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First E-Fusion Recipient to be Announced Sept. 30

Sep 30, 2002, Source: A.M. Best

WASHINGTON September 30 (BestWire) - The six online insurance-related projects selected as finalists for the E-Fusion Award were presented to judges Sept. 29 by representatives of the insurance organizations behind the projects.

The event at the J.W. Marriott Hotel marked the beginning of A.M. Best Co.'s 14th annual Insurance & Technology conference, E-Fusion 2000: "Unlocking the Value."

The E-Fusion Award recipient will be announced Sept. 30 during a reception at the National Press Club. The top six projects were selected from among 67 entries by a panel of judges. 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.

The top finalists include:

Abacus Insurance Brokers Inc.--

The retail and wholesale brokerage developed the Abacus Program Management platform that enables retail and wholesale brokers to quote, bind, issue policies and certificates, process endorsements and accept credit card payments online. Abacus principals Darren and Kevin Lewin developed the program to significantly reduce the costs incurred in writing specialty lines. The program handles four specialty lines, including commercials and other film projects with a budget of less than $1 million. Prior to developing the project, the company had revenue of less than $90,000 per quarter for those lines; now premium is about $900,000 per quarter.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.'s CIPWORKS project--

This project allows the national insurance brokerage to centrally manage its construction wrap-up unit and provide greatly improved management reports to clients. By managing online such complex construction projects as the building of a new international airport, the brokerage was able to significantly reduce paperwork, improve accuracy, increase employee productivity and become more competitive. For example, work that previously took one employee eight days per month to complete has been eliminated.

Fidelity & Guaranty Life's SalesLink--

This site allows agents to receive information via e-mail subscriptions, check the status of pending applications, review commissions, obtain product specifications and interact with the company. The company reports the project has become so widely accepted that 72% of its annuity production and 92% of its life insurance production now comes from SalesLink users.

Frankenmuth Mutual's Insurance Business Issuance System--

This agent-company interface allows for real-time quoting and 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 though the system in printable format. To build on the program, Frankenmuth, which is predominately a commercial insurer, is encouraging agents to use high-speed Internet connections and go paperless.


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, seven days a week. It was designed for the specific needs of clients in Middle East countries who are generating quotations for group employee benefit programs, a business segment complicated by the time difference and a different business work week. The project worked around such obstacles as an unreliable Internet connections and the need for quick quotes as well as the ability to negotiate.

Minnesota Life's LifeBenefits--

This project allows participants in clients' group insurance plans 24/7 access to their life insurance benefits. Employees of client companies can enroll for multiple products, designate beneficiaries and perform other account management functions online. The system responds to client requests that the program be simplified as well as customized.

Insurance professionals representing a broad cross-section of the industry judged the six finalists. The judges were Madelyn Flannagan, vice president of education and research, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America; Charles Johnston, vice president and service director, Insurance Information Strategies, Meta Group; John Kellington, senior vice president and chief technology officer, The Ohio Casualty Group; and Alan Rutkin, litigation partner, Rivkin Radler LLP.

(By Marilyn Ostermiller, assistant vice president--News: BN-NJ-09-30-2002 1051 ET #

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