ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla.--As some insurance carriers tinker with proprietary policy download solutions in their electronic interfaces with independent agents and brokers, agents are seeing increased workflow time as well as other unanticipated issues, according to the Applied Systems Client Network (ASCnet), the user group of Applied Systems agency management technology. "Agents are paying the price for unconventional download," said ASCnet President Robby Dunn. "For years, IVANS, trade associations, carriers, agents and their vendors have worked side-by-side to integrate common, multi-company communication components, develop file retrieval and update processes, and establish clear agency support services. We all saw the advantage of an industry solution. Competing on technology in this space did not make economic or business sense then, and it still doesn't."

ASCnet's Interface Committee is launching a detailed study to quantify workflow issues with "one-off download," Dunn said. The additional expense doesn't stop at the agency, Dunn said. The carriers themselves are required to provide communication support to agents for the proprietary download, he said. And they need to establish and maintain agency connection security, which in some cases duplicates, at additional cost, the industry-supported solutions already available.

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