ASCnet Honors Carriers for Real-Time Interface, Standards, Download

Accident Fund, Frankenmuth, Allied
Garner Recognition for ‘Ease of Doing Business’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Oct. 16, 2009) – Applied Systems Client Network (ASCnet), the user group for Applied Systems agency management technology, today presented awards to insurance carriers in recognition of their work to implement download and real-time interface technology with agencies and brokerages.

ASCnet presented the awards here at the 24th Annual Technology, Education & Networking Conference (TENCon).

Accident Fund Insurance Company of America won overall honors in the Ease of Doing Business category. The Adoption Award went to companies that have been “quick adopters of technology that promotes or supports the workflows of ASCnet members.” The Breakthrough Award went to one company in each of three categories that has “stepped outside the status quo to use technology to go over and above and provide ASCnet members with improved workflows.”

The complete list of winners includes:

Ease of Doing Business

  • Gold: Accident Fund Insurance Company of America
  • Silver: Frankenmuth Mutual
  • Bronze: Allied Insurance, a member of Nationwide

Industry Standards & Initiatives

  • Adoption Award: The Hartford Insurance Group
  • Breakthrough Award: Canadian Membership
  • Achievement Awards (companies): Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, Harleysville Insurance, and CSC
  • Achievement Award (individual): Lisa Parry Becker, vice president of William B. Parry & Son Ltd., Langhorne, Pa.

Real Time

  • Adoption Award: Frankenmuth Mutual
  • Breakthrough Award: EMC Insurance Companies
  • Achievement Awards: New York Central Mutual, AXA Assurance, Royal & SunAlliance Insurance, The Cincinnati Insurance Company, and Union Standard Insurance Company


  • Adoption Award: Glatfelter Insurance Group
  • Breakthrough Award: Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
  • Achievement Awards: Pioneer State Mutual, The Hanover Group, Harleysville Insurance, Hastings Mutual Travelers, and MiddleOak

“These companies just get it,” said ASCnet Industry Solutions Committee Chair Brian Bartosh, in speaking particularly of the three winners of the Ease of Doing Business awards. “They do not work on technology changes in a vacuum. Agents are involved.”

Bartosh, with Top O� Michigan Insurance Agency in Alpena, Mich., said bronze winner Allied was recognized for its new round-trip rating capability, which replaced time-consuming, company-specific rating questions with assumptions on what most agents needed. “For us agents to sell business, we need rates, not error messages,” said Bartosh. Allied “had direct contact with members of our user group to test error messages agents were receiving. They just understood and knew it was something agents needed.”

Silver winner Frankenmuth “always shows up on our company surveys as among the leaders in automation,” said Bartosh. “Just recently it released Alerts messages in batch format. They also worked diligently to remove the use of user codes and passwords, which were adding time. It was one of the initial companies to start claims download. They are very supportive and have always listened to agents� opinions and input.”

Gold winner Accident Fund writes only workers compensation and thus lacks the same number of opportunities for process improvement, Bartosh noted. But the company has made great strides in agency workflow since it formed a technology council to “directly and proactively address with agents a number of changes, such as building out the carrier�s response to billing and policy inquiries,” said Bartosh. “They implemented loss run information. They eliminated user code and password issues and worked with agents on a rating bridge.”

Accident Fund “had us agents work with them on their side�on a screen-by-screen basis” to make improvements, said Bartosh. “It is all about that relationship of understanding where we as agents are coming from and just getting it.”

The Ease of Doing Business awards were generated by statistics from the U.S./Canadian Interface Report from Applied Systems and “confirmed comments and input from ASCnet members who represent the companies along with our committee members, liaisons and the chairs of our sub-committees,” Bartosh said.

Bartosh noted that the three subcommittees within the Industry Solutions Committee (formerly Interface Committee) interact with more than 200 agency members and carriers representatives from the U.S. and Canada, with Stu Durland heading the Real Time Subcommittee, Donna Barr on Download, and JoAnn Litwin on Industry Standards and Initiatives. Durland will assume the post of 2010 chair the Industry Solutions Committee on January 1.

About ASCnet

Founded in 1985 and based in Altamonte Springs, Fla., the Applied Systems Client Network, Inc., (ASCnet) is an international association representing more than 80,000 insurance professionals in 11 countries and territories. The only authorized user group for Applied Systems software, ASCnet promotes successful technology and business practices through communication, education and advocacy. For more information: www.ascnet.or.