PEARL RIVER, NY, October 21 – As demonstrated today at the launch event for the Microsoft Office System in New York City, standardized forms for processing insurance transactions between independent agents and the insurance companies they represent will be getting smarter and easier to maintain for ACORD Advantage agents thanks to integration with Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, part of the Microsoft Office System.
ACORD, the global, nonprofit insurance standards organization, has developed more than 500 standard forms for the property and casualty as well as the life insurance industries. The forms are currently used by agents to manage the business of insurance. From applications, renewals and certificates to loss notices, ID cards and schedules, for auto insurance to workers compensation, ACORD Forms are an integral part of the workflow for agents and CSRs, explained Gregory Maciag, president and CEO, ACORD.
“Standardizing forms back in the 70s and 80s was a major step in improving agency workflow. Now, making those same forms available in an online, fill-able format will bring greater ease of use that will have a significant impact on an agency’s transaction costs. Giving ACORD Advantage agents easy access to those fill-able XML-based forms through Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, among other avenues, gives agents the kind of choice they want,” said Maciag. [The ACORD Advantage program provides distributors with unlimited access to ACORD Forms, along with tools and other services to help improve workflow and business operations. While currently serving the property and casualty lines of business, Advantage will be expanding to include life and annuity and other distribution channels.]
“XML support in the Microsoft Office System programs, such as Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, helps insurance agents to streamline their information-gathering processes,” said John Vail, director of the Information Worker Categories team at Microsoft Corp. “We’re delighted that ACORD is now able to present insurance distributors this new delivery option for important insurance forms, built on top of the Microsoft Office System, that are easier to use and lower costs.”
ACORD’s Maciag adds, “For agents, the convenience of having all of the ACORD Forms at their ‘fingertips’ knowing that they are the most up-to-date, compliant versions, is tremendous. Regardless of whether an agent uses a management system, access to the forms through Microsoft Office for Advantage participants, compliments their workflow and brings great efficiencies to their operations.”
About ACORD: Based in New York, ACORD is a global, nonprofit insurance association whose mission is to facilitate the development and use of standards for the insurance, reinsurance and related financial services industries. With offices in London as well, ACORD accomplishes its mission by remaining an objective, independent advocate for sharing information among diverse platforms. ACORD Standards and services improve efficiency and expand market reach. Affiliated with ACORD are hundreds of insurance and reinsurance companies, and thousands of agents and brokers, related financial services organizations, software providers, and industry organizations worldwide.