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A.M. Best Announces Six Finalists for E-Fusion Insurance Technology Award

Aug 26, 2002, Source: A.M. Best

OLDWICK, N .J. August 26 (BestWire) - Six online insurance-related projects have been selected as finalists for the E-Fusion Award, A.M. Best Co. said. The top six projects were selected from among 67 entries by a panel of judges. They will be reviewed on Sept. 29 at the E-Fusion 2002 conference in Washington, D.C.

Representatives of the insurance organizations behind the projects will present in-person demonstrations and answer questions from judges during A.M. Best Co.'s Annual Insurance & Technology Conference, E-Fusion 2002, to be held at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. Conference attendees will have an opportunity to attend each of the presentations made by the top finalists.

The E-Fusion Award is a new award designed to recognize outstanding, resourceful uses of Internet technology by an insurance organization. Entrants included insurance companies, reinsurers, third-party technology providers working with an insurer or brokerage, or related financial services engaged in insurance.

"We were delighted by the breadth and the sophistication of these entries," E-Fusion conference chairman Paul C. Tinnirello said. "The size of the organization had no correlation to the ingenuity of these projects and the success insurers are having at pursuing s business through technology-based solutions."

The top six finalists include:

Abacus Insurance Brokers Inc., Los Angeles, developed the "Abacus Program Management" (APM) platform that enables retail and wholesale brokers to quote, bind, issue policies and certificates, process endorsements, and accept credit card payments, all online. The system's "instant quote" capability enables substantial reductions in selling cost, while its paperless, auditable transaction engine speeds deal flow. Abacus, in partnership with its carriers, currently uses the proprietary platform to sell insurance through its affiliate broker network. The system currently handles programs for Personal Articles Floaters, Special Events, Movie Boats and Short-term Productions. Additional programs are in process. (

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.'s CIPWORKS project allows the national insurance brokerage to centrally manage its construction 'wrap-up' unit and provide greatly improved management reports to clients. That means it can manage all insurance aspects of large-scale construction projects, including contractor enrollment, payroll reporting, calculation of bid deductions, issuing certificates of insurance and follow-up for enrollment or renewal information. The company estimates that it saves administrators about 40% of the time typically required to fulfill these functions. The system is used by brokers, insurance companies, claims consultants and insured parties to independently manage various aspects of a project. (

Fidelity & Guaranty Life's SalesLink site allows agents to receive information via e-mail subscriptions, check the status of pending applications, review commissions, access marketing materials for ordering and downloading, check current interest rates, obtain product specifications and interact with the company. The site is a high-traffic location designed to handle the needs of a widespread group of independent agents who work with the company. The company reports 900,000 hits per month and believes it has saved more than $1.3 million in annual software distribution and fulfillment costs. (

Frankenmuth Mutual's IBIS (Insurance Business Issuance System) is an agent-company interface that allows for real-time quick quoting, more-accurate and timelier underwriting and policy issuance. Agents can view electronic copies of billing and policy documents such as invoices, declaration pages and more, through the system in printable format. Frankenmuth also placed online its standard content reference information, including agency bulletins, rule and rate manuals, and contact information. (

REGAL, a project submitted by the U.K. offices of GE Employers Reinsurance, is an online quotation system that allows for the generation of life and health reinsurance quotes for customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It was designed for the specific needs of clients in the Middle East who are generating quotations for group employee benefits schemes to be issued to insureds or brokers. For example, clients in that region often follow a Sunday to Thursday work week and often don't have persistent access to the Internet. REGAL is designed for full access even when ERC employees are not at work. Locally, clients in the Middle East can download portions of the application to their own computers, which lessens their dependence on an ongoing connection to the Internet. (

Minnesota Life's LifeBenefits project allows participants in clients' group insurance plans 24/7 self-service access to their life insurance benefits. Employees of client companies can enroll for multiple products, designate beneficiaries, answer questions and contribute additional money. The entire system has been in place for more than a year, allowing the program to go paperless in September 2001. (

Final award judging and presentations will commence at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, Washington, D.C. Judging results will be announced at a conference reception on the evening of Monday, Sept. 30, at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

E-Fusion 2002, "Unlocking the Value," is set for Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. For information and registration, visit The conference is still open to registration, although the last E-Fusion conference sold out several days prior to the event.BN-NJ-08-26-2002 1108 ET #

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