Real time, download, paperless—the insurance industry has seen a number of Web site changes over the past few years. The Retail Agent—E&S Market Initiative, an initiative started by ACT, AAMGA and NAPSLO to improve the efficiencies for retail agents interacting with managing general agents and wholesale brokers in the E&S market, and to promote the electronic exchange of data between the parties, offers some guidance to these changes. To this end, the initiative has released “Roadmap to Effective General Agent (GA) Web sites.”

“This roadmap establishes a directional guide to assist managing general agents and wholesale brokers (GAs) in building out their Web site functionality so that it responds to the needs of retail agents (RAs) and prepares GAs for future integration with RAs and GA back-end systems, raters and carriers,” says Eldon Hunsicker, an independent agent with NOEL Insurance Agency in Ottumwa, Iowa, and chair of the sub-group that created the report.

The basic “Roadmap” outlines a four-step process for the evolution of the ideal GA Web site functionality:
1.0  GENERATION 1: basic marketing information
2.0  GENERATION 2: login capability with a quick quote or indication generator and view/request/report capability
3.0  GENERATION 3: straight-through-processing from the GA Web site to back-end GA systems
4.0  GENERATION 4: offers real time, straight-through-processing to/from the RA management systems (upload and download) by integrating with the GA systems so the RA can work from and not need to leave their agency management system environment.

“The Retail Agent—E&S Market Initiative continues to make excellent progress,” says Angelyn Treutel, independent agent, ACT chair and co-chair of the work group. “The work group and its three subgroups now involve more than 300 industry representatives including ACORD representatives, retail agents, general agents, wholesale brokers, E&S carriers and vendors all working to improve how retailers and MGA/Wholesalers do business together.”

The report also supports the overall working group’s other goals of incorporating the ACORD standards, increasing the use of standardized ACORD applications and developing standardized supplements where necessary in the E&S market.

For a copy of the full report, go to and click on “E&S Market Issues.”

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