Online ACORD Form Eliminates Need for Redundant Info Requests
PEARL RIVER, NY – October 26, 2006 – To eliminate redundant information requests, the ACORD-User Groups Information Exchange (AUGIE) is promoting a new questionnaire form that lets independent agencies organize data commonly requested by carriers.
The form, Agency Questionnaire (ACORD 812), was developed after agents and brokers expressed concern that too much time is spent filling out multiple questionnaires, according to AUGIE leaders. “Every carrier seems to ask agencies the same questions every year,” says Jo Ann Litwin, who chaired the AUGIE working group that addressed the problem. “The questions are generally valid, but many are also redundant-from year to year and carrier to carrier.”
The new form allows an agency to fill out or update-once each year-as much information as it wants and make that available to all its carriers. This procedure will save hours of time over the course of a year, said Litwin, principal of Litwin, Castle & Christ, an Orchard Park, NY-based agency.
The questionnaire form includes data fields for primary contact name and e-mail; agency profile (principals, managers, CSRs, producers) and license numbers; agency office information, such as branch locations; agency premium and mix of business; interface information (download, upload, real time, etc.); technology information, such as agency management system version and Internet connections; and other commonly requested information.
A non-fillable version of the form is incorporated in AUGIE’s popular Productive Agency Visits by Insurance Carrier Marketing Reps: A Guide to Improved Communications on Workflow & Technology, available at www.acordadvantage.org/resources/resources.aspx. The online guidebook improves communications between agencies (owners and staff) and carrier field representatives.
A fillable version of the form is available at no charge to members of ACORD Advantage, a program offering a variety of benefits to agents, including access to a range of forms. (See http://www.acordadvantage.org/forms/forms.aspx.) ACORD’s fillable forms have the same look and feel as paper and PDF versions, but offer the ability to fill out each form on screen; and, with the click of a button, e-mail, print, save or fax it.
Litwin encouraged agents to use and become familiar with the ACORD questionnaire form, and to urge carriers they represent to accept it instead of-or along with-company-specific questionnaires. “This was designed after a detailed review of existing carrier questionnaires,” she said. “It includes virtually all of the questions asked on any carrier form.”
Several agency management system providers are expected to add the Agency Questionnaire to their lists of available forms, meaning that most data can be extracted from the systems without rekeying, Litwin notes.
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. www.acord.org.