REVIEWER: George Jeffers, director of information technology for Commerce West Insurance Company.

BACKGROUND: Commerce West Insurance Company was incorporated in 1948 to provide personal automobile insurance to California drivers. Today, through a network of more than 750 independent agents, the company offers California and Oregon drivers comprehensive protection, competitive rates, preferred claims service, flexible payment options and financial strength and stability. The company is a member of the Commerce Group, Inc., a company with more than $2 billion in assets and one of the largest property/casualty insurance companies in the United States.

PLATFORMS: The CleverPath Aion Business Rules Expert software from Computer Associates (CA) runs on Windows NT.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Our previous insurance policy processing application lacked the flexibility to address many of our business requirements. Employees wasted time manually processing routine policy renewals, and there was no way to identify if customers needed to receive specific notices or questionnaires. Inefficiencies in determining which reports to order from the Department of Motor Vehicles cost us $50,000 annually in unnecessary report fees. We needed a tool we could implement quickly that would not only eliminate operational inefficiencies caused by manual processes, but also accomplish additional necessary actions that were not possible with the old system. To do the job right, we turned to CleverPath Aion Business Rules Expert (BRE). CleverPath Aion BRE automates processes, allowing faster service and freeing up our employees to deal with exceptions and perform higher level tasks.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: CleverPath Aion BRE automates 2,500 to 3,000 renewal transactions weekly. Routine renewals go through without human intervention. CleverPath Aion BRE identifies policies that are outside normal limits or break predefined rules, and our staff must review only those specific policies. Ordering state motor vehicle reports is another area where we are reducing costs. Before installing CleverPath Aion BRE, underwriters manually requested such reports. Now, report ordering is fully automated. In addition, the software uses detailed customer profiles to identify which reports should be requested, allowing us to discontinue the previous practice of blanket report ordering. Commerce West also saves money by reducing insurance fraud. CleverPath Aion BRE looks for specific profiles on applications to determine where we need to obtain additional data, either because the application is incomplete or the information provided may not be totally truthful. We are currently working on automating the financial responsibility notification process. Once you know how to use this tool, the speed of development and the flexibility of what you can do with it are incredible.

STRENGTHS: CleverPath Aion BRE is a very powerful business rules and rules management solution. Its automation capabilities make it easy for us to streamline complex processes and adapt quickly to changing business conditions. We find the product to be very flexible, especially in the creation of dynamic rules. Another significant strength of the CleverPath Aion BRE solution is the time-to- value. CleverPath Aion BRE can be quickly deployed enterprise-wide with near term return on investment. We can honestly say that the CleverPath Aion BRE has paid for itself within three months of implementing it.

WEAKNESSES: We would like to see the product do even more in the area of taking action on relevant knowledge automatically through integration with complementary CleverPath technologies.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We needed a simple way to modernize our company processes. CleverPath Aion BRE enabled us to implement a business rule change faster than any other tool we assessed. We purchased and deployed the product in less than a month without hiring consultants.

DELIVERABLES: CleverPath Aion BRE has saved Commerce West hundreds of thousands of dollars through a combination of three main deliverables. Reduced resource requirements: Two full- time employees were previously required to process policy renewals; now one part-time person can handle all of our renewals. Elimination of unnecessary DMV reports: Automated ordering of DMV reports tied to customer profiles has eliminated mass ordering of reports we don't need. Fraud and claim reduction: For every loss claim that CleverPath Aion eliminates, the company saves as much as $20,000 ­ $30,000.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We have been extremely satisfied with CA product support. In the last year, we have had only one low- severity technical support call, and it was quickly resolved.

DOCUMENTATION: CA's documentation complements this very user-friendly and easily implemented product.

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