Insurance Services Office Inc. (ISO), Jersey City, N.J., and Markham, Ontario-based Insurers' Advisory Organization Inc.(IAO) have formed a strategic alliance. IAO will immediately begin to market ISO forms, rules and loss costs to Canadian companies doing business in the United States. The two organizations will also work together to develop new products that benefit both their customers. Fifty-eight Canadian P/C insurers, representing more than 80% of Canada's written premium, are IAO members.Business-to-business e-platform provider Nekema Inc., Jersey City, N.J., completed its merger, announced last May, with Inc., a Cincinnati-based commercial lines online marketplace targeting high-tech firms. The new company will adopt the InsurePoint brand and initially will target the commercial lines marketplace for agents/brokers and carriers. The new company will have the continued backing of Atlantic Mutual Companies, New York, which founded in 1996, and the Kemper Insurance Cos., Long Grove, Ill., which founded in 1999 with the Bolton Agency, Pasadena, Calif.

Agency Revenue Tools LLC, a Conway, N.H.-based independent agency and agency consulting firm that developed Web-based billing software, has acquired the customer and product database of IDS, a subsidiary of AMS Services Inc., Greenwich, Conn. AMS acquired IDS in 1994 to provide multi-company, multi-product, single-source billing to agents. Agency Revenue Tools developed Worksite Marketing Manager, which enhanced the IDS system with a payroll deduction component, business forms, sales ideas and other tools.

Application integration software provider Level 8 Systems Inc., and Danville, Calif.-based New World Agency Inc. have formed a strategic alliance to deliver software solutions that can enable independent commercial insurance agents, agencies and wholesalers to automate and streamline business processes. New World Agency is an Internet-only insurance agency that forms partnerships with traditional agencies. Under the terms of the agreement, New World Agency has licensed the Cicero application integration software from Cicero Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Level 8 Systems, as well as the Geneva Business Process Automator (Geneva BPA) workflow engine from Level 8 Technologies, a subsidiary of Level 8 Systems.

Two Atlanta-based companies, S1 Corp. and McCamish Systems LLC, are building an interface linking their system architectures. As part of the agreement, the companies plan to build interfaces between S1 Insurance and McCamish's Variable Products Administration Systems Life and VPAS Benefit Plan Administration. Through S1 Insurance, agents and policyholders of McCamish client companies can review a wide range of policy details and change transactions via the Web, such as coverage and rider information, loan and beneficiary data, policy value and transaction history, premium history, fund allocations and death benefits.

Kansas City, Mo.-based H&R Block Inc. has acquired an approximate 44% share of Atlanta-based MyBenefitSource Inc. MyBenefitSource plans to work directly with RSM McGladrey, an H&R Block subsidiary, to provide clients a payroll and benefit administration outsourcing solution. Ultimately, H&R Block plans to acquire the remaining outstanding common shares of MyBenefitSource Inc. MyBenefitSource provides a technology that enables companies to access real-time information via the Internet, and enables employers and employees to manage their payroll and benefits needs.

BB&T Insurance Services, one of the nation's largest insurance brokers based in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Access CoverageCorp, Charlotte, N.C., have teamed to provide multiple carrier submissions, including obtaining real-time bindable commercial insurance quotes. Access CoverageCorp's Intelligent Interchange software has been in use since November, when BB&T began using it to transact business with The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, Conn. Intelligent Interchange's underwriting rules engine enables an agency to complete a single online application that captures and transmits insurer-specific underwriting information for each participating carrier. BB&T currently is engaged in real-time transactions with The Hartford for workers' compensation, business owners and umbrella policies.

JLT Services Corp., a U.S. subsidiary of international insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc, has signed on with eHealthInsurance Services Inc., an online source for individual, family and small business health insurance based in Sunnyvale, Calif. The alliance will enable JLT Services, Latham, N.Y., to offer its affinity group clients access to eHealthInsurance's insurance products through co-branded Web sites. The co-branded Web sites will provide members with research tools, side-by-side health plan comparisons, instant quotes and online purchase of health insurance coverage.

Access Data Corp., a Pittsburgh-based firm that offers software and managed hosting services for the financial services industry, has acquired Newton Partners Inc., Sacramento, Calif. Newton Partners, which was founded in 1999, provides strategic consulting, project management, systems integration and technology development for the financial services industry. Newton Partners' clients include Aegon/Transamerica, Cigna, Fireman's Fund, Fairfax Financial Holdings and The Western and Southern Life Insurance Co.

AMS Services Inc., Windsor, Conn., has entered into an agreement with IVANS Inc., Greenwich, Conn., to use IVANS' Transformation Station. With IVANS WebSEMCI as the collection tool for company edits, and Transformation Station for real-time communications to carriers' back-end policy systems, AMS will be able to offer its customers a complete upload solution, in batch and real time. At first, AMS was reluctant to use Transformation Station because part of the technology is licensed to IVANS by AMS's primary competitor, Applied Systems Inc., University Park, Ill. But AMS management realized that agencies and carriers will benefit by AMS's adoption of the technology.

Cleveland-based has secured undisclosed capital and advisory and business support from Prim Capital Corp., a Cleveland-based wealth management, merchant and investment banking boutique. InsuranceIsland enables insurance agents and agencies to subscribe to a Web-based agency management system. The company claims it can enable carriers and independent agencies to not only share data, but to process real-time transactions.

ADP Claims Services Group, San Ramon, Calif., signed a definitive agreement to purchase the assets of Macon, Ga.-based ComputerLogic Inc.'s AutoVista claims line of business. The AutoVista assets will be combined with ADP's Claims Gateway to provide a broader technology solution for the automotive claims industry. Claims Gateway is a group of services that provides a communication link among all parties in an automotive claims process, including insurance companies, independent appraisers, collision repairer, automotive recyclers and their vendors.

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