Screensurfer at Berkshire Hathaway

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Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies Offer Online Billing Access to Agents and Policyholders

The Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies (BHHC) is a group of six regional insurance carriers that operate as part of the Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group. Offering a wide portfolio of products for main street businesses as well as difficult-to-place specialty risks, BHHC offers expertise in underwriting, pricing and claims.

In Need of Relief

In the past, agents and policyholders of the Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies (BHHC) could obtain their policy billing information only by calling BHHC and speaking directly with a department representative. As a result, the billing department would receive up to 375 phone calls per week, most of which were inquiries about basic information.

To make it easier for agents and policyholders to retrieve this information, and to free up time for the department to handle more complex billing issues, BHHC decided to find a way for customers to access their billing information online. Because this information was stored on a mainframe application, the company needed a solution that would enable them to extend this data from the mainframe to the Web.

A Winning Solution for All

After researching several different Web-to-host products, BHHC ultimately chose Screensurfer as its solution. "We were looking for a product that was high in functionality yet low in cost," said Scott Drews, Technology Manager at BHHC. "Screensurfer was both, proving to be the best fit for the project."

What impressed BHHC most about Screensurfer was its ability to display back-end CICS screens in HTML with very few modifications. Even further, BHHC could hide certain fields, combine multiple screens, and make the graphical interface of the screens much more appealing for its agents and policyholders. Best of all, from installation to implementation, the project was completed on time with no delays caused by the Screensurfer development.

Today, agents and policyholders can access their billing information online through an ID and password-protected link on BHHC’s Web site. More than 500 agents in roughly 300 agencies have been granted access to this link, and the number of calls to the billing department has dropped to approximately 200 calls per week, a decrease of 46 percent.

"Without picking up a phone, agents and policyholders can log on to our Web site to get the billing information they need regarding their policies," said Drews. "And our billing department now has more time to work on complex billing problems instead of answering basic questions. Screensurfer has created an environment that is better for our agents, our policyholders and ourselves."

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