Alexandria, Va.-During the past year, the Agents Council for Technology (ACT), working closely with ACORD and agency management system user groups, has undertaken a major initiative to make commercial lines download more accurate and effective for independent insurance agencies and brokers.ACT's commercial lines download work group, which drew broad participation from carriers, vendors, agents, and user groups, has released a series of important recommendations toward this end.
"Our accomplishments to date demonstrate the industry's strong interest and commitment toward fixing past problems and working toward successful implementation of commercial lines download," says Donna Barr, assistant vice president, Marsh USA Inc., private client services division, co-chair of the ACT commercial lines download work group, and chair of the ASCnet interface committee for Applied Systems users. ACT is part of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA)
"We have three key accomplishments to-date to improve commercial lines downloads: the development of an ACORD implementation guide to give carriers and vendors more specific guidance in implementing these downloads, the crucial addition of an agency testing process by carriers to make sure the downloads sent are accurate, and the development of three prototype documents to assure that agents get the information they need to implement these downloads in their systems successfully."
With ACORD's help, the work group developed the ACORD CLDL Implementation Guide for the five major commercial lines--BOP, property, general liability, business auto and workers' compensation. This guide, which is now in the final ACORD approval process, identifies for carriers and vendors the minimum data elements agents need to receive in the CLDL process in order for the information to be sufficient. The guides also inform agents as to what they can expect when they receive commercial lines downloads.
"A major finding of our study is that carrier implementation of an agency testing process as part of the CLDL implementation process is critical to assure that the commercial lines downloads being sent are accurate, complete, and appear where agents expect to see them," says Cyndy Smith, vice president of technology at Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc., co-chair of the ACT commercial lines download work group, and chair of the CLDL committee of the AMS users group. "There was considerable misunderstanding as to the scope of the ACORD and vendor download certifications. These certifications only test that the data being sent is in the proper ACORD standard format, not that the data itself is accurate."
ACT's recommendations are contained in its report, "ACT CLDL Work Group Review of Accomplishments & Next Steps; Recommended Agency Testing Process" which is available in the "Technology Reports" section of the ACT Web site at www.independentagent.com/actg.
Source: Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America
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