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New Carrier Administration System Claims Benefits For Agents

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FINEOS Corporation, a software provider for insurance and banking, has announced the release of FINEOS Investor for the North American insurance market, a carrier-based application the company claims will benefit agents as well.

According to Portland, Me.-based FINEOS, the new software is “a complete front-to-back-office customer and contract management system for developing, administering and distributing annuity, savings and investment products.”

The product is designed for mid-range life insurance carriers who choose not to build their own sales, product development and administration systems, says Leo Corcoran, senior vice president for sales at FINEOS.

The system combines front-end agent and customer sales and service functionality with a product development engine and contract maintenance capability, the company says.

According to Corcoran, the primary benefit to agents is the agent/broker portal provided by FINEOS as part of the system. The portal provides Web-based data for agents and brokers, including lead generation and customer contact management. “The agent receives this as [an application service provider function] from the carrier,” he explains.

The FINEOS application itself resides on the carriers systems, with carriers providing the portal to agents if they wish to do so, says Corcoran.

FINEOS Investor lets users capture customer and policy information through the Internet, call centers and branch offices, “then use its workflow components to automate every administrative task needed to deliver products and services,” the company notes.

“On the agent side, because its Web-based, all [agents] need is Internet access that gets them into the carrier, if the carrier wants to give them that,” Corcoran observes. “It should give [agents] much more timely information. The quicker they get a case processed, the quicker they get paid for it.”

FINEOS says its new system will also “greatly improve relationships with customers by fully unifying and automating marketing, sales and customer service with all policy administration functions.”

The new system also “complements” the mainframe systems in place at many carriers facilities, the company says, “and is significantly cheaper to maintain and enhance than market alternatives.” No numbers were offered to support that claim, however.

The company also claims its system can deliver new products to market in a shorter timeframe than competitors products, and that it reduces customer acquisition costs. Again, hard numbers were not provided to support those statements.

In terms of system requirements, “we assume carriers are using DB2, MVSsome sort of mainframe system,” says Corcoran. The company notes that the product is built on a “multi-tier, open architecture,” offering “enormous flexibility.”

The cost of FINEOS Investor ranges from $4 million to $10 million for “a full typical implementation, including back office, customer relationship management and workflow functions,” also depending on the size and level of integration needed, Corcoran reports.

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Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, April 8, 2002. Copyright 2002 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.