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As Irene Hits, Narragansett Bay Insurance Proves Value of Built-in Disaster Recovery in its SaaS Policy Administration System

Narragansett Bay Insurance Company (NBIC), a provider of homeowners insurance in coastal states on the Eastern seaboard and Exigen Insurance Solutions®, a leading provider of insurance core systems delivered through an aligned-outcome business model, today announced that NBIC’s recent installation of Exigen’s policy administration and billing solutions as software-as-a-service prevented the Rhode Island insurer from suffering any service interruptions to agents and policyholders at the height of Hurricane Irene. All NBIC core systems for policy, billing and claims run in multiple private clouds on remote web-based servers. This proved to be a prudent strategy that provided built-in disaster recovery and plenty of subsequent capacity for increased Irene-driven system volume.

NBIC’s recent major technology modernization removed all core systems infrastructure from its Pawtucket home office and deployed it to its privately managed clouds. It rolled out Exigen Insurance Solutions’ PolicyCore™ and BillingCore™ as software-as-a-service with web-only access at the end of 2010. While NBIC did activate its home office disaster recovery process as power supply wavered, no fail-over portal, policy or claims systems needed to be brought up – they were always running. The systems run on global cloud computing service provider environments, whose operations were untouched by the hurricane, and even if they had been, redundancy protocols would have immediately kicked-in to provide uninterrupted availability.

“At the end of the day, when the storm passes, you want to be able to say there was ‘no impact to agent- or policyholder-facing services.’ Our decision to put our new policy administration system into the cloud as SaaS proved to be a good one from many perspectives, and right now the added value of built-in disaster recovery really stands out,” says NBIC’s CIO, MIke Anselmo. “While Irene caused power outages that affected our home office and our staff’s homes, our policy and claims systems remained available throughout the hurricane. If we had implemented our new core systems on-premise, it would have been very expensive to build out the necessary physical and technology infrastructure required, let alone create an additional disaster recovery site.”
Three days after Irene’s passage, says Anselmo, the SaaS core systems have scaled easily to accommodate a twenty-fold increase in online and call center activity.

“Redundant systems installed for disaster recovery purposes can be an expensive proposition for insurers,” says Exigen Insurance’s CTO, Michael Dwyer. “Exigen Insurance’s offering of Exigen PolicyCore™, BillingCore™ and ClaimCore™ as SaaS removes that headache for insurers. An additional benefit is elastic scalability. The SaaS deployment is designed to scale capacity as needed while disaster-spiked demand surges. It avoids the need to build and pay for over-capacity that insurers may or may not need. The Exigen SaaS offering is a complete in-the-box solution that also provides insurers the significant benefits of variabalized cost structure and risk sharing.”

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