Appalachian Underwriters, Inc. (AUI) is a full-service national MGA and wholesale brokerage that offers a broad selection of quality products for agents to write and place business. Headquartered in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; AUI has 15 remote sites and about 550 employees, writing approximately $425 million in premium annually. Their programs are national, and they work with about 24,000 agents across the country on an appointment basis.

AUI offers Personal and Commercial Lines products. In Commercial Lines, the primary products are Commercial Auto, General Liability and Garage (Dealer Pro).

One of AUI’s key differentiators in assisting insurance agents in placing business efficiently is having online raters for its products that access a number of markets for quoting in real time, with data integration into the wholesaler’s policy administration system. For this integration, AUI turned to NetRate Systems to provide them with what was needed. AUI has been using NetRate’s products since 2008 and are on their third generation of rating. AUI uses NetRate’s General Liability, Commercial Auto and Garage rating products utilizing the NetSYNERGY implementation model.

“We needed a system that enabled agents to key in data for online quotes that had our look and feel:Once the rating was received we wanted it to be easily displayed to the agent, and once the quote was accepted, integration with our policy administration system was key:
“NetRate was able to do this with NetSYNERGY and its XML documentation, allowing us to map out the front-end input screens and transparently interface the way the results were displayed to the agent. We were also able to gain integration with our policy administration system, Insurance Management System (IMS), as the NetRate System was already integrated with IMS.”

We spoke with Steve Cota, Chief Information Officer, about how NetRate is facilitating their business insurance transactions. Steve heads AIU’s IT division and has been with the company for five years.

“We needed a system that enabled agents to key in data for online quotes that had our look and feel and used a rules engine within the rating the system that determined which carriers the data should go to. Once the rating was received, we wanted it to be easily displayed to the agent; and once the quote was accepted, integration with our policy administration system was key,” explained Steve. “Our existing system was unable to provide us with integration.”

“NetRate was able to do this with NetSYNERGY and its XML documentation, allowing us to map out the front-end input screens and transparently interface the way the results were displayed to the agent. We were also able to gain integration with our policy administration system, Insurance Management System (IMS), as the NetRate System was already integrated with IMS.”

“With NetRate, our agents can go online and quickly get a quote without us having to manually quote it. This streamlines the process tremendously and enables them to be more responsive to their clients. If an agent likes one of the preliminary quotes and pre-fills everything, we can then have a firm rate to them fairly quickly. If the agent doesn’t like the initial quote, it eliminates the time we would spend on something they are not interested in pursuing.

“What’s more, the system is easy to configure and keep current. There was minimal configuration unlike most applications, which is key for us as we have about 50 carriers on our system. The rating is accurate and NetRate is flexible when it comes to making changes. You can get customizations for new products, etc. quickly.”

Steve also explained that their rating capability through NetRate is also available for mobile. “We provide quick quotes for mobile devices : all Apple products and the Android.”