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New Features

APPULATE RELEASE 03/16/17

Using ACORD forms

Since a number of our clients do not use ACORD forms in their Appulate-related practices, and the inclusion of these forms impedes their business processes, we have made the usage of ACORD forms optional.

The new setting of ACORD Forms Usage on the My Profile / User Profile page defines whether you or another user of your company can see ACORD forms and perform actions upon them. This setting is turned off for all newly created users and for the users who have not utilized ACORD forms in the last year both within Appulate and through Uplink. Users with any role (“Admin”, “User”, or “Viewer”) have access to this setting and can start or stop using ACORD forms at any time.

ACORD Forms Usage setting on My Profile page

If you regularly use ACORD forms, you will not notice any change.

If you do not use ACORD forms, they will not be shown to you in the places they are commonly available: the “Forms” tab of a “Marketing” page, the “Send Email” window, the “Uplink” page, etc. A message with an integrated button there will inform you about it and allow you to get access to these forms (in this case, the “ACORD Forms Usage” setting will turn on automatically).

Hidden ACORD forms on Forms tab

 

New rules for ACORD and Supplemental forms

Each quote or policy is commonly associated with a set of appropriate ACORD and Supplemental forms. Besides the primary parameters, such as the insurance line, the market, and the insured’s business type, these forms are selected according to the state. For now the state of an ACORD or Supplemental form is checked against the states specified in the following three points:

  • The Insured tab of an “Insured” page
  • Insured’s Mailing Address in a questionnaire
  • Locations collection in a questionnaire (all rows).

States specified in Appulate

A relevant ACORD form will be associated with the quote or policy if

  • The state of this form matches any specified state.
  • This is a default form (i.e. one with no state), and Appulate does not have an ACORD form whose state matches any specified state.
  • This is a default form, and no state is specified.

A relevant Supplemental form will be associated with the quote or policy if

  • The state of this form matches any specified state.
  • This is a default form.

 

Enhanced system to detect duplicate agencies

When a user is registering a new agency in Appulate, we check not only the user’s email address, but also the agency’s name to find out if a similar agency has not been registered before.

Note: To register an agency in Appulate, click the “Join for Free” button on the “ProducerConnect” tab of Appulate home page.

If it is detected that a user tries to register a duplicate agency, they are informed about it and are offered to

  • Contact the administration of a matching existing agency (there might be one or more matches detected).
  • Contact Appulate support team for assistance if the user is not sure.
  • Ignore the warning message and finish registering their agency. In this case, the user takes responsibility for their action.

Warning that an agency being registered might exist in Appulate

 

New rules for automatic quote cancellation

Each quote will be automatically cancelled if the response has not been received for a particular period of time.

The Auto-cancellation setting on the Settings page is used to specify the number of days that have to pass since a quote’s Effective date and since the last change of this quote’s status to consider this quote expired. This setting is required. An expired quote is cancelled automatically.

Auto-cancellation setting on the Settings page

APPULATE RELEASE 02/16/17

Specifying questions to complete

You can save the time your customers and agents spend on filling out a questionnaire form by specifying which questions they actually need to answer.

When you click the Send Questionnaire to Complete button on the “Submission” page, the Select Which Questions to Complete dialog box opens (see the following figure). You can set the following conditions there:

  • Select markets: markets whose questions you need to get the answers to. This list is based on your selection on the “Submission” page.
  • Select questionnaire sections: sections containing the questions you are interested in. At least one section must be selected to send a questionnaire form.
  • Select question types: the sort of the questions you are interested in: all, all unanswered questions, or all required questions that are not answered.

Select Which Questions to Complete dialog box

After you have sent the questionnaire form, the recipient will see only the specified questions on the open page.

Questionnaire form to fill out

 

Enhanced email notification system

We have enhanced our email notification system for agencies and MGAs so that an agent is informed each time the status of a quote they submitted is changed.

Now it is easier for the agents of your company to keep track of the progress of a quote or policy they are in charge of because they will receive a relevant email message each time the status of this quote or policy is changed by the markets’ staff or automatically.

Email message example

 

Email templates

You can create and modify your own email templates that the users of your company will be able to use in their outgoing email messages.

Appulate users need to compose different types of email messages when they communicate with their partners and customers. Since the set of such messages is quite limited in insurance business processes, you can prepare relevant templates to spare the time of your employees and standardize the outgoing email of your company.

We have redesigned the Email Templates page to meet these needs and facilitate email templates’ configuration. This page is divided into two tabs: Standard Templates and Custom Templates (see the following figure).

Note: To open the "Email Templates" page, click "Email Templates" on the "Setup" menu.

  • The Standard Templates tab stores email templates prepared by Appulate team. One of these templates is utilized by default when a user performs a standard operation within Appulate, for example requests for a quote via email or sends a market an email message. Standard templates can be modified only by users with role “Admin”; users with other roles do not have access to this tab.
  • The Custom Templates tab stores email templates created by your company’s users. Any template of this type can be used in an email message instead of the default standard template. Each user with role “Admin” or “User” has access to custom templates and can create, modify, or delete them.

Custom Templates tab of Email Templates page

To open the Email Templates page, click Email Templates on the Setup menu. Both tabs have similar interfaces and contain similar sets of UI elements.

To create or modify an email template,

  1. Select “Create new” (for custom templates only) or select the template’s name in the Template to edit list. Specify the name of a new custom template in the Name text box (required).
  2. Enter or edit the subject and the body of the template in the respective text boxes (optional).
  3. Click the Save button.

The other buttons at the bottom are used to cancel the last changes (“Cancel”), restore a standard email template to its original version (“Reset to Default”), and delete a custom email template (“Delete template”).

The new Templates drop-down list in the Send Email window is used to switch between the default standard template and custom templates (see the following figure). The subject and body of the email message are changed accordingly.

Note: This drop-down list is hidden if the company has no custom templates or if the user’s role is “Viewer”.

Send Email window

 

Controlling automatic policy renewal

You can prohibit the users of your and supervised companies from auto-renewing their policies.

The new setting of Auto-Renewal on the Settings page defines whether the users of your company and the users of the captive companies (i.e. agencies and MGAs working under your company) can renew their policies automatically, and, if they can, when the new quote will be created.

Auto-Renewal setting

To give the users this ability, select the Enable users to automatically renew policies check box and specify how soon the new quote has to be created (in days prior to the expiration date). In this case, the Auto-renew check box will be available to the users on the Options tab of a policy page (see the following figure).

If you clear the Enable users to automatically renew policies check box, the Auto-renew check box will be hidden.

The administrators of captive companies cannot change this setting: they follow the rules introduced by the supervising market.

Auto-renew check box on Options tab

Note: If the automatic renewal is allowed, only policies with status “Policy - Active” or “Policy - Expired” can be renewed this way and only by the users belonging to the policy’s owner company (i.e. the agency or market whose worker created the initial quote).

 

Loss History collection enhancements

New Loss History collection features have been implemented to facilitate the relevant modifications.

When you answer “No” to the question “Did the insured have coverage this year?” on the Q&A tab of the “Submission” page, the collection record reads “No Coverage”; no other questions are asked, and no other information is shown for this record.

No Coverage in WC Insurance History

When you modify the Effective date of any Loss History collection record, the Effective and Expiration dates of this and earlier records are recalculated according to the following rules:

  • The Effective date of the record dated 1 year earlier gets the modified Effective date minus 1 year, the Effective date of the record dated 2 years earlier gets the modified Effective date minus 2 years, etc (see the following figure).
  • The Expiration date of each record whose Effective date has been modified or recalculated gets the respective Effective date plus 1 year (see the following figure).
  • If an earlier record contains any data but the Year, Effective date, and Expiration date, then its Effective and Expiration dates are not recalculated. The Effective and Expiration dates of the records dated earlier than this record are not recalculated either, whether they contain any additional data or not.

New Effective and Expiration dates in WC Insurance History

If you modify the Date Business Started, this may affect the Loss History collection records in the following ways:

  • The records dated earlier than this date (only Year is counted) will be deleted unless these records contain any data but the Year, Effective date, and Expiration date. In the latter case, a confirmation message appears: you can either delete or retain the records with additional data. The records without additional data are deleted unconditionally. (In the following example, figures 1 and 2, the Date Business Started is changed from “07/20/2007” to “07/20/2010”, and informative records are requested to remain. Thus, only the records of “2007” and “2009” will be deleted.)
  • If a collection contains less than 5 records, new ones will be added, starting from the year prior to the quote's Effective date and ending with the first year of the business. If a record corresponding to a particular year already exists, the new one will not be added. (In our example, two more records are needed to make their total number equal to 5. If we suppose that the quote's Effective date is "03/15/2017", then the records of "2016" and "2015" will be added - see figure 3.)

Automatic removing and adding records in WC Insurance History

APPULATE RELEASE 01/26/17

New columns in Quotes report

In the Quotes report, we have substituted new Pending and Quoted Ongoing columns for the previously used “Outstanding” one, whose purpose was to display the number of active quotes that were not declined, canceled, or bound.

Note: To open the "Quotes" report, click "Quotes" on the "Reports" menu.

The “Pending” column displays the number of active quotes which no market has provided a quote document for. Markets either have not received these quotes yet or have them under consideration.

The “Quoted Ongoing” column displays the number of active quotes which markets have provided at least one quote document for. The received offers are under consideration, and the policies have not been bound yet.

Pending and Quoted Ongoing columns

 

Enhanced appetite guide indications

When you point to an appetite guide indicator on the “Submission” page, the appearing information message contains references to the required unanswered questions, not just a list of detected problems.

Most pieces of required data you may encounter in appetite guide information messages have been converted into links, which lead you to the questions you should answer to be allowed to make a submission. When you click such a link, the section the required question belongs to opens automatically, and the respective UI element is marked with red color there. Thus, you do not need to search for it anymore.

Appetite guide information message

 

Adding new market contacts

The users of a market’s agencies and MGAs can specify this market’s contact information.

The Add New button on the Contacts tab of a selected market page is used to create users for this market: their contact information will be used for communication (see the following figure). The users of each agency or MGA with role “Admin” or “User” can add and share this information.

Note: To open the "Contacts" tab, click "Selected" on the "Markets" menu, select a market whose contact information you want to update, and then click the "Contacts" tab.

Add New button on Contacts tab

When you click the Add New button, you will be asked to enter the relevant data in the open Add New Contact dialog box: first and last names, email address, designation (all are required), and phone number (optional).

Note: Some markets may choose to control their contact information by themselves through the Appulate system, thus the “Add New” button for such markets will be absent.

APPULATE RELEASE 12/28/16

Real-time questionnaire synchronization

You are able to see users who are working with you on the same questionnaire in parallel and which changes they have made. This will allow you to avoid uncoordinated actions and track the updates in real time.

When you open a quote or policy on the Q&A or Forms (“Q&A”) tab, you are able to see who are currently working on this quote or policy (if any), which changes they have made, and who and when made the last change.

The bar above the questionnaire displays the information on these users and the last change in the format “N more active users” and “Last edit few seconds/N minutes/N hours ago by User Name”, respectively. When you click “N more active users”, a list of these users opens; it contains their names represented with different colors. Changes made by these users are marked with their respective colors: colored text or colored strokes around UI elements such as option buttons and check boxes. When you point over a colored element, a tooltip reading the user name appears.

Questionnaire on the Q&A tab

All the changes are immediately synchronized whether they are made manually on the tabs or by other means such as Form Filling, Inline Editor, or Appulate Uplink.

APPULATE RELEASE 12/15/16

Agency, Market pages redesigned

The “Agency” and “Market” pages have been redesigned to improve their usability and ensure the UI elements used on these pages are consistent with the current industry standards.

Agency page and Market page

 

Markets’ visibility to agencies

We have expanded the functionality controlling the visibility of a company’s partner markets. Now the users of your company are able not only to define whether your markets are visible to your agencies but also to define whether the visible markets are selected for submission by default.

Note: This feature is available to market users only.

The Visibility to Retail Agencies setting on the Settings tab of a Market page has three options to define whether this market is visible to your agencies when they submit a request for quotation through your company, and if visible, whether or not this market is selected for submitting by default (see the following figure).

  • Invisible: This market is invisible to your agencies. This option is set by default if “None” is selected as “My Markets’ Visibility to Agents” on the “Settings” page.
  • Visible, not selected: This market is visible to your agencies, but they need to manually select it for submitting.
  • Visible, selected: This market is visible to your agencies and is automatically selected for submitting. This option is set by default if “All” is selected as “My Markets’ Visibility to Agents”.

Visibility to Retail Agencies setting

Regular non-Admin users of your company can change this setting only if the My Markets’ Visibility to Agents setting is set to “Select” (see the following figure). The Admin users can always change this setting, but this may affect the My Markets’ Visibility to Agents setting: if it is “All” or “None”, it will be switched to “Select”.

My Markets’ Visibility to Agents setting

If the My Markets’ Visibility to Agents setting is set to “Select”, all newly selected markets will be visible to your agencies and selected for submitting (“Visible, selected”) by default.

The Visibility to Agencies column on the Selected Markets page shows whether a market is visible and selected. You can also change this parameter there.

Selected markets page

 

Rate files of partner markets

Rate files of a carrier’s partners are available on its Rate Filings tab.

An agency’s users have access not only to the rate files of the agency’s market but also to the rate files of this market’s partner markets if this market is a carrier, not an MGA, and this market allows its agencies to work with these partner markets. All the rate files are available on the market’s Rate Filings tab, which in this case contains one more column: Company Name.

Company name column