Tel Aviv-based software house Ness Technologies has acquired Shore Technologies, which specializes in web-based software for insurance companies.

Ness, a privately-held company, paid about $1 million for Shore.

"The acquisition complied with the company's business plan of significantly expanding our activity in technological infrastructure for the insurance sector, in Israel and abroad," commented Ness chief executive Raviv Zoller.

"The insurance sector is characterized by excessively conservative computerization compared with other financial spheres, such as the banking establishment," Zoller explained.

While banks have been upgrading their computers to state-of-the-art systems, which employ fast communications mechanisms to improve cost-benefit ratios, insurance companies lag behind, he said.

The recession has created opportunities for acquisitions, Zoller pointed out. Ness is on the lookout for tech companies in Israel and elsewhere that have synergy with Ness' spheres.

"Shore's added value is that the company identified the special needs of insurance and re-insurance, and acquired expertise that is evident in the solutions and products it developed," Zoller said.

Moreover, Shore's center is at the Swiss Re reinsurance company," he added, giving Ness a foot into the door of international insurance.

Ness noted that other aspects of its expansion into insurance are life insurance projects with Clal Insurance, and installing ERP software made by SAP for the Migdal insurance company.

Shore, established in 1999, specializes in developing Web-based platforms and applications for the insurance business.