CITS Initiative Continues to Develop Guidelines for the Life Insurance Industry: CLIEDIS

From the initial goal of developing standards for carriers to provide distributors with pending case electronic data feeds, CLIEDIS members have proceeded to develop additional standards for in force business and commissions data feeds. The CITS initiatives continue to be successful because distributors, carriers and vendors agree to work together and put the needs of the industry ahead of individual needs.

CLIEDIS has had great success in the development of guidelines for the various types of data feeds. A set of guidelines for commissions was completed in late 2008 and members are currently working on feeds for broker updates, imaged documents and enhancements to the inforce feed.

Work is also being done on a feed for broker updates. This initiative differs from past CITS initiatives, with the goal to facilitate a two-way flow of information from distributors to carriers and vice versa.

Imaging is moving to the forefront as members continue to find ways to save money by reducing printing costs. As with all electronic data feeds, the key to success is to have a standardized feed from all business partners. CLIEDIS is forming a working group for transmitting images, such as applications or commission statements.

The CITS inforce data feed guidelines will include additional support for Universal Life products, loans and annuities. The target for availability of this next set of guidelines is the second quarter 2009.

A few carriers have implemented the CITS guidelines and are sending data feeds in the CITS format for pending case data feeds and there is some work being done on inforce feeds. Distributors are now waiting for more carriers to begin sending the feeds in the CITS format for all the feeds.

This year’s CLIEDIS Annual General Meeting was the most successful ever. Most of the major distributors were in attendance and the message was loud and clear. They are tired of paper and the 1970s style of doing business with paper. Carriers will need to get on board and begin to send standardized data feeds for all their business needs or else risk losing business.

CLIEDIS, the Canadian Life Insurance Standards Association, has been coordinating Canadian interests in the development of public standards for the Canadian life insurance industry since 1995. CLIEDIS members consist of carriers, distributors, assocations and their business partners. The organization supports its mission to enhance the efficiency of the Canadian life insurance industry with the use of common standards through training, development and industry advocacy activities. In 2001, CLIEDIS partnered with ACORD, the international body responsible for XML for Life data standards. CLIEDIS assures future development of these standards meet the requirements of Canadian members. CLIEDIS is not-for-profit and funded solely by its members. For more information about CLIEDIS, please contact Julie Parrott, CLIEDIS’s Executive Director, at (416) 830-3161 or visit