ACORD Licensing Changes Effective January 1, 2020

I wanted to inform you about ACORD’s new licensing policy. Effective January 1, 2020, ACORD will require all insurance agencies to directly license and pay membership fees to ACORD for the usage of the ACORD Forms. This licensing decision, made independently by ACORD, still requires Agency Systems and all other solution providers to obtain a license for the use and distribution of ACORD Forms; however, ACORD also now requires all agents and brokers who continue to use ACORD Forms after January 1 to obtain licenses directly from ACORD.

We have also been advised that under ACORD’s new licensing policy, members of The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (Big “I”) and/or National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) that have a group gross revenue of under $50 million will be eligible for a license from ACORD as part of their membership(s), with no additional payment necessary. Additional information for Big “I” members can be found in their FAQ and for PIA members in their press release.

Users who do not qualify for a license under their Big “I” membership, PIA membership or a qualifying ACORD membership are able to purchase a stand-alone End User License from ACORD. For additional information, please review the ACORD membership programs.

As always, thank you for selecting Agency Systems as your trusted technology partner.

This link is a very thorough explanation by Steve Anderson of the Acord situation for those wishing to learn more.  It also includes links to the Big “I”, PIA and Acord.

Regards,

R.H. Bud Allen

Director

Newton by Agency Systems

Agency Systems Announces Merger

Effective July 1, 2019, Agency Systems/Matrix Software, Inc., announces the acquisition of Connect Technologies, a software development company of web-based software solutions. “Immediately available as a result of the merger are web-based software solutions for Property and Casualty insurance agencies across the country”, said R.H. Bud Allen, Managing Director at Agency Systems.

Positive Impact on the Insurance Agency Management Systems Arena

Many wholesale and retail insurance agents have already benefited from the deployment of Connect Technology insurance solutions. “We look forward to bringing these and other web-based enhancements to the Newton platform”, said Allen.

Availability

Newton by Agency Systems is a 30-year Agency Management Systems provider with products driven by long term customer feedback. With the merger of Connect Technologies, a 15-year web solutions provider, Agency Systems has acquired the capacity to deliver proven web-based solutions in a speedy and cost-effective fashion.

Under the same ownership for over 30 years, Agency Systems has serviced thousands of Property and Casualty insurance agencies with technology you cannot outgrow. This merger ensures the continuance of a technology leadership position in the industry.

Newton Summer 2018 Update Now Available

The Newton Summer 2018 Update is the next major version of Newton by Agency Systems. The update enhances critical portions of Newton such as Download, Email, Activity, Forms, Accounting, and more. The update extends the functionality of these critical areas of Newton by connecting valuable E&O activity items to the source action items, providing an easy-to-follow workflow for all agency personnel.

Update Now Available

The Newton Summer 2018 Update is now available to all local and dedicated cloud hosting customers. As always, the update is provided at no cost to all Newton by Agency Systems customers.

Newton Summer 2018 Update Feature Highlights

Lola Insurance Marketing Integration for Newton

Lola is a provider of turnkey automation tools for insurance agencies like yours. Lola offers the most complete and cost-effective automated insurance marketing product in the industry. It is designed by insurance professionals to automate cross-selling, customer and prospect management, targeted marketing with ready-to-go content and more.

Lola Systems

  • Prospects and Customers
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Personalized Landing Pages
  • Custom Design Templates
  • Reporting and Accountability

Integration

Our development team has created a set of integration tools specifically designed for Lola. You now have an automated way to reach your clients and prospects with quality content on a continuing basis to maximize retention and coverage opportunities, recover lost business, and prospect for new business at pennies per year per client.

Learn More

We are excited to offer this integration opportunity with Lola. Click here to learn more about how to get started with Lola today!

Newton Summer 2018 Update Release Preview

The Newton Summer 2018 Update is the next major version of Newton by Agency Systems. The update enhances critical portions of Newton such as Download, Email, Activity, Forms, Accounting, and more. The update extends the functionality of these critical areas of Newton by connecting valuable E&O activity items to the source action items, providing an easy-to-follow workflow for all agency personnel.

The Newton Summer 2018 Update is scheduled for general availability by the end of the Summer 2018.

Newton Summer 2018 Update Feature Highlights
What is the Newton Release Preview Program?

The Newton Summer 2018 Update is now available as part of our Newton Release Preview Program. Although the release may not be feature-complete, we offer early access to participating agencies. Participation in the release preview program entirely optional and free of charge. See the information block at to the top of the release notes to get started.

Newton Spring Update Is Now Available

The Newton development team has finalized our Spring Update having updated all of our development frameworks with the latest technology available. This new release not only provides you the solid automation platform you can depend on for decades, but ensures you the lowest cost of ownership in the industry.

Newton by Agency Systems has been updated with a modern design and a streamlined category-based menu system. The updated interface provides easy access to common functions and leverages informational dashboards as sub-tabs to provide a streamlined multi-tasking environment.

Newton Spring Update Feature Highlights

Microsoft is Ending Support for Windows Vista

After April 11, 2017, Windows Vista customers will no longer receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/22882/windows-vista-end-of-support

If you continue to use Windows Vista after support has ended, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Internet Explorer 9 is no longer supported, so if your Windows Vista PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 9 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter more apps and devices that do not work with Windows Vista.

Agency Systems recommends Windows 10 Professional or Windows 7 Professional.


Where Will Your Management System Be In 30 Years?

Where will your management system be in 30 years? Agency Systems developed our first management software system in 1985 and have been under the same ownership since. While other vendors have come and gone, we thrived by embracing the technology employed by Fortune 1000 companies rather than expedient and least expensive development alternatives.  

The Newton development team is finalizing our latest version having updated all of our development frameworks with the latest technology available. This new release not only provides you the solid automation platform you can depend on for decades, but ensures you the lowest cost of ownership in the industry.


Where will your management system be in 30 years?

To illustrate the how we carry our technology forward, see below images of our first DOS system in 1985 and our 2017 release, up to date with the latest technology in the industry.

Where will your management system be in 30 years?
Empire – 1990s
Agency Solution - 2001
Agency Solution – 2001
Agency Systems - 2011
Agency Systems – 2011

What is new for 2017?

Newton by Agency Systems has been enhanced with a modern design and streamlined category-based menu system. The updated interface provides easy access to common functions, and leverages informational dashboards as sub-tabs to provide an efficient multi-tasking environment.

Newton by Agency Systems -2017
Newton by Agency Systems -2017
Newton Main Menu - 2017
Newton Main Menu – 2017
Client Dashboard With Sub-Tabs
Client Dashboard With Sub-Tabs

Are You Prepared For A Data Disaster?

A data disaster can occur through a number of unfortunate events. Hardware failure, physical theft and fire are common knowledge, however a more likely data disaster can occur through a specific kind of malware infection called ransomware.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware, commonly branded as Cryptolocker or CryptoWall, is delivered using infected email attachments or web links. When activated, the malware encrypts certain types of files stored on local and mounted network drives which requires a key to decrypt. The malware then displays a message which offers to decrypt the data if a payment is made by a stated deadline.

Although CryptoLocker itself can be removed, the files remain encrypted in a way which researchers consider infeasible to break. In the event of an infection that bypasses your security, a data backup is almost always required to restore access to the encrypted files.

Importance Of Data Backup

Creating a system backup is critical to prevent data loss in the event of a disaster. There are many different types of backup applications available to consumers.

We recommend commercial grade products, as well as verifying the integrity of your backups on a regular basis. If you cannot be assured that all your files are backed up without error, you do not have an adequate backup solution.

Choosing A Backup Provider

Our cloud hosting provider, Ajasent can provide the same offsite data backup and disaster recovery services used by our company to all Newton by Agency Systems customers.

Understanding the Ajasent Advantage:

  • The on-boarding experience is completely managed by qualified Ajasent engineers.
  • Pro-active monitoring is included and vital to securing your ability to recover anything.
  • Restoration and disaster recovery phone support is available if something goes wrong.
  • Even a backup plan should have a backup plan. Ajasent backups offer the ability to have one copy onsite and one copy offsite.
Are You Prepared For A Data Disaster?

If you have any questions about your current setup, please review our backup information guide below or contact our technical support.

Newton Wiki Newton Wiki

Ongoing Education With Newton Is Provided At No Charge

Our support and training staff are here to ensure you are using Newton to its fullest, including training on the latest features added in each release. This training and ongoing education with Newton is provided to you at no charge as a part of our service commitment to you.

Some agencies continue to pay My Newton Education (MNE) monthly as an ongoing education resource. While you are free to continue using MNE, please know that they do not have training on new releases and cannot keep you up to speed on the numerous new features that have been added to Newton.

Newton customers NEVER pay for training – we are here for your success!

Please contact Support for additional information.