Mitchell International, San Diego, released an enhanced version of FirstEstimate, a Web-based estimating system for the automotive collision repair and claims industries. The new version, FirstEstimate 1.5, includes more features that enable insurers to expand their direct repair programs and direct appraisal programs to out-of-network, rural or low-volume shops and independent adjusters.Based on the work that Greenwich, Conn.-based IVANS Inc. has done with national healthcare payers, the company has crafted a customized solution for payers that provides them with a fully managed provider network solution that meets the latest guidelines of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. IVANS also provides customized end-user billing and will solicit and connect all providers the payer wants to communicate with electronically.

OneShield Inc., Woburn, Mass., completed development of its core policy processing system-Dragon-for personal lines. This initial release automates insurance purchasing processes for auto, homeowners and personal umbrella coverages in Florida, New York and Illinois. The next release will complete those lines for all states and enhance the system's personal lines offerings with specialty forms and coverages.

AMS Services Inc., Windsor, Conn., and IRS-AIMS, Universal City, Texas, have integrated IRS'AIM's MAGIC for Windows personal lines rating software with AMS's AfW and AfW Online agency management systems. The integration allows risks rated in MAGIC to be transferred to AfW systems without rekeying.

Net Insurance Technologies LLC, Boston, launched www.brokeragebox.com, a Web site where producers can complete one set of personal and commercial lines insurance applications, receive quotes from multiple insurers and immediately bind coverage for their new or renewal property/casualty insurance customers. After the policy is bound, the producer/customer/policy information seamlessly populates the BrokerageBox client/server agency management system located in the producer's office. The producer can then provide customer policy services including binders, certificates, auto IDs and more from the agency management system.

Insurance Services Office Inc. (ISO), Jersey City, N.J., released State Filing Handbook & State Filing Forms-its guide on state insurance laws and regulations-on ISOnet, ISO's secure Internet information-delivery platform for the property/casualty industry. The online publication includes more than 400 electronic filing forms in Microsoft Word. Online insurers that subscribe to ISO State Filing Handbook can obtain these electronic forms.

FINEOS Corp., Portland, Maine, released FINEOS Investor for the North American insurance market. FINEOS Investor is a front-to-back-office customer and contract management system for developing, administering and distributing annuity, savings and investment products. The component-based system complements mainframe systems that dominate the life insurance market.

The FREEDOM unit of Fiserv Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has introduced FREEDOM State Checklist Direct, an online resource that gives insurers access to state filing checklists and can automatically notify them when state filing requirement change. FREEDOM State Checklists is available free on the FREEDOM Web site at www.freedomgroup.com/checklist.

San Diego-based Peregine Systems Inc. recently introduced TrustedLink for Health Care, a solution designed to help insurance companies and managed health care providers comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Depending on customer requirements, Peregrine offers everything from a low-cost, HIPAA-compliant EDI product to a comprehensive suite of business integration tools that includes business process integration, workflow and any-to-any data transformation inside and outside the firewall.

In response to insurance suppliers' and software providers' requests, Web services integrator Vinsurance announced its technology standards. The XX-BASED company will implement SOAP message transport layer and use W3C's Web Service Description Language (WSDL) standards for XML Web services payload. A message transport layer (SOAP) is basically an envelope that carries a message over the Internet and delivers it to the right place and provides information about the sender. WSDL carries the message "metadata" and implementation, including the ability to validate data types against XML Schemas.

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