Schemeswriter v3.31.0 is ready for testing

Published on 31 May 2018


Schemeswriter v3.31.0 has been released to all testing environments
Schemeswriter v3.31.0 is a technical release, which paves the way for our future in the cloud. We have made several strides towards enabling us to reach those aims, as well as adding a much requested feature to the policy record.

Policy View - Historical Answers
You can now use the answers tab on the policy screen to view historical versions of the record, so you can see what a policy looked like at any given transaction in its history, and the changes that were made during that time. Additions are highlighted in green, removals in red, and updates in yellow.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)
We've lifted our CDN from the ground to the cloud in order to help us towards our future in AWS. We use our CDN to deliver policy documents, and images used in emails and dynamic documents.

Scheme Development Tools
We have made several improvements to the debugging tools used by our scheme developers, which will allow them to spot and resolve issues faster and more efficiently, both during build and whilst providing live support.

Schemeswriter v3.30.0 has been released

Published on 23 Apr 2018


Schemeswriter v3.30.0 has been released to all Live environments

Schemeswriter v3.30.0 is a focused release, deploying two eagerly anticipated features commonly requested by our clients, and it has been deployed to the testing environments.

Compound Documents
Our scheme developers now have the ability to create compound documents that will take both static and dynamically generated PDFs and merge them into a single file. This can be used to produce bespoke policy wordings based on cover selection, as well as automatically producing document packs for clients.
Auto-Accepting Renewals
You will now have the ability to enable auto-accept as the default behaviour on renewals on a per broker basis, rather than auto-lapse. This will allow high volume brokers to focus on managing the business that is more complicated, rather than managing the straight forward business that renews every year.

Schemeswriter v3.29.0 has been released

Published on 13 Apr 2018


Schemeswriter v3.29.0 has been released to all Live environments

Schemeswriter v3.29.0 includes several bug fixes and new features, and has been deployed to the testing environments.

Usability Improvements

Based on feedback of the top issues raised through our support team, the following have been implemented to improve the usability of various tasks.

  • Introduced a new feature to detect when a user is being entered under an incorrect member
  • Binding of quotes can now be disabled per member
  • Superusers can now delete an erroneous user
    This cannot be undone and data will be lost

General Improvements
  • Declarations are now able to be completed via the broker renewals grid
  • Messaging and claims features can be disabled system wide if required
  • Schemes can now perform sanctions checking in underwriting logic
  • Improved data available to renewal documentation
  • Introduced online tag to the broker renewals grid
  • Brokers are now able to request a cancellation

Bug Fixes

We were made aware of a few minor issues which have now been resolved.

  • Currently viewing feature is now more accurate on showing who is viewing a record
  • Fixed problem reissuing B2C policies

Schemeswriter v3.28.0 has been released

Published on 9 Mar 2018


Schemeswriter v3.28.0 has been released to all Live environments

Schemeswriter v3.28.0 is a maintenance release, and contains a few general fixes and improvements.

Print Jobs Feature
Essentially replaces the current "Bulk Download" feature on the renewals screen. This allows you to choose a calendar week to bulk download renewal documentation for a single product, or all products. This then bundles them all into one handy dandy zip file.



General Improvements
  • We have made a minor change to the layout of the Quote and Policy screens. We've moved the buttons from the sidebar into a new "Tools" dropdown, this removes some clutter from the sidebar and allowed us to move the Documentation into the "Summary" tab.
  • We have re-worked how the tabs work. This allows us to expand on the existing tabs in the future, should we need to.
  • Implement an Amazon S3 ByteStore
  • Added a "Customer Facing" flag to document options
  • Added flag to show the "View Claims" button on the Policy page, if the user has "View Claims" permissions
  • Added the option to disable the following features; Claims, Messages, Tracked Documents and Awaited Documents.

Unplanned Downtime - SW3 Front End [Fixed]

Published on 9 Feb 2018


Earlier today we experienced downtime on our SW3 platform for approximately 26 minutes (10:53am - 11:19am) due to a power issue on one of the live servers. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused, the issue has been identified and rectified, and all services are now back to normal.

To prevent a similar issue from happening in the future we plan to replace the hardware within the next two weeks. Once we have a date for the planned maintenance we will update you accordingly, although this will happen out of business hours so not to affect the running of the site.

Schemeswriter v3.27.0 is ready for testing

Published on 6 Feb 2018


Schemeswriter v3.27.0 includes several bug fixes and new features, and has been deployed to the testing environments.

Customer Portal: Online Renewals & Security Question Improvements
Customers will now be informed of upcoming renewals automatically via email once the record has been invited. They will be able to view renewal documents online, and optionally will be able to pay for the renewal via credit card. The payment feature needs to be switched on for each affiliate, so please contact support to enable this new feature.

Due to feedback from multiple customers and to make the process smoother for end customers, we have reduced the amount of questions that are required to retrieve a quote; you will now only be required to enter your postcode when following a link from a B2C portal. This does not impact the security of the system as a secure tokenised link is still required.

The policy page has been revamped and simplified to make it easier for the customer to see how much they are paying; the fee that was paid in the last transaction is now included when displaying the premium, or future annual premium if the policy has been adjusted, and the documents have been moved to their own page.



General Improvements
  • The number of times a policy has renewed is now available to the logic calculator
  • The performance of the question set when large numbers (50+) of repeats are included has been improved
  • Pending an overhaul, the current sanctions checking system has been removed
  • Online portal access can now be enabled when importing a policy via the API

Bug Fixes
  • In certain situations audit events were not visible on the timeline, these will now display correctly
  • Decline messages without a note from the underwriter now display a message, rather than appearing blank

Schemeswriter v3.26.0 is ready for testing

Published on 18 Dec 2017


Schemeswriter v3.26.0 includes several bug fixes and new features, and has been deployed to the testing environments.

Broker Refer at Renewal
Brokers will now be able to refer an invited renewal back to the insurer with notes so they can discuss premium and cover. The process works in the same way as a new business refer, so it should be familiar to your brokers and insurers.

Improved Search Results
We have made some changes to the algorithm that drives the search results, to improve the quality and the ordering of the items returned so you can find what you are looking for more efficiently. Searching by customer name will now be more consistent, as well as prioritising policies over quotes.



General Improvements
  • Expiring premium is now available to the documentation
  • Direct Debit payments now support a broker fee
  • French, Italian and Spanish tax rules have been implemented and can now be integrated into the products
  • Upgraded SagePay integration to use latest JSON API
  • B2C error page now contains a link to return to the homepage
  • Question set performance improvements

Bug Fixes
  • In certain situations a broker was not able to complete a renewal declaration, this has now been fixed

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+.