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Motorola, Agency.com hook up

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Motorola Inc. and Agency.com Ltd. are teaming to develop wireless Internet technologies for insurance adjusters.

Motorola will provide the cell phones and Agency.com, an Internet marketing consultancy, will provide the software and strategy. Both companies will market to adjusters, a constantly traveling lot who investigate claims and negotiate settlements.

Motorola will provide its Java 2 Platform Micro Edition Web-enabled cell phones, which Agency.com will equip with software platforms that allow adjusters to link remotely with headquarters and clients. This means that adjusters will be able to do nearly all their business on the site of, say, a car crash.

The cost for the service ranges from $100,000 to $300,000, depending on the number of adjusters.

Kevin Rowe, president of North American operations for Agency.com, said insurance companies and their adjusters will reap the good will of getting claims paid quicker. "You're dealing with customers that are a little stressed out and very anxious," he said. "The biggest place for irritation with customers is when they have a claim."

Indeed, claims can take days or even weeks to process. The companies' initiative could cut this down to hours by freeing up adjusters' time.

"These technologies allow them to do things that they can't do tethered to their desks," said David Kurt, Motorola director of communications.

Many companies have targeted insurance agents with mobile Internet technologies, but the group has been unreceptive. Adjusters are even less sought-after because their employers are generally less apt to spend money on them than on insurance agents.

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