The leaders of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s Agents Council for Technology (ACT) and ACORD’s User Group Information Exchange (AUGIE) recently concluded joint planning sessions and agreed to promote four important industry priorities in 2013: ID federation, real time, e-signatures and client self-service capabilities.

“Carriers and vendors frequently ask the agents to identify their key technology-related priorities which they would like to see the whole industry get behind and adopt,” said Jim Armitage, ACT chairman and VP of Arroyo Insurance in Arcadia, Calif. “We have now done that and encourage industry leaders to support these priorities and implement them.”

To support the ID Federation and movement to federated digital identities to replace passwords, the organizations have efforts underway to encourage vendors to become identity providers and for carriers to support the initiative. Pushing this technology has an extra motive, as the group’s asserts that the development of an effective digital identity infrastructure is also likely to increase agency use of Real Time and enable agencies to provide greater customer functionality through the agency website, such as to make a payment.

Aside from calling for ID federation as a means of increasing agent and carrier adoption of real time, the groups also encourage carriers to build out their transactions following the industry recommended workflows, so that agencies will have a consistent experience across their carriers. This includes increasing the use of real time for commercial business, including program and E&S business, and supporting the all-industry Real Time Day to be held April 9, 2013.

The last two initiatives are intended to make life easier for agents by incorporating e-signatures into their client workflows and enhancing self-service capabilities through the agency website, both of which are big pluses in terms of meeting customer expectations.

“In addition to advocating for these industry priorities, both ACT and AUGIE will put greater focus on achieving successful industry implementations of the recommendations that come out of our groups,” said Cal Durland, CPCU, ACORD director of member relations and AUGIE facilitator. “We will ask our working groups to validate their recommendations with a larger audience, encourage proof of concepts and develop timelines to set industry expectations.”

ACT and AUGIE have worked together on numerous issues in recent years and this recent effort is part of that continuing partnership.

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