An IMSA Assessors Take On Expediting The Renewal Process
By Dennis M. Groner
Of the over 200 member companies of the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association, more than 70% will be up for renewal in the last quarter of 2003 or early in 2004. Those companies thinking about renewing their membership should begin planning for it now.
Currently, IMSA is working to update and enhance the processes and procedures that independent assessors use to determine whether or not the company meets IMSAs standards. A committee of company representatives and independent assessors has been formed to review procedures and develop an independent assessors handbook that standardizes them.
The updating of the independent assessors processes and procedures should be completed by summer 2003.
Further standardization of the independent assessment procedures is an important step for IMSA. Regulators and companies have been concerned about standardization and should welcome these moves. Independent assessors also will benefit from further standardization, since it will help them streamline their procedures and increase their effectiveness. New independent assessment standards also promise to create greater efficiencies for the independent assessment process that can reduce the assessments cost.
In the past IMSA had relied on training as the principal way of increasing standardization of the independent assessment process. Looking ahead, an independent assessors handbook, which borrows concepts and procedures from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Market Conduct Examiners Handbook, but is tailored to reflect the scope and mission of IMSA, should satisfy regulators that the independent assessment process is sound and effective.
Companies will know exactly what is required of the assessor and be better able to conduct their self-assessments to meet their assessors needs.
Some companies may want to wait until the independent assessors handbook is completed before proceeding with preparations for renewal. They may want to know more specifically what they will be expected to provide to independent assessors in the way of evidence that their policies and procedures exist, function as designed, are being implemented effectively, and are being monitored and supervised appropriately.
Instead of waiting until summer 2003, however, it may be in the companys best interest to begin preparing for renewal now. Here are some suggestions: