NU Online News Service, Oct. 23, 11:30 a.m. – GE Financial Assurance, Richmond, Va., says it is the first life insurance carrier to deliver pending case downloads in the new ACORD XML format adopted as standard by the industry by the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development, Pearl River, N.Y.

GE Financial says adopting the standard will enable it to get needed information to agencies quickly and easily. The first agency to use its XML pending-case downloads is Colonial Brokerage House in Lynchburg, Va., it adds.

XML allows companies to exchange data readily with other companies’ computer systems. Its use has been championed by ACORD, a nonprofit industry organization dedicated to standardizing data transmission, technology, forms and applications across the insurance industry.

GE Financial says it supports standardization because it reduces training time needed by brokerage general agency staff and their producers to manage multiple documents and data from different carriers. It also reduces the potential for errors as well as the time needed to fill out documents. That ultimately translates into more time for brokers to bring in new business and better serve existing customers, the company explains.

“This technological advancement will allow customers to create individualized reports from the wealth of information on pending insurance applications contained in the download–something not easily done through the fixed-format NAILBA standard,” the company says in its announcement, referring to a standard established by the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies, McLean, Va.

Company officials say GE Financial is committed to instituting ACORD XML standards throughout its business.

The company is introducing the XML standard in phases, it says, “toward an overall goal of offering more complete data, in a more timely fashion and covering more aspects of the agency-carrier business relationship.”