CAT CLAIMSCustard Insurance Adjusters, a Norcross, Ga., independent loss adjusting company, contracted with Marshall and Swift/Boeckh (MSB), New Berlin, Wis., for MSB's IntegriClaim tool for field estimating and for its IntegriClaim Administrator, which provides a paperless, Web-enabled work environment, for use in Custard's catastrophe and home office claims divisions. The technology package will send claims seamlessly from the carrier to independent adjusters.

E-MAIL STORAGE

Peachtree Special Risk Brokers LLC, a Stockbridge, Ga., specialty insurance company that markets insurance for high-risk commercial properties, purchased the Mimosa NearPoint for Microsoft Exchange Server for e-mail archiving, disaster recovery and data protection from Mimosa Systems Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. Peachtree, a subsidiary of Brown & Brown Inc., will use the system to house e-mail records up to 50MB each, ensuring a retention policy for compliance and rapid disaster recovery for critical e-mail business records.

RETIREMENT INCOME PRODUCT SUPPORT

The Hartford Fire Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn., has selected the ForeSight product to illustrate a retirement income product line. The software comes from Insurance Technologies LLC, a Colorado Springs, Colo., provider of point-of-sale management software for the financial services and brokerage industries. Insurance Technologies will customize ForeSight to include all of The Hartford's unique structured settlements.

POLICY ADMIN SYSTEM

Grain Dealers Mutual Insurance Co., Greensboro, N.C., upgraded its policy administration capabilities with Policy Decisions from Insurity, Hartford, Conn. The system incorporates policy-lifecycle administration services from application intake to rating and underwriting, and from policy issuance to renewal and reinsurance on a single Web services platform. Agents will use it to create their own quotes for commercial policies, and ultimately the system will provide agents with self-service access to policy maintenance. Grain Dealers will use Policy Decision on Microsoft's .NET architecture.

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT

Several insurance companies are upgrading to IStream Publisher 3.2, part of the InSystems product line, which manages the product lifecycle from the drafting of contract language, through regulatory approval, to sales and to policy issuance. New York-based SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Co. Inc.; Canada-based Empire Life; and Fort Dearborn Life Insurance Co., Chicago, are upgrading to the system, reports Moncton, New Brunswick-based Whitehill Technologies Inc., which acquired InSystems this year. The software is designed to provide control over document production and fulfillment, allowing for faster, more efficient creation of complex documents.

CLAIMS PROCESSING

Homeserve PLC, a provider of home emergency services based in the U.K., selected Guidewire ClaimCenter from Guidewire, San Mateo, Calif., for its new claims management operation. The software will support all phases of the claims process for Homeserve's current and future emergency service solutions, the vendor says. Homeserve will integrate the software into the company's contact centers, with the goal of providing a seamless, real-time view of the electronic claims file.

ANALYTICS FOR SALES

To improve the sales process and enhance customer service to its more than 13 million consumers, Answer Financial Inc., an Encino, Calif., provider of online insurance and financial services products, chose ULTRA and its associated analytics suite from Verint Systems Inc. The Melville, N.Y.-based Verint provides analytic software for security and business intelligence. ULTRA is designed to provide the insight to increase sales conversion rates and improve customer support. Answer Financial, which represents 400 providers, will use the software to understand the needs of individual customers and then match customers with appropriate programs and policies.

AGENCY INTERFACE

Auto-Owners Insurance Co., based in Lansing, Mich., has made Connective Technologies' TEAM-UP Download available to more than 1,500 independent insurance agencies, the company reports. The software is an Internet-secure offering designed to provide accessibility to more than 10,000 trading partners with more than 31 different agency management systems throughout the United States. Auto-Owners' agencies schedule the system to run as part of a nightly computer process, and agencies can resend an entire day of download or individual policy download on an as-needed basis, says the Houston-based vendor.

SOA and BPM

AXA Leven N.V., a Dutch life insurance company and part of AXA Group, is optimizing the application process for mortgage insurance with the help of Cordys, a Putten, the Netherlands, supplier of service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based software. AXA is deploying the Cordys Business Process Management (BPM) software to model and automate the mortgage process. The software is an integral element of the Cordys Composite Application Framework (CAF), a complete, open and flexible development environment for compound applications. The insurer wants to improve the service to intermediaries and at the same time work internally on operational excellence.

POLICY PROCESSING

MFX, a Parisippany, N.J.-based provider of technology and IT outsourcing software, has customized a fully integrated, online front- and back-end policy processing system for Gateway Insurance Co. of St. Louis. The system, which replaces legacy technology, integrates third-party software with MFX's WriteNow online underwriting system and Web-based claim handling system, ClaimsAssure. MFX will provide the new system to Gateway via an ASP (applications service provider) model. That allows for use by subscribers, which Gateway can control, and also lessens the need for software licenses, hardware and experienced personnel.

DECISION-MAKING TOOLS

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield chose Online Insight Inc. to provide Arkansans with decision support tools designed to identify the best Medicare insurance for their personal and financial needs. The insurer, which is based in Little Rock, Ark., plans to offer the eMpower Suite on the Web in the offices of independent agents and in call centers. The software also will give the health plan access to real-time data on buying motivation. That information can help the insurer develop sales, marketing and product development strategies that are personalized and relevant, the vendor says.

HR SOFTWARE

A new software application for human resources is expected to help Cincinnati-based Great American Financial Resources Inc. (GAFRI) speed up employee evaluation, improve management training and align workers' performance with company goals. GAFRI chose Lawson Software of St. Paul, Minn., for the application, which is called Lawson Performance Management and belongs to the Lawson Human Capital Management suite. The software measures how far employees have progressed toward their goals and gauges behavior that can help attain goals. The system uses technology and research from Personnel Decisions International, an HR consulting firm with headquarters in Minneapolis, for performance measurement.

AUTHENTICATION SYSTEM

New York-based MetLife will extend RSA SecurID strong authentication technology to all of its employees. The software, from RSA Security, Bedford, Mass., and Gotham Technology Group, New York, has been helping MetLife meet point security challenges for years. Now, the system's established password-based authentication systems will become more secure by integrating two-factor authentication. MetLife expects the change to help guard against identity theft and protect client privacy, the vendor says. The insurer was the first national firm to provide identity theft resolution service with auto insurance policies at no additional charge. Passwords remain the weakest link in information security, the vendor says.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Web-based data consolidation and reporting software from Investigo, Edina, Minn., will support the entire network of brokers and dealers at OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc., an Indianapolis-based subsidiary of American United Mutual Insurance Holding Co., which also calls Indianapolis its headquarters. Investigo's practice management system combines tools for financial management, sales and marketing, and regulatory compliance in a single system. The software will "not only help our reps do a better job of selling but will help us in our recruitment efforts," predicts Nick Filing, OneAmerica Securities president.

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

Four more states plan to regulate insurance with the help of Sircon for States, a Web-based system from Sircon Corp., Okemos, Mich. Officials in Indiana, Nevada, Wisconsin and Wyoming expect to save on infrastructure costs. The software eliminates paper forms used for appointing and licensing. The software eases compliance challenges by providing built-in support for enforcement case action, consumer complaints, producer data, and rate and form filing. The system provides direct online access so insurance carriers and producers can process electronic appointments, terminations, license applications, renewals and other services through Sircon's Compliance Express.

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