Pearl River, N.Y. - To eliminate redundant information requests, the ACORD-User Groups Information Exchange (AUGIE) is promoting a new questionnaire form, available online, that lets independent agencies organize data commonly requested by carriers.The form, Agency Questionnaire (ACORD 812), was developed after agents and brokers expressed concern that too much time is spent filling out multiple questionnaires, according to AUGIE leaders. "Every carrier seems to ask agencies the same questions every year," says Jo Ann Litwin, who chaired the AUGIE working group that addressed the problem. "The questions are generally valid, but many are also redundant--from year to year and carrier to carrier."

The new form allows an agency to fill out or update--once each year--as much information as it wants and make that available to all its carriers. This procedure will save hours of time over the course of a year, says Litwin, principal of Litwin, Castle & Christ, an Orchard Park, N.Y.-based agency.

The questionnaire form includes data fields for primary contact name and e-mail; agency profile (principals, managers, CSRs, producers) and license numbers; agency office information, such as branch locations; agency premium and mix of business; interface information (download, upload, real time, etc.); technology information, such as agency management system version and Internet connections; and other commonly requested information.

A non-fillable version of the form is incorporated in AUGIE's Productive Agency Visits by Insurance Carrier Marketing Reps: A Guide to Improved Communications on Workflow & Technology, available at www.acordadvantage.org/resources/resources.aspx. The online guidebook improves communications between agencies (owners and staff) and carrier field representatives.

A fillable version of the form is available at no charge to members of ACORD Advantage, a program offering a variety of benefits to agents, including access to a range of forms (see http://www.acordadvantage.org/forms/forms.aspx). ACORD's fillable forms offer the ability to fill out each form on screen and e-mail, print, save or fax it.

Several agency management system providers are expected to add the Agency Questionnaire to their lists of available forms, meaning that most data can be extracted from the systems without rekeying, Litwin notes.

Source: ACORD

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