, Wis., provider of technology solutions for the financial and insurance industries.

Located in Pekin, Ill., the 87-year-old carrier has grown to service more than 452,000 policyholders across five Midwestern states, which has necessitated the need for a modern, more flexible billing system, ultimately choosing Fiserv’s Advanced Billing (FAB). FAB supports personal and commercial lines of business in any combination: agency, account and group/special billing, with different effective and expiration dates. It is an open-architected, platform-flexible solution using J2EE standards.

“Our cross-functional team took a long-term view. We wanted the solution selected to meet future as well as current functionality needs,” says Rod McKimson, VP of systems for Pekin Insurance. “FAB provides more flexibility and efficiency, and will enable better customer service for our agents and insureds. From a technical perspective, the FAB architecture, with its service layer and service orientation, aligns well with ours.”

In follow-up news, the company reports that Allstate Insurance Co.’s Workplace Division is realizing superior results from its project to implement an automated Fiserv solution that supports growth objectives and improves efficiencies. Working strategically with Fiserv, Allstate reports it has met key objectives ahead of schedule, including improved ease of doing business for employers and independent agents, and increased sales and economies of scale for the Allstate Workplace Division (AWD). At the heart of the solution is the Fiserv Life Portraits ES worksite engine. Using the capabilities of Fiserv Life Portrait ES—paired with the ease of integration provided by ACORD transaction standards—Fiserv and AWD provide agents with an enrollment solution complete with multi-product electronic application and electronic signatures.

CHUBB RENEWS WITH IVANS

The Chubb Group of Insurance Cos. signed a multi-year contract renewal to use IVANS E-Commerce Server (ECS), an electronic mailbox solution designed to make it easier for Chubb to share information and do business with its insurance agents.

IVANS ECS is a data storage and retrieval solution for electronic mailboxing that is designed to enable agents to download carrier information via a secure, high-speed broadband connection. Compatible with 34 agency management systems, the solution provides carriers and agents access to Web-based management tools for administrative tasks and online policy inquiries. Carriers do not have to allocate resources to manage agent phone calls and technical issues that may arise in the retrieval or processing of data.

IVANS Inc., Stamford, Conn., reports that Chubb joins more than 180 of the country’s leading carriers in downloading via IVANS ECS across 135,000 agency-carrier relationship pairs.

Warren, N.J.-based Chubb, an IVANS customer since 1988, has more than 1,700 active agents downloading via IVANS ECS for personal and commercial lines. These download transactions include claims download, commission billing, activities and notifications and policy download.

“IVANS ECS supports Chubb’s key initiatives, which include improving our agents’ ease of doing business with us, and providing them with better tools to oversee the claims process,” says Linda Dodson, assistant VP and eBusiness manager of Chubb and co-chair of the ACORD Implementations Guide Working Group. “By using IVANS ECS, we have seen better agent utilization of our download capabilities over the years, and our agency relationships have become stronger as a result.”

GLOBAL IQX WINS DEAL WITH SHENANDOAH LIFE

Shenandoah Life Insurance Co., Roanoke, Va. has licensed the Global IQX software platform to provide capabilities for online quoting, rating, proposal generation, underwriting, renewal management and detailed reporting.

A mutual insurance company that was founded in 1914, Shenandoah Life is licensed in 31 states and the District of Columbia, and sells individual life, health and annuity products and group vision, dental, life and disability products to various markets—most notably senior citizens, families and businesses.

After a thorough evaluation process that considered the offerings of the leading quote and rating automation vendors in North America, Shenandoah Life chose the platform from Global IQX, an Ottawa-based provider of business automation and business process management solutions, as the best scalable solution to support the company’s straight-through processing (STP) platform for their group insurance business.

To be implemented in two phases, the project’s scope includes the design, implementation and testing of a packaged rating and quotation solution, and its associated processes for supporting Shenandoah Life’s group vision, dental, disability and life insurance products. The project scope also includes extracting data for use in other Shenandoah Life systems.

“In 2007, we made significant investments in our Web-based service and straight-through processing (STP) systems,” says Gene Berry, CLU, ChFC, CIO and SVP, Insurance Services. “Our investment in the Global IQX platform reflects our continued commitment to providing superior service to our brokers and policyholders.”

UNITRIN, COMPWEST SELECT GUIDEWIRE’S CLAIMCENTER

The P&C companies of Unitrin Inc., a Chicago-based $3 billion financial services company, will transition from less flexible mainframe and client/server claims systems to Guidewire’s ClaimCenter, the companies report.

Kemper, Unitrin Direct and Unitrin Specialty expect the new technology to improve their end-to-end claims adjusting processes, reduce claims costs and enhance customer service.

“In Guidewire we found the ideal strategic partner for our business transformation,” says Shawn Crawford, VP, Unitrin Services Co. “ClaimCenter handily met our business and technical requirements and will enable us to best leverage our in-house expertise and readily make system changes for the benefit of our internal users and our policyholders.”

ClaimCenter is a 100% Web-based, claims management system designed to handle Unitrin’s entire claims volume of 700-800 claims per day. Sharing a common claims platform across the organization brings substantial operational benefits, including better data comparison capabilities for improved operational visibility and the ability to create and share “application-based” claims best practices across their organizations, reports Guidewire.

The single claims platform approach is also designed to ease Unitrin’s IT resource load and allow for a high degree of acquisition flexibility through ClaimCenter’s integration-ready interface or the ability to transition the acquired company to ClaimCenter. The first project release is scheduled to encompass claim intake in 2009.

In related news, Guidewire partnered with BearingPoint Inc. on a seven-month claims system implementation at CompWest Insurance Co., a San Francisco provider of worker’s compensation insurance. The McLean, Va.-based BearingPoint team, working with Guidewire, leveraged its proprietary delivery framework templates and project accelerators to deliver the ClaimCenter project on time, report the companies. The system will allow CompWest to expand adjusting capabilities, maximize operational efficiency, improve overall cost-effectiveness and focus on the care of injured workers. In addition, BearingPoint will host the ClaimCenter application, enabling more efficient maintenance of the solution.

WEST BEND MUTUAL UPDATES ENTERPRISE COMMUNICATIONS

West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., a West Bend, Wis., provider of personal and commercial property/casualty insurance, selected Thunderhead NOW, an enterprise communications platform from UK-based Thunderhead. Serving approximately 175,000 U.S. policyholders, West Bend will use the solution to automate its document generation.

Thunderhead NOW provides centralized control of enterprise issues, such as regulated content, brand protection, compliance and security.

INTERBORO DEPLOYS PERSONAL AUTO ASP SERVICE NINTEY-YEAR OLD property/casualty insurer Interboro Insurance Co., based in Mineola, N.Y., deployed STGMastek’s Renaissance Personal Auto ASP Service for its point-of-sale, policy administration, billing and accounts receivable and claims functions that apply to its New York personal auto lines.

The Mumbai, India-based P&C solution subsidiary of Mastek Ltd. also is in the process of deploying reinsurance and dashboard reporting along with a homeowners product as part of phase II for Interboro’s New York book of business, which is expected to go live in Q2, 2008.

Through this agreement, STGMastek’s Renaissance Suite, in its ready-to-deploy ASP mode, will replace the current legacy system for Interboro’s personal auto and homeowners line of business in New York. STGMastek also is responsible for all activities related to managing the application, making ongoing changes, help desk support, regulatory and statistical reporting. Interboro will reposition their products and overhaul their processing systems with the help of the Renaissance Suite.

NAPCO EXPANDS USE OF CATASTROPHE RISK MODEL

Napco LLC, a Edison, N.J.-based commercial insurance wholesale broker, has expanded its use of Boston-based AIR Worldwide Corp.’s CATStation to assist clients with their catastrophe underwriting decision-making and portfolio management.

“We rely on AIR model results to negotiate the best possible contract terms and conditions on behalf of our clients,” says Ravi Singhvi, assistant VP, risk modeling, at Napco. “With CATStation, we’re able to analyze risks using the same high quality hazard and loss information used by insurers and retail brokers.”

CATStation provides the flexibility wholesalers, retailers and insurers require in one easy-to-use catastrophe management application, according to AIR. Napco uses CATStation to seamlessly combine exposure concentration analysis hazard analysis, and policy-level loss analysis into a single Web-based solution.

Based on an in-depth evaluation, Napco chose CATStation as its sole application for analyzing their clients’ catastrophe risk.

(c) 2008 Insurance Networking News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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