NetRate Systems Enables Commerce West Insurance Company to Implement Straight-Through Processing.

July 18, 2006

OKEMOS, MI – NetRate Systems has successfully partnered with Commerce West Insurance Company to enable Commerce West to implement rate/ quote/ issue of Personal Auto policies.

The process utilizes a NetRate Systems rating engine behind NetRate’s browser-enabled user interface. Using this system, Commerce West agents can rate any personal auto risk, submit the risk for automated underwriting evaluation, and Commerce West can then automatically issue the policy, without need for additional intervention. According to David Jordan, President and CEO of NetRate Systems, “The Commerce West implementation of NetRate Personal Auto rating is an outstanding example of a visionary company supplying optimal tools for their agency force to write business. It’s a win for Commerce West, for their agents, and for NetRate.”

NetRate’s browser-based user interface accepts entry from agents via a Commerce West URL, automatically retrieves credit scoring information from 3rd party sources, develops classifications and places the risk in the appropriate tiers, determines vehicle VIN numbers from make/ model/ model year input (and vice-versa), and rates the risk. In addition, the data input is edited to the degree that invalid submissions are nearly non-existent. After rating, a policy can then be submitted, which triggers on demand real-time retrieval of MVR and loss data from a 3rd party provider. Once the data is retrieved, it is merged with the operator-entered input, and cannot be deleted or altered by the user. The risk is then re-rated using the correct and valid data, and the internal business rules apply appropriate surcharges, class changes, eligibility determination, and status for submission. The submitted risk is transferred to Commerce West, where the NetRate-created .pdf file is reviewed by an underwriter, and the xml file is picked up and a policy file automatically created. George Jeffers is Commerce West’s Director of Information Technology: “NetRate has really stepped up to the plate to provide a solution for Commerce West that is easy for the agents to use, but extremely sophisticated in its functionality. The initial reaction from our agents has been very positive.”

An additional feature built into the system is a ‘bridge’ to the Fiserv (Agoura Hills, CA) FSC comparative rating product. Risks rated initially in the agency using the FSC software can then, with the touch of a key, be transferred automatically to the NetRate/ Commerce West system via xml file. In nearly all cases, there is no additional information for the user to input. The risk is rated and submitted through the NetRate/ Commerce West system just as if it had been created there. Says Jeffers: ‘Bridging from FSC to the Commerce West submission system allows the independent agent the flexibility to investigate alternatives for his customer, but provides them with significant cost savings when submitting the risk to Commerce West, by eliminating duplicate entry into non-integrated submission processes.”

The browser-based NetRate rating engine has all of the capabilities of the desktop version, says Jordan. “It’s important that we provide the agent with rich functionality as well as Internet access. We have taken the rating engine from the desktop, Windows Client-Server product and placed it behind the browser User Interface. The program application can still handle the intricacies of rating, like VIN verification, points surcharging, territory lookup, and other features that we take for granted in the NetRate programs.”

Jordan goes on: “More and more, carriers, MGA’s, and agents are looking for the most efficient solutions to writing business. One-time data entry, or Straight-Through Processing (STP) is the goal, and Commerce West’s implementation is a shining example of this.”

About NetRate Systems, Inc.
NetRate Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of personal lines and commercial lines rating systems for Carriers, MGA’s, and Brokers. Systems designed and built by NetRate are used to rate, quote, and issue all lines of business, including both ISO-based systems and customized rating products specific to particular carrier or MGA needs.

About Commerce West Insurance Company
Commerce West Insurance Company was founded in California in 1948, initially offering Personal Lines Automobile insurance. Currently, they offer Private Passenger Automobile Plans, both Preferred and Non-Standard, as well as a monoline Commercial Automobile Plan through Independent Agents throughout California, Oregon and Arizona.

They are a member of The Commerce Group, Inc., of Webster, MA, with over $4.6 billion in assets. Commerce West is rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best and ranks as one of the top 50 automobile insurance companies in California. Home Office, Pleasanton, CA.

For more information regarding this news release, please contact:
Tom Rahl
(517) 347-4900 x113

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