Fiserv Inc., Brookfield, Wis., has signed an agreement to acquire NCSI, a specialized provider of insurance and information services for the flood insurance industry. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Rockville, Md.-based NCSI is an independently owned corporation formed in 1972, which has amassed experience administering government insurance programs. Its client based includes more than 70 property and casualty companies.Insurance Technology Solutions Inc., Torrance, Calif., has purchased certain assets of Star Solutions Inc., a Wrentham, Mass.-based provider of client/server property/casualty software solutions for carriers and managing general agents. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The assets acquired include the Policy Rate and Issue System, which enables insurance companies and their agents to rate and issue policies online for any P&C line. The acquisition will enable Insurance Technology Solutions to accelerate its development and delivery of a Web-based solution for any size carrier, according to the company.

New York-based iMapData, a BrandPartners Group Inc. company, has partnered with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Arlington, Va., to create and market products to fight insurance fraud. The company also released CATfraud, an interactive geographically based product that displays five categories of weather events (earthquake, flood, wind, tornado and hail), with daily updates indicating the previous day's events. Delivered to NICB member company computers, CATfraud shows weather events at a national, regional, city or street address level. Users are thereby able to enter a specific claim address to confirm the presence of catastrophe- or weather-related claims submitted to other NICB member companies in the same area.

Expanding on a strategic alliance forged in 1999 with Northbrook, Ill.-based The Allstate Corp., Salt Lake City-based TenFold Corp. will begin training a large, undisclosed number of Allstate applications developers and technologists on TenFold's Universal Application platform. The application enables users to replace complex applications on existing legacy systems. TenFold will also supply consultants to work in the Allstate Solutions Center to help build and test new applications using the platform.

Naperville, Ill.-based INSTEC is now a member of Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Inc.'s Gold Certified Partner Program. INSTEC, which provides commercial lines policy rating and issuance software has been named a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Software Products for its track record in adhering to the standards expected of software products for Microsoft platforms.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Onyx Software Corp. has formed a venture with Suncorp Metway. Based in Queensland, Australia, Suncorp Metway plans to use a phased approach in implementing Onyx's customer relationship management solution. The first phase involves rolling out the Onyx Employee Portal to Suncorp Metway's 130 retail branches and 500-person call center network in February, followed later by 2,000 business banking employees. Further plans include implementing the Onyx Customer Portal for Internet-based customer contacts, and the Onyx Partner Portal for brokers and other partners.

Better Benefits Inc., New York, has formed a strategic partnership with Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based CSC Insurance Services Division. The alliance is expected to better enable Better Benefits to streamline outbound and inbound call-center volume, as well as to accommodate literature fulfillment. Better Benefits markets medical, life, disability benefits and health indemnity insurance programs, while CSC specializes in customer contact and fulfillment services.

OneShield Inc., a Woburn, Mass.-based insurance technology firm, has formed a nonexclusive partnership with Rackley Systems Inc., Pulaski, Tenn. Under the terms of the partnership, OneShield will offer Rackley's commercial-lines rate sets for 50 states as part of the OneShield Dragon product suite. The combined offering will enable users to process applications and issue quotes for policies in the same transactions.

Windsor, Conn.-based AMS Services Inc. has acquired The Solution, the Insurance Automation Solutions business of InsurQuote, a distributor partner of Westminster, Colo.-based ChannelPoint Inc. ChannelPoint designs applications for carriers, distributors and buyers that integrate with its proprietary Exchange Platform to conduct online transactions. AMS' acquisition includes a Windows-based rating product presently deployed in eight eastern states, as well as all assets and other infrastructure systems at the Insurance Automation Solutions site in Beachwood, Ohio. The acquisition enables AMS to upgrade DOS rating customers, and provide a single rating solution to the combined customer base in those eight states.

Fort Worth, Texas-based InsureZone has secured seven new and exclusive co-marketing endorsements for AgentSecure, its Web-enabled market-access program for smaller, rural commercial agents. The endorsements come from Alexandria, Va.-based Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) organizations in Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. These endorsements brings to 16 the number of state organizations that have formally aligned themselves with AgentSecure, which was acquired by InsureZone in June. IIAA's chapters in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia had previously endorsed AgentSecure.

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