Schemeswriter v3.25.2 is ready for testing

Published on 28 Sep 2017


Schemeswriter v3.25.2 is a maintenance release, and contains a few general fixes and improvements.

Address Lookup Control Upgrade
We have upgraded the address lookup control so users can now search for any part of an address, as opposed to just the postcode, and see the results in real time before selecting a match. It also implements a fuzzy match to help in cases of spelling errors. The data source is updated on a daily basis to make sure the latest addresses are available.



General Improvements
  • Payment types can now be changed upon accepting a renewal
  • Keys stored against policy records for integrating with third-party systems can now be updated

Schemeswriter v3.25.1 has been released

Published on 13 Sep 2017


A maintenance release, version 3.25.1, has been released to all live environments.
The release notes are available below.




New Features
  • Add payment reference field to notification feed
  • Add renewal invited event to notification feed
  • Add documents endpoint to quote API

General Improvements
  • Add notes and attachment counts to agent and underwriter renewal screen
  • Add Messages tab to agent and underwriter renewal screen
  • Add occurrences deprecation warnings for scheme developers
  • Allow user to restrict access to uploads

Bug Fixes
  • There is no longer an audit log for quote date change if the date hasn't actually changed
New Feature [SW-1247] - [SW-1261] - [SW-1262] -

Schemeswriter v3.25.0 is ready for testing

Published on 11 Aug 2017


Schemeswriter v3.25.0 includes several bug fixes and new features, and has been deployed to the testing environments.

Under the hood
Under the hood has now been implemented in the Schemeswriter system, this allows our scheme builders to expose certain steps of the premium calculation and output logic to the UI for underwriters to alter on a case by case basis. There will be a separate blog post about its capabilities as well as some examples shortly.

New Premium Configuration Options
We have added some new possible premium configurations to cater for non-annual premiums:
  • No pro-rata - Premiums will generate at the full value, regardless of when they are added
  • One time fee - The premium value will not be included in the future annual


Renewal Price Matching
Schemes can now be configured to match last year's annual premium, and apply adjustments based on available data e.g. Last year's premium + 10% + 5% claims load + 3% index linking



General Improvements
  • Questions can now be pruned at renewal, such as historical claims that are no longer relevant or temporary covers
  • B2C estimates will now send an email when the estimate requires underwriting
  • Re-quoting an expired quote will now persist attachments, notes and the timeline
  • Quote and renewal documents can now be forwarded to the agent
  • Brokers with delegated authority will now be brought back to the quote screen upon unrefer if underwriting one of their own agencies' quotes
  • Broker premium adjustment screen now displays the limits they can adjust to
  • The B2C estimate page has been updated to include contact details

Bug Fixes
  • Favicons for some B2C sites were missing, and have now been updated

TAN: Browser Support for Schemeswriter
comes into effect on 31st July 2017

Published on 24 Jul 2017


Earlier this year we posted a technical advisory notice that detailed our plans to implement a minimum requirement for web browsers. This was to ensure that our sites were secure and able to take advantage of the best and latest features. The new baseline officially comes into effect on 31st July 2017, and details of which browsers will be supported going forward can be found here: http://blog.brokertech.co.uk/2017/01/notice-of-support-changes-we-will-soon.html

Schemeswriter v3.24.0 is ready for testing

Published on 21 Jul 2017


Schemeswriter v3.24.0 includes several bug fixes and new features, and has been deployed to the testing environments.

Renewal Premium Matching & Index Linking Improvements
It is now possible to generate a renewal quote at a ratio to last year's annual premium, so you can now automatically price match with a loading based on product information, such as claims history or index linking rates. Product builders can also now pre-load future index linking rates based on the renewal date.

Outstanding MTA Picker
It is possible to have multiple MTAs active on any one policy, but previously these were only visible from the search. There is now a new screen when you start an MTA if there are already active ones, to notify you of this fact and to allow you to view them, or to create a new one. Please note, all outstanding MTAs are invalidated as soon as one of them is accepted.

Scheme Manager Transaction View
Scheme managers can now view detailed information about transactions via the view payments screen.



General Improvements
  • Unallocated conversations now show the same summary details as allocated ones
  • Emails about conversations can now include more details, such as the sender of the message and its related record
  • The length limit on policy prefix and suffixes has been increased
  • Transfer policy and quote drop downs now show the agent number and the branch alongside the name
  • Vehicle registration fields are now automatically upper-cased, regardless of input
  • Uninvited renewals are now available to view in the broker renewals grid
  • Connect now uses JWT authentication
  • All scheme static documents can now be viewed from quote, policy and renewal screens
  • Customer documents now available in mobile view on B2C

Bug Fixes
  • Previously approved answers are now copied over when a renewal quote is generated
  • MTA quotes now use the current logged in user as the operator, rather than the original operator of the policy
  • Risk description is now updated on manually applied endorsements
  • Search is now re-indexed after renewal lapse
  • Developer tool speed improvement

SW 3.23 is ready for testing

Published on 12 Jun 2017


Schemeswriter v3.23 includes bug fixes and new features, and has been deployed to the testing environments

Renewal Improvements
A grace period has been added to the renewal lapse process, which allows the broker to reinstate lapsed renewals without underwriter intervention. The period in which renewals can be reinstated is configurable by scheme. In addition, renewals will now be available to the underwriter 3 months in advance of the renewal date.

Claims Importer Update
  • Claims codes must now adhere to a pre-determined rule to avoid duplication of data
  • The speed of the bulk claims uploader has been improved
  • Claims data is now available for use on documentation and in emails

Foreign Taxes
French, Greek and Italian marine tax rates have been added and are available for use on all schemes.




General Improvements
  • Documents can now be emailed to the agent directly from the policy screen
  • Scheme access can now be set via member profile
  • Commission flex values can be set via policy importer API
  • Backdating an MTA to the last renewal date will now produce renewal documentation
  • MTA quote events are now available to the advanced email sender
  • Member system codes must now be unique

Bug Fixes
  • Previously approved answers are persisted when editing an invited renewal
  • Switching underwriters at renewal no longer causes an error
  • Risk description is now updated on manually applied endorsements
  • Refer & Unrefer screen no longer causes monitoring errors when a user is logged out
  • Fixed a race condition in the notifications feed

SW 3.21 has been released

Published on 27 Feb 2017


Following a successful UAT, version 3.21 has been released to all live sites this evening.
The release notes are available below.

General Improvements
  • IPT rules for the rise to 12% have been implemented.
  • A scheme can now have a fixed renewal month, regardless of inception date.
  • An inception date can now be suggested from the scheme logic to assist the broker / customer.
  • Expired quotes will now be available for 15 months after the quote date.
  • The estimate screen now shows insurer by section.
  • Leaving a repeating grid will return you to the point on the page where you left, rather than the top.
  • Users can now include zip files in policy and quote attchments.

Bug Fixes
  • The policy screen will now display correctly if there is no operator, but the operator quick link is pressed.
  • msg and xls files are no longer missing icons in the upload panel.

TAN: Browser Support for Schemeswriter

Published on 23 Jan 2017


Notice of Support Changes

We will soon be changing our supported clients for the SchemesWriter platform and applications. After July 31st 2017 our minimum supported browsers will be:

  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Chrome v40
  • Firefox v34
  • Safari 8

As of July 31st 2017 any browser on Microsoft Windows XP will no longer be supported. The minimum operating system version supported will be Windows Vista with Internet Explorer 9* (see footnote)

Why are we changing our supported clients?

We pride ourselves on using up-to-date security standards and practices. Information Security is a constantly changing landscape and we are always looking at the threats online to our systems and data. We keep a close eye on security statements and work by other vendors that informs our own work and practices.

Security

Microsoft officially retired all support and security fixes for Windows XP on 8th April 2014. The operating system has been shown to be insecure, and so to protect our customers, as well as protect our own infrastructure, we can no longer support this operating system in any configuration.

Official Support for Windows XP ended

Windows XP does not support the latest and most secure cryptographic libraries that we must use to secure communication between browsers and our web servers.

ThePOODLE and BEAST attacks both abuse flaws in older cryptographic libraries. POODLE is an attack on SSL v3.0, while BEAST is an attack on CBC in TLS v1.0. As such we must disable use of SSL v3.0, and disable weak ciphers on TLS v1.0, and prefer far stronger TLS v1.2. Older Windows operating systems are incapable of using these more secure libraries and so we cannot support their use.

POODLE mitigation

These browsers either deprecated or disabled SSL v3.0

  • Chrome disabled SSL 3.0 fallback in v39. Disabled SSL 3.0 in v40
  • Firefox disabled SSL 3.0 in v34.
  • Microsoft disabled SSL 3.0 in Vista+. Disabled SSL 3.0 in IE11.
  • Safari disabled CBC in SSL 3.0 but left RC4 which is still broken.

BEAST mitigation

These browsers support TLS v1.1+

  • IE11+ in Win7+
  • Firefox 27+
  • Chrome TLS 1.1 v22+
  • Chrome TLS 1.2 v29+
  • Safari 7 on OSX 10.9* (see footnote)

The page describing how to mitigate BEAST attacks initially recommends switching to the RC4 algorithm to mitigate the CBC vulnerabilities in TLS 1.0. Subsequent work has found exploits in RC4 therefore it is prudent to move to TLS 1.1+ in order to prefer elliptic curve encryption. In early 2016 all major browser manufacturers were removing support for RC4

TLS Support in the major browsers

Costs and Infrastructure Support

In order to simplify our infrastructure and operations tasks we are moving to a technology called SNI on our web servers. Server Name Indication is used to serve multiple HTTPS protected sites from a single IP address. SNI has been supported from early versions of Chrome and Firefox, but relatively late in Internet Explorer.

SNI Support

  • IE 7+ on Vista. Not on Windows XP.
  • Firefox v2.0
  • Chrome v6.0
  • Safari. Not on Windows XP.

SNI will allow us to secure and deploy sites more swiftly and simplify our operational tasks, as well as allow us to scale more quickly and cost effectively.

Software Libraries

We strive to use the best tools for the job when developing our software. This does not always mean the latest technology, but it does often mean using the most stable and supported libraries to help us develop great software. In order to stay supported with those libraries, we will need to follow the vendor's lead on what they support in order to guide us on the browsers that we can ultimately support.

JQuery

  • Chrome: (Current - 1) and Current
  • Firefox: (Current - 1) and Current
  • Internet Explorer: 9+
  • Safari: (Current - 1) and Current

Angular

  • Chrome Latest
  • Firefox Latest
  • IE 9+
  • Safari 7+

As these libraries no longer support Internet Explorer versions under 9, we too must drop support for these versions. Chrome and Firefox are under differing update schedules, and while these libraries state support for the current versions only, in practice this means that they support many of the older versions, and as such so will we.

Footnote on Browser Versions

Internet Explorer

Our headline supported version of Internet Explorer is 11+. This is the minimum supported version on the last 3 versions of Microsoft Windows (7, 8.1 & 10). However Windows Vista is still in use although no longer in active mainstream support. It's extended support phase ends on April 11th 2017. As such we will be endeavoring to continue to support Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Vista because the operating system cannot install Internet Explorer v10 or v11. This means that our software will still be tested against that version and bugs will still be fixed. We will no longer guarantee continuing UI consistency but will do our best to keep our software usable on this older platform.

Operating System Supported version of Internet Explorer
Windows Vista SP2 Internet Explorer 9
Windows 7 SP1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows 8.1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows 10 Internet Explorer 11

Stay up-to-date with Internet Explorer

Safari

While version 7 of Apple Safari is noted as being the minimum version that supports TLS v1.1+, this version was no longer supported by Apple as of the end of 2016. As such we will support Safari version 8+.

Update to 9th November Maintenance

Published on 14 Nov 2016


On Wednesday 9th November we undertook some maintenance on our firewall infrastructure to enable our new office security VPN.
We anticipated no effect on services, but took the precautionary measure of stationing an engineer on site at the hosting centre in case of issues.
In the event, while the switch of configuration occurred with little issue on the firewalls, we quickly discovered that the hypervisor software we use contained a bug which was not able to cope with the change in the underlying network stack.

As a result some of our live systems could no longer be contacted.
We worked quickly to identify the problem and restart the affected systems. We had scheduled the work out of business hours and so believe that we limited the customer impact.

The network change we implemented was not one that occurs regularly and so the conditions for the failure should not be reproduced in the foreseeable future .
If any of our customers were affected we sincerely apologise and are looking at the cause in order to prevent a similar event occurring again.

It's our birthday!

Published on 28 Oct 2016


We discovered yesterday that we can celebrate our 10 year anniversary as a software company.

From humble beginnings as DotOn Ltd in October 2006, we have innovated in software that has been "only Inhibited by the human brain"

In 2008 we rebranded as Brokertech, providing "Insurance software you think you'll never find...", but somehow did.

Only two of our current employees were around for those halcyon days of DotOn Ltd, as we have evolved and grown over the decade. We have released 3 full versions of our core SchemesWriter product, and countless other projects and products so far.

That is not to say we are looking only backwards. We have a lot of exciting developments currently in our coding workshop, so here's to the next 10 years of helping brokers and insurers get the best out of their business.

SW 3.20 is ready for testing

Published on 24 Oct 2016


Schemeswriter v3.20 includes bug fixes and new features and has been deployed to the testing environments

Live Chat has been integrated into the back office
You now have the ability to integrate live chat accounts such as LivePerson. A broker can talk directly with an insurer from anywhere associated with a specific scheme (quote, policy and renewal screens). We also plan to expand this into the direct-to-consumer environment in the near future.

Broker renewal declrations
When an upcoming renewal requires a declaration due to missing risk details a broker can now provide this information directly to the insurer via the online system.

Search Improvements
  • User searches can now be filtered by multiple tags, agent operator and date range.
  • Declined quotes are no longer tagged as expired in the search.
  • A user can now view an unlimited amount of search results.

General Improvements
  • The amount of time a quote is guaranteed for can now be configured per quote.
  • A user can now be associated with a department via their profile page.
  • French Tax is now handled for Marine risks.
  • Bulk operations have been removed for broker renewals.

Bug Fixes
  • An issue with the 'Bulk Download' feature on the broker renewal screen is now fixed.

User Logins
  • Brokerbility users that only use SW2 can now login via Connect. In addition to SW3, Brokerbility users now will access the Extranet and SW2 only via Connect.
  • Provision of a Connect administration site.
  • Hardened client to Connect communication security with a new certificate.
  • Improved the user experience for instances of forgotten passwords by e-mailing the address provided rather than only when a specified account does not exist.
  • Allowing the configuration of advanced user settings and token lifespan.
  • Fixed a bug caused by spaces not getting trimmed if entered in e-mail fields in Connect.

SW 2.37 is ready for testing

Published on 24 Oct 2016


Schemeswriter v2.37 is a maintenance release and has been deployed to the testing environments

Report Builder
The reporting builder has been updated to include the product name as well as expanding the financial section to include all available taxes.

General Improvements
  • Security between the Extranet & Connect has also been improved with a new private certificate.

Bug Fixes
  • An issue which intermittently allowed deleted users to log in via Connect has been resolved.

The Brokerbility Extranet has also been updated to take advantage of the Connect security improvements.