IPT Changes

Published on 30 Sep 2015

Today we have deployed changes to cater for the new IPT rate of 9.5% effective from 01/11/15.

Like all those affected across the insurance industry, we've had to be proactive in ensuring that we meet our customer needs, as the directives around this issued by the Government were not totally clear with at least a degree of ambiguity.

We consulted with our business clients and gained consensus from them to provide for a grace period.

To summarise, the Summer 2015 Budget included an increase to the standard rate of Insurance Premium tax (IPT) from the current 6% to 9.5%.

The rate change becomes effective from 01/11/15 and provides for a transitional (grace) period that ends on 29/02/16. This means:
  • Policies with a start/renewal date on/after 01/11/15 are liable to 9.5% IPT
  • Policies with a start/renewal date before 01/11/15 are liable to 6% IPT
  • Premiums paid on/after 01/03/16 will become liable for 9.5% IPT irrespective of the rate received from the policyholder or the start/renewal date of the policy
  • Any additional premiums or other policy changes (Mid-Term Adjustments) occurring before 01/11/15 are liable to IPT at 6%
  • Any additional premiums or other policy changes (Mid-Term Adjustments) occurring on or after 01/11/15 but before 01/03/16 are liable to IPT at 6% provided the underlying original policy premium was established prior to 01/11/15 and any additional premiums are booked before 01/03/16
  • Any additional premiums or other policy changes (Mid-Term Adjustments) occurring on or after 01/11/15 but before 01/03/16 where the original policy has a start/renewal date after 01/11/15 are liable to IPT at 9.5%
  • Any premium refunds will attract IPT credit according to the rate of tax appropriate at the start/renewal date

The transitional period does offer some period of grace for processing. However, it should be noted that if premiums due on pre-01/11/15 policies are not booked by 29/02/16, then they will be liable to the new rate of 9.5% IPT.

Version 3.11 is Live

Published on 29 Sep 2015

We've been quiet these last few weeks working on the latest version of SchemesWriter 3 and rolling some major new features in to the platform.

Our most important addition was the brand new Renewals workflow.
SchemesWriter 3 has full life-cycle management of policies and is able to help you process them in a fast and easy to use interface. Scheduled invites are sent and updates to quotes are processed seamlessly, allowing you to get on with keeping your customers happy.

Our new Single-Sign-On authentication system was rolled into this new version. Using the latest OpenID Connect identity layer it supersedes our previous iteration of OpenID, allowing us to extend our security and permission system in the future. While hopefully you didn't actually notice a change in the interface, underneath it all is a shiny new engine that should allow us to extend the permissions library and create a centrally managed administration interface for SchemesWriter 3 and all it's related services. Users will be managed in a central location allowing administrators to control and revoke access easily and quickly.

The new API for SchemesWriter 3 has been deployed with this version and is already in use. Our Accounts systems in SchemesWriter 2 & 3 are now wired up using data through the API, and our Middleware service will soon be using it to help with 3rd party integration for MTAs. Take a look at our previous post for a more in depth run-down of the API features.

The SchemesWriter 3 platform now tracks every penny of your premiums as payments make their way from customer to insurer allowing you to analyse commission, taxes, fees and more every step of the way.  This data source will allow you to integrate with your existing accounts system with minimal effort and generate any financial data stream you can dream of.

New API Magic

Published on 10 Sep 2015

We have been striving in recent weeks to continue pushing the boundaries of interoperability in our Schemeswriter software suite.

The latest technology in the larger business world to embrace this movement is APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
While the technology landscape is still shifting and changing, APIs across HTTP have emerged as the dominant method of communications between disparate systems.

As such, we have been implementing a modern and highly standards-based communication platform for our Schemeswriter applications and associated services.

Our new API platform outputs hypermedia data in the predominant formats of XML and JSON so that machines and systems can exchange information efficiently, while allowing our API end points to be discoverable and usable by third parties.

Nearly all of our business entities have been hooked into the API interface, allowing us to manipulate Quotes, Estimates, Policies, Users and Documents with any tool that speaks the API terminology.

This dramatic step forward will allow us to import business objects and workflows from third party systems with dramatically reduced lead-times, as well as integrate with any other system that has an applicable API entry-point. Our integrations can be pushed via our own Middleware system if some data translation is required, or in some cases will be able to push directly into other business systems.

Separating out the API interfaces also allows us to provide a better and more scalable architecture for the future.

This means that there will be fewer points of failure as we move to coupled micro-service architectures with fully load-balanced and High Availability software. It will also allow us to build new web sites and services on top of a unified business architecture, without reinventing the wheel for new systems. Policy and Document portals will be on the future road-map, as well as more easily integrated B2C web sites, utilising pure API integration.

All of the relevant data can travel efficiently and securely across the Internet, linking business systems together in new ways, so that our customers can get new integrations and insights into their data like never before.