The Personal Insurance Division of Royal & SunAlliance USA has successfully launched Orion AutoLink, its web- based agency interface for nonstandard auto insurance products, in 23 states where those products, marketed under the brand name of Orion Auto, are sold.

On May 8 AutoLink was deployed to agents in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. AutoLink previously was made available in California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Texas.

Accessible through the company web site, orionauto.com, AutoLink enables agents to go online and submit endorsements, make cash payments, complete billing and policy inquiries, and request supplies. It also serves as a source of e-mail communications between agents and the company.

As one of the first insurers to offer a web-based system, Royal & SunAlliance is encouraging agents to become web-proficient by providing complimentary training through elementK, an online training source. The training is free for 30 days. After that, agents may sign up for continued service through elementK. Additionally, marketing specialists are conducting on-site training during routine visits with agents and their staffs, and the company maintains an AutoLink help desk during business hours.

Response to the easy-to-use AutoLink has been enthusiastic. In California, which went online in December, nearly 25 percent of the Company's 2,000 nonstandard auto agents have registered for AutoLink capability. As agents become familiar with AutoLink, usage is growing. From February through April, the number of online transactions completed in the state grew monthly by 100 percent.

"AutoLink has taken our already strong service to the next level," said Steve Frisina, regional product manager, Irvine, California. "We've seen no resistance to this new technology and, in fact, agents not only are embracing it, but they're using it to improve the quality of their service. We've put control of both time and accuracy into their hands, and they're passing this efficiency on to their customers."

AutoLink will be introduced in the remaining states where Royal & SunAlliance's nonstandard products are sold by the end of June.

The Royal & SunAlliance Personal Insurance Division is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado. In addition to nonstandard automobile insurance, the Division offers a broad mix of standard and preferred insurance products, including auto, homeowners and umbrella coverages.

Royal & SunAlliance USA is part of the international Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc, London, one of the top 10 multi-line insurance companies in the world. The Group has $100 billion in assets, property/casualty and life premiums of more than $16 billion, shareholders' equity of $10 billion, and the ability to transact business in more than 130 countries.