ACORD and Implementation for Life Insurance: Challenges and Responses

While ACORD has been invaluable within the life insurance ecosystem, frustrated industry participants demand more of the standards-setting body.

Boston, March 28, 2011 � A new report from Aite Group discusses core offerings and forward-looking initiatives for the life insurance industry from ACORD, the industry’s largest and most important standards-setting body. Based on Aite Group conversations with 45 representatives of insurance carriers, distributors, technology vendors, and representatives of ACORD and its partner organizations, the report discusses standards that have been implemented within the life and annuity ecosystem, and discusses industry stakeholders’ perceptions of these standards’ impact.

Since its inception in the mid-1970s, ACORD has defined a wide range of standards to help life insurance industry participants exchange data more easily. Nonetheless, many in the industry have mixed feelings about ACORD. Its standards help market participants streamline many processes and more efficiently exchange data, but the sheer breadth of its standards and the daunting scale of their documentation and versioning issues complicate the full realization of ACORD’s promise. ACORD and its partners are working together energetically to achieve tighter integration for insurers, distributors, and solution providers.

“ACORD has done the life insurance industry immeasurable good by defining a broad range of standards,” says Clark Troy, research director with Aite Group and author of this report. “Part of the problem with this good is that it cannot be measured: Not only is there no easy way to quantify the benefits of most standards, there’s no stakeholder with both a strong incentive and the means to do so.”

The report profiles offerings from solutions and service providers that help life-insurance industry participants implement ACORD standards: IBM, Informatica, PilotFish Technology, Polaris, Prima Solutions, Progress Software, Vallue Consulting, and VERTEX.

This 32-page Impact Report contains four figures and one table. Clients of Aite Group’s Life Insurance service can download the report by clicking on the icon to the right.

About Aite Group

Aite Group is a leading independent research and advisory firm focused on business, technology and regulatory issues and their impact on the financial services industry. It was founded by leading industry experts in Banking and Securities & Investments. Aite Group brings together a team of business strategy, technology and regulatory experts to deliver comprehensive, timely, and actionable advice to financial institutions and technology vendors. It seeks to become a true partner, advisor, and catalyst by exchanging ideas and challenging basic assumptions to ensure that our clients always stay one step ahead of the competition.