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2013 Innovation Awards: Ace Accelerator

2013 Innovation Awards: Ace Accelerator



When Zurich-based Ace Ltd. detected a pain point among its broker clients involving the completion of coverage election forms for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, it looked for a technology-based answer to the problem.

The result was Ace Accelerator, which debuted in March 2012 after two years of development. The Web-based portal guides users through 14 to 20 questions and then uses logic to map answers to various state election forms.

Matt Merna, New York-based division president of Ace's risk management division, a unit of Ace USA, the U.S.-based retail operating division of Ace, said the product was a direct result of client demand. “We wanted to develop an innovative technology around the Automobile Coverage Selection (UM/UIM) process,” he said.

The product has earned a 2013 Innovation Award from Business Insurance.

In addition to inspiring the product, clients also helped guide its development, Mr. Merna noted, adding that the Accelerator development team hosted client focus groups across the country over the past 12 months.

“We built it all internally at Ace, so we were able to incorporate client feedback. As a result, the clients and brokers had tremendous input into the outcome of where we are today,” he said.

Gary Kramer, vice president of Ace Risk Management, said one key challenge in developing the product was making sure the product rigorously complied with the different rules regarding UM/UIM coverage for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“Where we spent a lot of our time was on the compliance, mapping and coding to make sure that we get the answers to the user properly,” he said.

Mr. Merna said Ace intends to keep improving the product, which is part of a larger company effort to embrace technology.

“We rolled the product out last year but we have continued to improve it. We are now rolling out a complete electronic format where the clients can utilize an authentication PIN to authenticate their signatures electronically,” Mr. Merna said.

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