HARLEYSVILLE ROLLS OUT POLICY ADMIN PLATFORM

Harleysville Insurance, Harleysville, Pa., is rolling out a new AQS/advantage commercial lines policy administration system that facilitates rating, quoting and policy issue processes in a real-time mode, and integrates predictive modeling for risk assessment with an underwriting rules engine. The deal with AQS Inc., Hartland, Wis., consists of AQS/advantage the policy administration system; AQS/advantage Integrator, a tool to manage the ETL process; and AQS/advantage Transaction Gateway, a means to administer unattended processing.

The new platform offers the company’s independent agency partners flexibility in doing business with Harleysville, while improving the insurer’s underwriting consistency and productivity. It also enables the company to add enhanced products to its portfolio, and will eliminate the expense of supporting multiple mainframe rating and policy administration systems, the company says.

The new commercial lines system was introduced in Pennsylvania, one of Harleysville’s largest commercial lines states early this month. The rollout will continue in 2008 throughout the remainder of the 32 eastern and Midwestern states in which Harleysville does business.

AML, ADVANCED DETECTION

AXA Financial Inc., a New York-based provider of financial protection and wealth management products, will use anti-money laundering and watch list management software from Norkom Technologies to detect, investigate, manage and report suspicious activity. The deal supports AXA’s enterprisewide anti-money laundering compliance strategy across diversified business lines throughout the United States.

Norkom’s product is designed to reduce costs and improve productivity by providing advanced detection of suspicious activity using best-in-class analytics and comprehensive case management capabilities that deliver greater efficiencies to the investigation process. The system also will screen all transactions against industry watch lists to guard against business being carried out with high risk entities such as known terrorists, criminals and politically exposed people. Located in Dublin, Ireland, Norkom counts HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, DTCC and Western Union among its clients.

In related news, IBM and AXA Financial subsidiary AXA Group, announced an outsourcing services contract extension for IBM to provide services through 2012. As part of the extended agreement, IBM will provide IT infrastructure services to AXA’s global operations. Key to winning this deal is IBM’s strong relationship with AXA Group, its deep industry expertise and massive global delivery network, reports the company. AXA Tech, the technology arm of AXA Group, will consolidate, standardize and automate its IT infrastructure to reduce operating costs and improve service quality for its customers. Under terms of the contract, IBM will provide on-demand mainframe, server and storage services and consulting to help AXA Tech transform their data center and processes. By utilizing an IT infrastructure with variable cost structures, AXA Group expects to achieve significant savings and respond more quickly to changing market conditions.

ARROWHEAD SELECTS RATING TECH FOR WORKERS’ COMP

San Diego-based Arrowhead General Insurance Agency extended its use of Decision Research’s (DRC) DecisionMaker Rating product to support the processing of Arrowhead’s workers compensation programs. An independent national program manager for commercial, personal and specialty lines, Arrowhead provides workers’ compensation benefits through its Cypress Point-Arrowhead General Agency Inc. division. Currently, Cypress Point is writing in more than 30 states. Arrowhead selected DecisionMaker Rating, a solution designed to quickly model and publish rate premiums as a callable Web service, for its ease of use, flexibility and speed to market capabilities, reports the company. In addition to the 10 personal lines of business, Arrowhead also completed the integration of DecisionMaker Rating to six commercial lines of business within their online portal and policy management systems.

“By leveraging our rating technology ease of use and rate publishing features, we are able to help our customers launch new lines of business quickly and affordably,” says Karen Yamamoto, VP of Product Development at DRC, Honolulu. “Once we have the requisite data sets and rates, our clients’ products can be in production in less than a month, even when the launch involves a new line of business.”

GARDEN STATE ENHANCES E-SIGNATURE CAPABILITIES

Silanis Technology Inc., an e-signature solution provider in Washington, D.C., reports that Garden State Life Insurance Co. (GSL) has extended its ApproveIt Web Server contract to allow continued and expanded use of the e-signature solution.

GSL, a League City, Texas member of the American National Family of Cos., uses Silanis electronic signatures, an ESIGN-compliant solution that enables regulated business and e-contracting processes to be replicated online or in a point-of-sale environment, to enable its customers to electronically sign life insurance applications and their corresponding payment authorizations online, making straight-through processing possible.

According to Silanis, e-signatures help organizations such as GSL maintain tight control and quality by providing strong electronic evidence, with a secure record of the signing process that includes information on document routing, delivery, presentation, authentication and storage.

ENHANCED CUSTOMER METRICS

Aon Reed Stenhouse (Aon) is adding Net Promoter Score (NPS) to its ResponseTek:CEM solution. NPS is a measure of customer advocacy, based on customers’ likelihood to recommend a business. Measuring NPS is part of a global initiative by Aon Reed Stenhouse parent Aon Corp., a Chicago-based provider of global risk management services.

ResponseTek Networks Corp., New York, a provider of on-demand customer experience management software, reports that Aon Reed Stenhouse already uses the CEM solution to garner customer intelligence, measuring experience at critical stages in the customer lifecycle. Adding NPS as a high-level indicator, and combining it with specific experience information, Aon can identify how experiences influence the overall advocacy score. Because the scores correlate to specific experiences, the brokerage can make decisions about business priorities and individual employees receive information to help them improve the experiences that they deliver, reports the vendor.

SUPPORT FOR AGENT NETWORK

Following a 2005 request for a proposal that focused on addressing business challenges rather than a specific technology solution for its agent portal application infrastructure, Hallmark General Agency, a subsidiary of Fort Worth, Texas-based Hallmark Financial Services Inc., is deploying a mix of insurance management technologies. The company will use Oracle Database and Oracle Application Server, a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware, as the IT foundation for its new insurance management system. Hallmark, which provides standard commercial insurance products through the independent agency system, is using Oracle Corp., Redwood Shores, Calif., infrastructure software to provide its agents with added resources to streamline business processes and enhance customer service by providing online visibility into claims status and other activities, the company says.

To support agents in Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington, the Fort Worth, Texas-based Hallmark is also implementing PREMIA, a Web-based integrated insurance management system from 3i Infotech Ltd., an Edison, N.J. partner in the Oracle PartnerNetwork. The solution runs on Oracle Database, which is designed to enable Hallmark to create a centralized data repository that is highly reliable and will help eliminate legacy system redundancies that increase IT management requirements and costs. Hallmark also is deploying Oracle Application Server to integrate business applications and power an agent portal that will incorporate flexibility and scalability to support the company’s growth. Hallmark is initially implementing the system internally, by product and state, prior to releasing the agent portal.

SAGITTA FACILITATES ABD SALES

ABD Insurance and Financial Services, a Redwood City, Calif., provider of insurance brokerage, employee benefits consulting and risk management solutions, is using AMS Sagitta system as its property/casualty system foundation. As a system architecture that enables seamless integration of all its offices, AMS Sagitta supports the agency’s centralized accounting functions, the company reports.

An enterprisewide agency management and automation system marketed by Bothell, Wash.-based Vertafore Inc. d/b/a AMS Services, AMS Sagitta is available as an in-house or online solution, primarily for large insurance agencies that require a higher degree of customization, system flexibility and scalability, or have more complex accounting needs. Along with ABD, more than half of the top 100 brokers nationwide are AMS Sagitta users.

AMS Sagitta’s role-based security provides ABD with tight control over data access. For example, ABD’s salespeople can have “view only” rights, while account teams have more liberal “view and change” access. ABD’s staff also is able to create custom coverage and underwriting data fields for specialty lines of business.

“We like the fact that it has sophisticated Application Platform Interfaces, which make it easy to integrate products from various third-party providers,” says Jann McCully, ABD’s senior VP and CIO. “For example, we use Salesforce.com for contact, opportunity and sales management. AMS Sagitta makes it easy to populate this application with our own client data, adding to efficiencies in new business development, cross selling and communication.”

GUILD INSURANCE PLANS CORE SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION

Guild Insurance Ltd., an Australia-based property/casualty insurer, selected Guidewire Software, San Mateo, Calif., to help modernize its core insurance systems. Upon deployment of this phased multi-year implementation, Guidewire’s software will fully replace Guild’s current end-to-end claims handling, policy administration, billing and reinsurance solutions.

The implementation project will begin with claim system replacement, which is currently underway and scheduled for deployment in late 2008.

With Guidewire, Guild expects to gain the ability to change the way it does business through process flow automation and a flexible, rules-driven architecture; operate its business more in line with its founding customer-centric principles; systemize and standardize its processes to gain efficiency and improved governance capabilities; and readily integrate core systems to all associated applications.

SPARTA CHOOSES COMMERCIAL POLICY ADMIN SYSTEM

Sparta Insurance Co., a Hartford, Conn.-based, start-up P&C insurer, has selected Policy Decisions, the commercial policy administration system from Hartford-based Insurity, a ChoicePoint Asset company.

Web-based Policy Decisions will be used by Sparta’s program managers and brokers for rating, underwriting and policy issuance. Insurity automatically updates forms and rates from bureaus, relieving Sparta of that administrative task. And, because Policy Decisions covers all commercial lines in all 50 states, the amount of customization required is minimized. The system also offers regulatory requirement features, such as reporting cancellations and non-renewals to state DMVs.

NORWICH SEES DOCUMENT DELIVERY IMPROVEMENTS

London-based long-term savings provider Norwich Union Insurance reports that it passed a crucial milestone in the drive to improve and simplify access to important policy documents for its network of agents and brokers.

Up to 10,000 documents are now being electronically packaged and delivered each day and posted to its channel extranet using a customer communications management (CCM) solution from Skywire Software, Frisco, Texas.

Norwich Union’s General Insurance division selected Skywire Software to improve document delivery and information sharing with brokers, agents, claims and loss adjustors, and internal users. Following successful deployment of Skywire Software’s CCM solution, Norwich Union commercial documents are now being pulled from a range of internal IT data streams and converted directly into PDFs. These are then accessible online, within a secure environment, as required.

This has led to significant print, paper and postage cost savings, and proven to be highly beneficial to Norwich Union brokers, agents and adjustors, who can now offer better customer service and respond to and manage cases more quickly and effectively, reports the company.

(c) 2007 Insurance Networking News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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