CHUBB IMPLEMENTS HORNBILL SUPPORTWORKS ITSM

Chubb Insurance Company of Europe upgraded to Supportworks ITSM, the comprehensive ITIL-compatible service management software from Hornbill Systems Inc., which has locations in Texas, New York and worldwide. Chubb is a long-standing user of Hornbill’s Supportworks IT Helpdesk software, providing centralized support to internal users worldwide.

“Upgrading to Supportworks ITSM has allowed us to embrace best practice methodology in our working processes,” says Keith Brewer, IT support manager for IT infrastructure at Chubb Insurance. “The transparency of our operations has enabled us to provide a much more efficient support service that directly benefits the end customer.”

The service desk provides a frontline service to support the company IT infrastructure, servers, networks and Lotus Notes. Calls are logged and may be handled immediately, or passed on to second- or third-line support. Particular bugs or issues are passed onto the in-house development teams who have written the business specific applications used to issue policies.

The team also is piloting Supportworks’ Web self-service option, which allows end-users to log calls, view call status and search the support knowledge base themselves. This is designed to further transparency and improve communication between IT and the customer.

WESTERN & SOUTHERN EXPAND PRODUCT PORTFOLIO Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), El Segundo, Calif., announced that Western & Southern Financial Group licensed CSC’s Wealth Management Accelerator and Visual Product Modeling System (VP/MS). Cincinnati-based Western & Southern will use the two systems to support annuity payout product development and administration initially at three of its member companies: The Western & Southern Life Insurance Co., Integrity Life Insurance Co. and Columbus Life Insurance Co.

The companies will use CSC’s software to introduce new wealth management products, including an immediate annuity for retiring baby boomers. In the future, they plan to move their existing annuity payout processing to Wealth Management Accelerator to take advantage of the system’s benefit payout capabilities. They will use VP/MS as their external rules and calculation engine for Wealth Management Accelerator, and will assess using VP/MS for other existing policy administration systems.

Wealth Management Accelerator is designed to enable annuity providers to support both wealth accumulation and distribution in a single administration system. It manages group and individual, qualified and non-qualified, and fixed and variable products.

In addition to supporting a full range of payout options, Wealth Management Accelerator also automates life and annuity processes, including general ledger accounting, premium billing and collection and customer service.

ESURANCE INKS DEAL TO USE AUTOWATCH

San Francisco-based Esurance Inc., a direct-to-consumer personal auto insurance company, announced the signing of a six-year agreement to use AutoWatch, a Web-enabled system designed for monitoring auto repairs.

Esurance launched AutoWatch, provided by See Progress Inc., Brighton, Mich., in January 2007. Gary Tolman, Esurance president and CEO, says, “Our customers use the Internet to manage their lives, so they really appreciate the ability to monitor their vehicle’s repair online. In one of our claims surveys, policyholders who used AutoWatch showed increased satisfaction with the claims process because AutoWatch helps expedite vehicle repair.”

According to Esurance, its AutoWatch customers see a 16.5% reduction in repair length, totaling approximately two days. This results in a 6% increase in customer satisfaction among Esurance’s AutoWatch users, based on the auto insurance company’s internal claims surveys.

In addition to the six-year partnership announcement, Esurance recently completed user interface enhancements to its AutoWatch implementation, making AutoWatch even more integrated with Esurance’s online customer experience. Esurance customers using the auto insurance company’s direct repair program can monitor their vehicle’s repair online in a virtually seamless process, Esurance says.

FARM BUREAU JOINS WITH IDENTITY THEFT 911

Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., West Des Moines, Iowa, joined with Identity Theft 911 LLC, Scottsdale, Ariz., to offer policyholders an endorsement to their property coverage that provides credit monitoring, document recovery services and one-on-one access to fraud specialists. The program, also including fraud expense reimbursement, is designed to protect customers both proactively and after identity theft occurs.

Three distinct service components are included in the Identity Service and Fraud Expense Coverage Program, along with up to $25,000 reimbursement for identity restoration expenses. These components include Identity Credit Monitoring Services offering policyholders notification by a credit monitoring system when signs of identity theft are detected, and has on-demand access to a fraud specialist to assist customers through the prevention and restoration process.

The next component is the Identity Theft Resolution Service, which offers an Identity Theft 911 personal advocate to guide fraud victims through the process of identity restoration.

Identity Document Recovery assists policyholders in the case of natural disasters. In this case, they have access to a fraud specialist who will assist in the rapid replacement of all crucial documents.

CIRMA IMPLEMENTS IVOS POLICY ADMIN SYSTEM

San Ramon, Calif.-based Valley Oak Systems Inc., a provider of insurance technology solutions, announced that Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency (CIRMA), New Haven, a public entity risk management pool, implemented Valley Oak’s iVOS Policy Administration System.

The iVOS Policy Administration System offers an array of capabilities to assist insurers and risk pools in processing and administering policies, as well as underwriting and rating coverage.

iVOS is designed to offer a flexible rating engine that allows users to plug in their rating algorithm or premium calculations to automate underwriting and pricing. The system includes a reporting tool to analyze policy, claims and risk intelligence; users create and modify reports using customization capabilities. It also offers a business rules engine that automates policy workflow, designed to improve underwriting decision-making and enhance the rate of straight-through processing.

“From a management perspective, iVOS reports provide real-time risk intelligence to effectively manage our book of business,” says Steven Bixler, VP of underwriting, marketing and member relations at CIRMA. “The advanced platform allows us to maximize our ability to analyze risk for optimal member plans, retention and market growth, as well as meeting financial objectives.”

HISCOX IMPLEMENTS JRULES FOR ITS SOA INFRASTRUCTURE

Hiscox, a London-based global insurer, is using ILOG JRules, a key offering in Sunnyvale, Calif.-based ILOG Inc.’s business rule management system (BRMS) product line, to better support part of the company’s growth objectives.

ILOG JRules is used as part of its service-oriented architecture (SOA) initiative for a range of insurance processes, including new product development. In using ILOG BRMS, Hiscox will be able to easily test and create new insurance products, rates and risk classification tiers much faster, ILOG says.

Hiscox had three main objectives: to be able to add new distribution channels as quickly as possible; reduce the time and cost associated with both making changes to existing products and bring new products to the market; and increase the ability of underwriters and business analysts to make changes to rules directly without having to change complex system logic.

MONTPELIER SELECTS SKYWIRE’S IPPS SOFTWARE

Skywire Software, Frisco, Texas, a global provider of software and services for the insurance industry, announced Montpelier US Insurance Co. (MUSIC), Scottsdale, Ariz., chose Skywire’s iPPS as its policy production system. iPPS is designed to give MUSIC’s general agents (GAs) the ability to produce policies from virtually anywhere while reducing the risk of non-compliance.

iPPS is a Web-based policy production suite designed to enable efficient and economical policy issuance from anywhere with an Internet connection. The software simplifies the production of policies requiring many custom, user-defined transactions, such as those common among excess and surplus lines. According to Skywire, by using iPPS, companies can cut policy issuance time by up to 70%, and costs by up to 69%, all while handling more volume with existing staff.

The Web-based interface of iPPS ensures that agents always have access to the latest company forms library without the need to download and install software updates, the company says.

“We provide our general agents with a library of policy forms, and Skywire Software is their platform of choice,” says Patrick Porter, VP and controller at MUSIC. “The use of a Web-based policy production system is a competitive differentiator.”

THE REPUBLIC GROUP CHOOSES TRINTECH SOLUTION

Trintech Group PLC, Dublin, Ireland, a global provider of integrated financial governance, transaction risk management and compliance solutions, announced The Republic Group, Dallas, selected ReconNET for depository and disbursement reconciliation, AssureNET GL for general ledger reconciliation, review and certification and TRACKER for escheatment reporting.

Trintech’s solutions automate complex daily, monthly and periodic internal processes to help finance and treasury staff of insurance companies and large enterprises (including those with high-volume processing requirements) tighten controls, reduce risk, cut costs, leverage cash and make more informed decisions, the company says.

“We wanted one vendor for multiple solutions,” says Tim Morgan, AVP and corporate controller for The Republic Group companies. “The functionality and flexibility of ReconNET addresses our need to automate reconciliation and exception management processes, and it will help us manage certain controls over financial reporting in a more efficient manner. TRACKER will increase the level of control and visibility into our unclaimed property and escheatment processes, and we expect AssureNET GL to reduce cost and effort associated with compliance administration.”

NATIONAL LIFE GROUP SELECTS SMARTANALYSIS

Chesapeake System Solutions Inc., Owings Mills, Md., announced that its SmartAnalysis software successfully went live at Montpelier, Vt.-based National Life Group, which includes National Life Insurance Co., Life Insurance Co. of the Southwest and National Retirement Plan Advisors.

According to Chesapeake, SmartAnalysis gives firms the capability to quickly analyze commercial bank fee data regardless of the number of banks involved, individual accounts maintained or number of services used.

According to Chesapeake, SmartAnalysis simplifies this process with a user-friendly design that provides corporate personnel immediate access to necessary information to verify bank charges, negotiate better rates, accurately report daily corporate cash positions and develop meaningful budgets.

National Life Group selected Chesapeake’s SmartAnalysis after an intensive search. Nancy Leclerc, senior cash manager, National Life Group, says, “Controlling commercial bank fees was a major challenge for us. Aside from payroll, these fees represented our largest budget line item, and we had no easy means to verify charges or use the volume of our business to negotiate better rates. With SmartAnalysis, we estimate we will reduce our annual bank fees on the order of 10% in the first year alone.”

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

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