A.M. Best Co. Announces E-Fusion Award Recipients

OLDWICK, N.J., OCTOBER 25, 2006 — A.M. Best Co. has named Vantis Life Insurance Co., Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Company of Canada, E-Claim.comLLC, Oceanwide Inc., Selective Insurance and Homesite Group Inc. recipients of the 2006 E-Fusion awards.

The awards, covering six categories of technology development, were presented at A.M. Best’s Insurance and Technology Conference, e-Fusion, in Boston Oct. 24. The awards recognize innovative, business-focused uses of technology in actual use by insurers. The emphasis was on the business reasoning that gave birth to each project and results that were generated.

“The presentations were insightful; they represented the ongoing work insurance organizations are putting into technology to leverage business value,” said Paul Tinnirello, A.M. Best executive vice president, chief information officer and conference chairman.

The award-receiving projects and their respective categories are as follows:

Agent/Broker Life/Health Management:

Three years ago, Vantis Life Insurance Co. put in place a Web-based system that enabled straight-through processing, from illustration through application and underwriting decisions. AgentWeb enables bank representatives and direct sales people to create a sales illustration and complete and submit an application online in minutes. The system automatically populates the application with the data collected from the customer during the illustration. Implementing a straight-through process has allowed the company to manage its state-by-state growth strategy and resulting increases in volume without adding operational staff. It�s also allowed VantisLife to offer a comprehensive menu of easy-to-sell and easy-to-buy products that makes the agents and customer experience professional, expedient and error free.

Agent/Broker Property/Casualty Management:

WebBusiness Simplicity Project by Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Company of Canada is a Web-based transaction tool used by independent agents across Canada to enter new business and key policy amendments on personal auto and property policies in real-time. The company launched the WebBusiness Simplicity project to take its transaction tool to the next level. The project is comprised of a series of innovative investments to make WebBusiness more intuitive, simple, efficient and integrated with systems found in agents� offices. The initiatives serving the need for efficiencies and greater ease of the company�s partners include integration between agents� systems and WebBusiness, introduction of its first wizard in WebBusiness and delivery of WebBusiness enhancements.

Claims Management:

ClickClaims Claims Management System from E-Claim.comLLC of Gretna, La. is a Web-based system for high-volume property claims operators that eases the transmission of claims and replaces the need for on-site CAT centers. The product is marketed primarily to independent catastrophe claims adjusters in the United States, and fills a void in the claims software market by reducing processing times by days. ClickClaims can process up to 25,000 new claims per day and can quickly be scaled to handle more than 100,000. Since ClickClaims was launched two years ago, the company�s user base has grown to more than 1,000 adjusters and is expected to reach 3,000 before 2007; the customer base thus far is 100% referral-based.

Customer Management:

Oceanwide Inc.�s GENOA is collaborative, comprehensive Web-based software that automates all aspects of the insurance process into real-time: application quoting, policy issuance, certificate issuance, document transmission, accounting, premium tracking, claims management, detailed analysis and reporting, integrated with Cognos Reporting Engine. Some of its unique features include submission management, premium declarations with automatic premium calculation and validation against policy details, full claims management with correspondence management, integration to corporate back office and access to third-party databases. The software pools the IT budget of several industry leaders to set a standard and develop one functionally rich, continuously evolving system that meets the needs of its customers and provides flexibility.

Productivity Management:

Since November 2005, agents using Selective Insurance’s xSELerate system have quoted more than $107 million in new business premium in commercial auto, general liability, commercial property, businessowners, workers’ compensation and umbrella. The system can handle polices as small as $100 to multi-million dollar package policies. Before the agency-integration project, agents entered quoting data into their agency management system and re-keyed the same elements in Selective’s proprietary Web-based quoting software. The new system reduces to less than five minutes what took from 15 minutes to several days to re-key, Selective said. Selective’s project budget was $1.3 million.

Underwriting and Pricing:

Homesite Group Inc., Boston, has developed Business Geographic Underwriting, a system which uses GIS-related data and rule-based expert underwriting systems to better underwrite its book of homeowners policies. The system tracks underwriting criteria such as a house’s distance from a fire station and fire hydrant to other factors such as soil type, location on a flood plain, windstorm risk factors and history, and road surface type.

Judges for the 2006 awards competition were Bruce Arbonies, vice president, e-Business Development Group, Prudential Financial; William K. Austin, principal, Austin & Stanovich Risk Managers; William B. Jenkins, vice president and CIO, Penn National Insurance Co.; Steven Landberg, managing partner, Claymore Partners; Gates Ouimette, senior business solutions consultant, Verizon Business; and John Pogas, vice president, Internet & E-Commerce, Affinity Insurance Services division of Aon Corp.