Mississauga, Ontario — York Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., the personal lines insurance arm of Kingsway Financial Services Inc., became Canada’s first insurance carrier to implement true XML real-time inquiry this month, claiming they answered the call from independent brokers who said they need real-time carrier communication to remain competitive.

Using WARP technology for real-time transactions from Applied Systems Inc., University Park, Ill., York Fire now communicates directly and immediately with insurance brokers through their broker management systems. The new inquiry is designed to improve 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 says 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., 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 says. “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,” Simpson says. “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,” says Doug Johnston, VP 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.”

Source: Applied Systems Inc.

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