Earthquake Commission of New Zealand Partners with IBM in Successful Deployment of Guidewire ClaimCenter

SAN MATEO, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—August 6, 2008— The Earthquake Commission of New Zealand (EQC), IBM®, and Guidewire Software®, today announced that EQC, in an IBM led implementation, have successfully deployed Guidewire ClaimCenter® to swiftly assess and manage natural disaster claim demands.

EQC is a government-owned Crown Entity responsible for providing residential natural disaster insurance coverage throughout New Zealand. To function at its best EQC needs a single claims system with flexible functionality, which is easy to use - and has a short learning curve for new users.

Its previous claims management system was nearing the end of its lifespan and could not provide the functionality and flexibility that met the Commissions strategic direction. EQC sought to improve its claims capabilities with an anytime/anywhere web-based claims system that was easily accessible by a remote workforce regardless of their location - and could instantly scale as its business demanded. EQCs claims volume can surge from an average of 3,000- 4,000 claims annually to 100,000-200,000 in the event of a large-scale natural disaster in an urban area.

EQC selected IBM to lead this strategic claims project which included solution design and development as well as software selection, configuration and deployment. After extensive and careful evaluation, IBM had selected Guidewire ClaimCenter because it is a proven, modern, end-to-end claims management system that can be readily configured to meet EQCs specific requirements. EQC also selected IBM to host and manage their ClaimCenter Implementation for an initial term of 10 years.

We found the Guidewire application to be easy to configure and straightforward to implement and integrate with EQCs other systems, said Bill Doak, IBM global business services partner, Asia-Pacific. This is a great example of IBMs ability to provide software-as-a-service and it highlights the real value proposition IBM provide clients.

The result is proving to be an ideal fit for EQC. Our adjusters, claims staff and managers absolutely love the system and all the functionality improvements that have come with it, says EQCs insurance manager Lance Dixon. ClaimCenters electronic claim file, and online notes, keeps everyone updated on a claims status, freeing the adjuster to focus on managing the EQC/claimant relationship instead of continuously providing status reports.

An aspect of EQCs implementation, and a good example of ClaimCenters flexibility, is the integration of ClaimCenter's catastrophe management functionality with GeoNet, a New Zealand Government organization that details all earthquake activity in New Zealand and the integration of ESRIs geographic information system (GIS). When an earthquake occurs in New Zealand, GeoNet seismographs record the event and send earthquake event details to EQC who create a new event in ClaimCenter. Then a boundary is automatically drawn by the GIS so that relevant claims within the boundary can be automatically linked to that event. Events of significant magnitude result in event work plan creation and the set-up and assignment of property inspection teams, including remote offices (EQC is a single site organization with just 23 staff) to manage claims for the specific event.

The IBM-configured ClaimCenter system is providing EQC the ability to:

  • Use modern technology to support and advance its business processes technology limitations no longer dictate or limit how business is conducted.
  • Modernize its technology platform to ensure cost effective and flexible system support.
  • Better manage claim activities and adjuster workflows through automated activity-driven task assignments.
  • Gain visibility into adjuster workloads and claim status.
  • Reduce training times for new users.

In addition, and a world first, EQC has integrated ESRIs ArcGIS Server within ClaimCenter to:-

  • Assist with address matching claims as they are registered.
  • Provide the tools for drawing the event boundary.
  • Allow loss adjusters and other field staff to see their daily activities on a map.
  • Provide map based management reports to EQCs executive team.
  • Provide maps to the web for public viewing of events.

IBM s global depth and breadth of expertise proved invaluable in developing the right solution for EQC and we commend IBM for being the first Guidewire Alliances partner outside of North America to successfully implement ClaimCenter, said Ian Tavener, vice president, International Operations, Guidewire Software. We are also very proud that our technology is playing a key role in EQC s claims business and helping them to better serve the people of New Zealand.

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