- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

CSIO and ACORD: Cross Border Standards and Broker Connectivity

One of the great excuses for not implementing broker connectivity in Canada has now been put well and truly to rest.  Will brokers take advantage of the opportunity to find out what else stands in the way?

What’s The Excuse and What’s The Reality

Here’s the excuse in a nutshell.  A vendor or service provider is asked if it will support CSIO Standards based connectivity in Canada.  A well dressed sales executive replies, usually with great authority, “We already support ACORD Standards for our US customers and would have to develop a business case to support  a different standard from CSIO.”

That is supposed to end the conversation.  But it doesn’t have to.  Here’s the truth: the vast majority of CSIO Standards are virtually identical to ACORD Standards.  And, as importantly, both organizations are committed to maintaining a relationship which will continue harmonization of Standards initiatives.

How Do You Know?

Recently, Sarina Visram, CSIO Manager of Member Relations, visited ACORD’s  Pearl River, New York offices and met with several key ACORD staff, including Lloyd Chumley,  ACORD Vice President, Standards.

In an interview following the visit (click here for the video), Chumley summed up the relationship in a recorded interview: “What we do by working closely with CSIO is ensure the harmonization of those standards across the border.  It’s beneficial for the brokers in Canada because they have a local office that they can work with. And it’s beneficial for our members in the US because it is the same underlying standard and it’s easy to navigate.”

Visram noted, “I really think it’s important for CSIO and ACORD to have a really close working relationship, because ACORD is a global organization.”   Visram sees the relationship giving CSIO’s mission substantial support during an important period: “CSIO is growing. There’s so much opportunity to provide more services to our members. We have an opportunity to learn from ACORD and learn their best practices.”

Is This New?

This relationship has been going on for quite some time.  A release accompanying the interview says, “ACORD has been delivering the underlying standards for CSIO since the ’90s, starting with a flat file format. In 2005, ACORD began delivering its XML under the CSIO brand. CSIO gathers requirements; manages the working groups and organizes the vote.”

There are a few exceptions.  CSIO developed the eDocs Standard independently.  Also, there are separate code lists for Canadian unique requirements.  However, these are very small in comparison to all the similarities.

What Can You Do With This?

So, the next time you hear the Standards excuse, you know the answer.  Our question to you now:  With that put to bed, what other reasons can there be for not moving forward?