It's debatable if the fiduciary standard is 'higher' than suitability. But the better question might be, who's holding the bar?
By Targeted News Service
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 28 -- Hartford Fire Insurance, Hartford, Conn., has been assigned a patent (8,321,263) developed by Sandra M. McCauley, Burlington, Conn., for "processing and display of service provider performance data."
The abstract of the patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states: "Disclosed are computing systems, apparatus, methods, and articles of manufacture for processing and displaying service provider performance data. In insurance and related industries, service providers perform assignments such as repairing smoke or water damage. Assignments may be performed pursuant to a service level agreement (SLA) between a provider and an insurance company. Service provider performance data reflects how well service providers perform their assigned tasks, and may contain subjective or qualitative values. Service provider performance data is stored in computer-readable storage media and is accessed by a computing system. The computing system selects a number of performance criteria to analyze, such as quality of service criterion, cycle time, and customer satisfaction. The computing system aggregates performance data related to the selected criteria and generates quantitative values from subjective or qualitative values. The computing system generates a vendor quality index (VQI) based on the quantified data. The generated quantitative values and VQI may be rendered on a display device or printed on a printer to facilitate objective comparisons between different service providers. Based on the generated quantitative values and VQI, the computing system may adjust parameters that affect how the VQI is determined, initiate electronic debits or credits to accounts corresponding to service providers, and/or generate user alerts."
The patent application was filed on April 17, 2009 (12/425,885). The full-text of the patent can be found at http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=8,321,263&OS=8,321,263&RS=8,321,263
Written by Neha Bharti; edited by Jaya Anand.