PEARL RIVER, NY – September 27, 2005 – ACORD (www.acord.org) announced the release of 105 standardized Life and Annuity forms available via the internet. All the forms are downloadable PDFs and specified by carrier and/or state for use.
Several prominent life and annuity companies have been leading the way by authorizing ACORD to file on their behalf and then adopting and implementing them. These companies include: Genworth; First Colony Life Insurance Company; United of Omaha Life Insurance Company; Fidelity Life Association; Allstate Life Insurance Company; Lincoln Benefit Life Company; Security-Life of Denver Insurance Company; Reliastar Life Insurance Company; and Merrill Lynch Life Insurance Company. Other companies have signed or are in the process of joining the program.
As the number of available forms continues to increase, it is believed that more carriers will become part of the program and will authorize ACORD to file on their behalf.
“All of us in the industry recognized that there was a common problem plaguing most insurance companies – the need to create and maintain their own unique forms. And with both internal and regulatory changes coming faster than ever, they were left with stockpiles of obsolete paper,” said Ron Dudley, vice president, Standards, ACORD. “Unique forms with the constant changing, filing and re-filing with regulators was a burden that could be alleviated by using standardized ACORD forms.”
To accommodate all members of the life and annuity communities, ACORD provides both member and non-member programs to encourage participation and adoption across the value chain. “More and more carriers are seeing the benefits of standardizing these forms. Not only do they streamline processing, but eliminate the need to constantly monitor and update their forms as regulations continue to evolve,” said Denise Garth, vice president, Membership and Development, ACORD. “The goal is to ease the burden on members across the value chain and help them concentrate on their main business and bottom line.”
For more than three decades, ACORD has been recognized by the insurance industry for its standardized P&C forms. In 2000, this Life & Annuity Forms initiative began in response to the Life & Annuity industries’ calls for new ways to exchange information with trading partners, enter new markets, and streamline the new business process. By 2002, the first forms were created. ACORD worked in conjunction with NAILBA (National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies) and NAVA (National Association for Variable Annuities) in this effort.
“In a multi-carrier environment, the inclusion of standardized forms is not only cost effective, but also increases the likelihood of an application being in good order,” said Kevin T. Merz, NAILBA chairman. “Thanks to the relationship forged with ACORD, the result simplifies the application process from customer experience through fulfillment.”
“With the assistance of NAILBA and NAVA, we are improving workflow, giving all participants the ability to use the same forms across multiple product lines and distribution channels. This makes it easier for distributors while letting everyone focus on products and services, not forms,” said Brian Marable, program manager, Forms, ACORD.
“As NAVA continues to work towards straight-through processing for the annuities industry, we saw the need for standardized forms to facilitate data collection and help move the industry forward,” said Deborah Tucker, vice president, NAVA. “Our work with ACORD on not only these forms but on the annuity data standards has been essential to improving data quality and consistency and helping increase efficiencies throughout the industry.”
Based in New York, ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) 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, solution providers, and industry organizations worldwide.