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Tuesday January 2, 12:30 pm Pacific Time

Credit Engine Accelerates Auto Insurance Underwriting

GLENDORA, CA Jan 2  -- The MERit Credit Engine, MCE(TM), is being employed by Unitrin Direct Insurance Company for instant credit report retrieval and analysis as part of the insurance underwriting process.  Unitrin Direct (NYSE: UTR) is a member of the Unitrin family of insurance companies, and markets auto insurance directly to consumers through its Vista call center and Internet web site.

The Merit Credit Engine shortens development time and satisfies a mission-critical need, allowing Unitrin Direct to rapidly achieve the productivity needed to build a competitive organization.  "MERit has been quick to respond to our requests. Their software was easy to install and integrate with our applications," said Blake Kennedy, senior vice president of IT and operations at Unitrin Direct.

Credit data is customarily delivered as credit reports, difficult to analyze by humans, and difficult, as well, for custom software developers to dissect. The MCE, in contrast, requests raw data from credit reporting agencies, converts it to a standard format, and inserts the subject's file into the local SQL database to simplify analysis and integration.

MERit Credit Systems, Inc. (www.creditengine.net) is a leading provider of desktop and server-based online credit report retrieval software for businesses requiring quick and effective access to credit information from Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Its parent company, Tradewind Software, founded in 1983, is well known for custom and packaged applications involving data communications, with over 12 million end-user shipments for companies such as Rockwell International, Zenith Data Systems, Intel, IBM, EDS, Zoom Telephonics and Diamond Multimedia. Contact sales at 800-469-9081

Unitrin Direct (www.unitrindirect.com) is a member of the Unitrin family of insurance companies, headquartered in Chicago. Unitrin, Inc. member companies have served the basic financial needs of individuals, families and small businesses for more than 70 years. Through its subsidiaries, Unitrin provides property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, and consumer finance services. The Unitrin family of companies currently has over $6 billion in assets, over 6 million insurance policies in force and more than 100,000 consumer finance customers. Unitrin's companies employ over 7,400 associates. For more information about Unitrin Direct Insurance Company, contact Marc Zeitlin, SVP Marketing, at 877-506-6222.

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