Published January 20, 1998
Volume 6, Number 1

Superior Pacific Brings Operations to Hacienda
Major Worker's Compensation Carrier Moves from South S.F.

Superior Pacific
Christine Cannizzaro and Bob Niebur on moving day with their soon-to-be-digital claims files.

By Jay Hipps
Network Editor

Superior Pacific Insurance Company, the ninth largest worker's compensation insurance carrier in California, is moving its Northern California branch office to Hacienda from its previous location in South San Francisco. 

The company brings 56 employees from its former location. Superior Pacific employs a total of 400 in California, with offices from Sacramento to San Diego. Statewide, the company is currently writing around $150 million in worker's compensation premiums. An office was opened in Arizona two years ago as well. 

Integrating Computer Technology
The company has embraced computer technology in a way that is unique among worker's compensation carriers. 

"We feel we're a state-of-the-art technology company for the insurance industry," says Niebur. 

That thought is echoed by Christine Cannizzaro, the branch personnel administrator. "Worker's comp is a very paper-oriented business," she says. "If you go to any other worker's compensation company, you will see voluminous stacks of paper, reports that can only be generated once a month."

The company has created a proprietary software, Superior Windows for Analyzing Management Information (SWAMI) which allows the company to view claims and other financial information that's updated daily. 

"We can track anything with a 24-hour turnaround," says Niebur. "Any claims that we pay, we know about it the next day. We don't have to wait 30 days like most companies do."

The system is comprehensive, adds Cannizzaro. "Everything from the application to every aspect of the claims is logged into the computer," says Cannizzaro. "We also offer SWAMI to some of our agents, so they can look up their own loss reports, and to some of our insureds. Because companies are able to manage their own claims, they can save money on premiums."

Another software package, the Superior Customer Service Program (SCSP), provides customers with a claims kit, safety management information, an OSHA log form, and payroll reporting forms, all on diskette. Using SCSP, customers can file claims via modem, and print out forms, posters, brochures, and other documents. 

Next: Document Imaging, More
The company has plans for more innovations as well. 

"We're trying to stay one step ahead of any company out there with our technology," adds Niebur. "If they catch us, we've got another thing coming along."

The company recently began offering electronic transfer of payments, so that their insureds can pay premiums without writing a check. 

"Nobody else in the comp industry is doing that now," explains Niebur. "We're also introducing the ability to put your premiums on MasterCard or Visa." 

The company is also preparing to integrate document imaging technology into its operation, which will have a dramatic effect. 

"Document imaging will do away with all of our claim files," explains Niebur. "Eventually all the shelved claim files will disappear, because we will have all of them stored on computer. That's why all our people have 21-inch monitors at their desksthey can pull up a whole file for viewing."

A Plan for Continued Growth
The company has signed a five year lease on its space on West Las Positas Boulevard. 

"We wanted to have this big enough so that if we want to expand, we can," says Niebur. "We bought a company a year ago and gradually assimilated it, and we are looking to buy other companies if the opportunity presents itself. This should hold us for the next five years.

"Plus, this area has a better labor force," explains Robert J. Niebur, the Pleasanton office's resident vice president. "Our old location caused problems, with the high cost of housing and trying to transfer people in." 


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