Take Care Going PaperlessThere are many potential benefits for the independent agency system as carriers begin to eliminate the paper sent to agents and replace it with electronic information. But success will be determined by how well carriers, agencies and vendors communicate with one another and carry out their own responsibilities during the conversion process. This is according to the the Agents Council for Technology (ACT), which is affiliated with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA), Alexandria, Va.

ACT suggests that carriers advise their agents of any intent to move in a paperless direction at least one year in advance. Carriers should advise agents to implement the appropriate download, real-time information inquiry transactions, and electronic information management within their agency systems. Furthermore, carriers should provide agents at least a six-month testing period to enable them to discover any inadequacies in the carrier's electronic approach in time for the carrier to fix them.

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