York Fire hears broker needs, delivers real-time inquiry with Applied Systems WARP

University Park, IL (Feb. 19, 2008) – York Fire & Casualty this month became Canada’s first insurance carrier to implement true XML real-time inquiry, answering the call from independent brokers who said they need real-time carrier communication to remain competitive.

Using Applied Systems’ WARP technology for real-time transactions, York Fire now communicates directly and immediately with insurance brokers through their broker management systems. The new inquiry improves on processes that relied on time-consuming standard scripting services and carrier portal log-ins.

The XML inquiry transaction is “round trip,” starting and ending in the broker management system with no carrier portal connectivity, navigation, or other portal involvement. An XML response is sent instantly in the form of an HTML page with the requested information.

York Fire President Colin Simpson said that WARP technology allows single-click real-time inquiries with response time in as little as eight seconds, a dramatic improvement over the much slower scripting response that could take up to two minutes.

York built the inquiry technology in response to requests last year from the Canadian Interface Committee of ASCnet, Inc. (Applied Systems Client Network), the independent user group of Applied Systems technology and services.

“The committee studied the status and processes for XML transactions and identified the need for consistent workflows and carrier communication through the broker management system, the primary business tool,” Simpson said. “The committee then launched a program to educate Canada’s insurance carriers on how to deliver what the brokers need. At York Fire, we listened and delivered quickly.”

Much like Applied Systems made its WARP technology available for other broker management system vendors for the welfare of the entire insurance channel, York wants to share its real-time inquiry technology with other Canada carriers.

“We understand the competitive market our brokers face and we are firmly committed to finding solutions to help them successfully compete and grow their businesses,” said Simpson. “It is an absolute priority within York Fire to provide the technology necessary to help brokers compete against direct writers and affinity groups and win.”

“This is huge for the brokers, and it sets a best-practices example of real-time implementation for the other carriers in Canada,” said Doug Johnston, vice president of Partner Relations and Product Innovation at Applied Systems. “York Fire’s industry-first implementation of the XML-based transaction shows brokers the true speed and efficiency of real-time.”

York Fire is the standard insurance arm of Kingsway Financial Services Inc. From its head office in Mississauga, Ontario, York Fire offers insurance to protect consumers’ homes, cars and businesses through more than 200 independent brokers located throughout Ontario and Alberta. York Fire strongly believes in the value that an independent broker brings to the insurance transaction and is committed to working with brokers to preserve and strengthen their hold on the distribution of P&C products in Canada. www.york-fire.com

Applied Systems, Inc., develops, sells and supports insurance agency and broker management systems and provides services for accounting, customer, policy, claims management, and all related broker functions. More than 129,000 users in 11,000 brokerages of every size and complexity level use Applied Systems technology and services. The company leads the industry in broker-carrier real-time and batch communication solutions. Applied Systems automates insurance transactions at every distribution level from consumer through carrier, providing technical support and professional services to maximize customers’ return on investment. Applied Systems Canada is located in Mississauga. www.appliedsystems.com.

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