Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2001

Cybersettle

by Michael A. Wheeler and Gillian Morris

Abstract

Cybersettle's management faced a dilemma: How could they turn their company, which provided confidential online settlement services for insurance claims, into a profitable enterprise? Having started during the heady days of Internet "dot-com fever," the company now had to reevaluate its business plan and its strategy for penetrating the tightly held insurance industry. Cybersettle offered a three-round, blind-bidding system that matched plaintiff demands with offers from insurance companies. If the bids came near each other in any particular round, then the system split the difference between the bids and declared settlement. Such a service could save dollars for the insurance carriers and time for plaintiffs and their attorneys. Yet, deciding how to market this product was proving to be a challenge. Although many dispute resolution firms have attempted to reap the benefits of the Internet, few have succeeded.

Keywords: Restructuring; Bids and Bidding; Negotiation Process; Conflict and Resolution; Business Strategy; Commercialization; Internet; Insurance Industry;

Citation:

Wheeler, Michael A., and Gillian Morris. "Cybersettle." Harvard Business School Case 902-158, December 2001.