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In the insurance business–the most heavily litigated business there is–companies have always had to contend with legal discovery; the process where each party to the litigation provides the other with content relevant to the case at hand.

December 2006 changes to the Federal Rules for Civil Procedure (FRCP) added a new challenge by establishing requirements for providing electronic information and records through e-discovery. Today, companies need to have a process in place that lets them know where critical documents are located, establishes guidelines regarding information retention, and enables them to produce required information within defined timeframes.

Whether discovery involves paper documents or electronic content (e-discovery), it can be costly. Carriers spend both money and time collecting, analyzing, and preparing the hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of documents that can be examined in a particular lawsuit. And once electronic content is compiled, it needs to be processed to provide to opposing counsel, which can cost about $2,000 per gigabyte, according to Bryan Reynolds, co-founder of enterprise content management (ECM) consultancy Sitrof Technologies, Inc.

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