NU Online News Service, March 28, 2:09 p.m. – BenefitAmerica is one of the Web technology companies that is trying to help insurers compromise between the tame mediocrity of off-the-shelf software and the alluring quicksand of custom development.

The Mountain View, Calif., company recently released the BenefitAmerica Spectrum platform, a set of well-tested components and customization services for developing Web-based insurance sales and administration systems.

BenefitAmerica, a subsidiary of UnumProvident Corp., will start by using Spectrum to develop a new worksite sales enrollment system for another UnumProvident subsidiary, Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, Columbia, S.C.

Plenty of companies sell insurance Web site development tools and services, but BenefitAmerica is hoping insurers will prefer to do business with a company that is part of an insurance company itself and understands how to provide what a client company really needs.

The resulting Web site “really is customized for the insurer, based on a proven core platform,” Chan says. “We provide a way that the insurer can get to market faster with minimum risk.”

BenefitAmerica is best known for developing the BenefitAmerica Campus system, a benefits administration system for employers, brokers and benefits enrollment firms.

The new system, Spectrum, grew out of a worksite sales and administration system BenefitAmerica developed for Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York.

BenefitAmerica will be using its own employees, rather than outside consultants, to customize the new systems and integrate them with client insurers’ existing systems, Chan says.

Prices varies from job to job, along with the requirements of each job.

“Most of them are custom proposals,” Chan says. “Each insurer has some very unique needs.”