At the recent ACORD LOMA meeting, a slew of life-oriented products was introduced
By Ara C. Trembly
New initiatives aimed at streamlining workflow and improving agent access to ACORDs products and services were announced at the first ever ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum held here last month.
Combining the life insurance industrys LOMA Systems Forum and ACORDs Annual Conference, the new trade show drew between 2,400 and 2,500 total participants, according to Rick Gilman, vice president of Pearl River, N.Y.-based ACORD.
At the conference, ACORD announced its new Advantage Web site (www.acordadvantage.org), which it said will improve ACORD Advantage agent and broker access to the organizations products and services. The ACORD Advantage Program gives agents and brokers information and services that help with operations, compliance and communications, in addition to unlimited access to ACORD Forms, the Web site notes. ACORD Advantage membership entitles agents and all employees at a location to 12 months of access to the ACORD Advantage services and products at a flat $129 fee.
Members previously had accessed services via the ACORD Web site, but ACORD said separating the program from the main site will vastly improve access. Users will find that they can navigate more quickly through a simplified menu of options, ACORD noted. The primary reason for visits to the site is to access and download ACORD Standard Forms for Property and Casualty and Life, Annuity and Health Insurance, the association added.
ACORD also demonstrated its newly released ACORD Fillable Forms, which it said would streamline the agent information workflow.
We began more than 30 years ago with paper forms and then added downloadable static forms for members on our Web site, said Denise Garth, vice president, membership and development, for ACORD. This is yet another improvement, providing our members with increased options and capabilities, making their workflow even more efficient, and expanding their market opportunities.
Once members download and install the required ACORD Reader, they can view and enter forms data directly on their screens, ACORD explained. The completed form can then be e-mailed, faxed and printed. Additional features include on-screen pop-up instructions for all form fields, based on the ACORD Forms Instruction Guide. Users also can provide feedback on the forms directly to ACORD from within the forms.
The forms, instructions and additional information are available on the ACORD Advantage Web site.
Also at the conference, London, U.K.-based ri3k Limited announced the launch of LifeRIC, which the company said is “the world’s first electronic data hub for the North American life reinsurance industry.”
According to ri3k, “LifeRIC automates the transformation of in-force data between direct writers, reinsurers and retrocessionaires, enabling data interchange on the hundreds of millions of lives insured in this market.” It provides a single integration point for the industry, allowing back-office systems to communicate in a common format.
“The hub transforms the life data into a single ACORD format and then passes it on automatically in the required format of the receiving system,” the company explained. “This eradicates the need for individual data sorting or reformatting, reducing processing costs and providing much more accessible information.”
“LifeRIC delivers automated feeds of correctly mapped data,” said Alex Letts, chief executive of ri3k. He added that the company’s Media Conversion Center also accepts files in paper, fax, cartridge or CD format, then transforms them into usable data. “We will digitize any media for those who want it.”
LifeRIC is completely owned by ri3k, which intends to offer the hub free to the industry with an eye toward later taking on systems integration business associated with the hub, a company spokesman said. Growth of the technology will depend on cooperation within the industry, however. “It needs for the big players to put aside their competitive instincts and to collaborate with each other,” said Letts.
Further details are available at www.ri3k.com.
Chester, Pa.-based AdminServer, Inc. announced availability of the new J2EE and .NET versions of its life and annuity policy administration system.