The Agents Council of Technology (ACT) Download Work Group, which is affiliated with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA), Alexandria, Va., has issued a report to encourage carriers, vendors, agents and brokers to refine their downloading procedures to resolve ongoing agency concerns, particularly in the commercial lines area.The work group was formed in response to the findings of the 2002 ACORD/AUGIE survey, in which download emerged as a continuing issue for many agents. Agents generally noted wide variations from company to company in download procedures and results, and found that companies do not download data as accurately or thoroughly as can be accomplished through agencies' own data entry.

The ACT report identifies nine problem areas involving current downloads and makes recommendations for each of these problems. In addition, it outlines nine additional general recommendations to assist all stakeholders in improving the download process. The report notes that adoption of download has been especially slow in the commercial lines area. The work group's major recommendations include:

* Carriers should send in download all the data they have available.

* Carriers should follow standard procedures to protect agents' data.

* Carriers and vendors must document and share details on data they can process, and how they process it.

* Carriers and vendors should take advantage of standards to update transaction/activity logs on the agency management systems.

* Agents and their management system user groups must take responsibility for educating themselves on the process of download.

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