Posted on 10 Sep 2010
Expect four to six major hurricanes to threaten the US Atlantic coastline, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea over the next two months, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) in its "Updated 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook.""The report predicts that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season has a 90 percent chance of being an above normal season -- the eleventh above-normal season since 1995.
While it's impossible to predict where a hurricane will hit and what extent the damage will be, the one certainty is that property and casualty insurance agencies in the affected area need to be able to operate in the aftermath to assist clients who have sustained damage. That may be impossible if the agent's office and computers are destroyed or inaccessible. To eliminate this risk, many agents are moving their computing out of their offices and into the "cloud" to protect their businesses.
Cloud computing is also called "virtual computing," "hosted computing," and "Software as a Service" (SaaS). Simply put, it enables users to access software applications from any Internet-enabled device. For agents and staff, this means that the agency's insurance management system, customer records, and the other tools used to run the business such as rater and carrier software are available anytime, anywhere through a secure password-protected Web interface.
When a major storm hit southern Missouri earlier this year, R. Alan Hedrick, owner of Country Wide Insurance Agency, found out firsthand how valuable cloud computing really was. "The storm was so bad that it took five hours just to get out of the driveway to reach the office," said Hedrick. "With the use of a generator, and thanks to our affiliation with The Kotter Group, we were up and running and able to respond to the over 200 claim calls we received that first day. We were totally prepared to help our customers and were 100 percent operational during the massive storm. We made a promise to serve our customers when they need us, and that is what we were proudly able to do."
"During a disaster, property and casualty agents must be able to respond to their client's needs," said Adam Kotter, president of The Kotter Group. "Not being able to access client policies prolongs client distress and can be ruinous to the agency's business. Cloud computing safeguards the business and enables the agent to service customers by maintaining the agency's computer applications and client data in a highly secure, yet accessible, data center far from the site of the disaster."
The Kotter Group, the insurance industry's most trusted partner in remote application management solutions, addresses the IT challenges of growth-oriented property and casualty insurance agencies through remote application management to enable agents to gain instant access to mission-critical data, without the risks and downtime associated with costly in-house IT. The Kotter Group's HyperDesktop leverages the power of the Internet and advances in technologies like virtualization to monitor, maintain, and upgrade agents' critical applications and data and keep agencies in compliance with strict and ever-changing regulations, while also providing agents with unlimited access to agency and client data and applications in a safe, reliable and cost-efficient environment.
About The Kotter Group
The Kotter Group allows independent insurance agents to focus on selling insurance, not dealing with IT issues. The company is the insurance industry's most trusted partner in secure, cost-effective virtual desktop services for agencies looking to securely access their data while reducing the total cost of IT ownership. Thousands of agents rely on The Kotter Group's SAS70 Type II Certified data center to host mission-critical data, enabling them to focus on their primary goal - profitability in the insurance marketplace. For more information on Kotter Group solutions, please visit http://www.kotter.net .