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Compliance Best Practices Posts


December 18, 2017

Preparing for FINRA Exams: OBAs and PSTs

There are many areas to look at in making sure you are prepared for your next FINRA audit. FINRA has done their part in helping you prepare, by releasing their 2017 Examination Findings Report so that firms "can further improve their compliance functions based on the experiences of other firms"...

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March 6, 2017

Outside Business Activity Best Practices

In the securities industry, FINRA requires that all registered representatives disclose any outside business activity (OBA) including compensation that is earned outside of the scope or relationship of their firm. The goal is to ensure that these activities aren't interfering with the firm or affecting clients in any way. But what is considered an OBA? How do reps ensure that they are complying with this rule? What practices should your businesses follow to ensure you're effectively monitoring and supervising your team...

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January 3, 2017

Carrier Adjuster Licensing Best Practices – Pt.5: How are other carriers managing the process?

So, we've discussed challenges of adjuster licensing; shared licensing, state by state rules, and designated home state requirements; discussed CAT losses and emergency licensing; and discussed simple tricks of managing education and CE. All of these posts aim to help you better understand the ins and outs of adjuster licensing, but I'm sure you're asking yourself – how can I take this knowledge back to my team and implement a better compliance practice for adjuster licensing?

By: Lisa Duling

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December 20, 2016

Carrier Adjuster Licensing Best Practices – Pt.4: Emergency Licensing and CAT Losses

With this year's destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew, many of you may have recently experienced the strenuous processes associated with emergency licensing for catastrophic (CAT) losses. For those that aren't familiar, here is a quick rundown.

By: Jay Davis

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October 27, 2016

Carrier Adjuster Licensing Best Practices – Pt.3: Education and CE Fun Facts

In our last post, we discussed the Step 1 in initial licensing processes and for those in states without license requirements, designated home state selection. Step 2 in the process includes completing all education requirements for the state that the adjuster is doing claims in. And as you may be aware, it's not as simple as taking a single exam...

By: Heather Omran

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August 19, 2016

Carrier Adjuster Licensing Best Practices – Pt.2: Understanding licensing and designated home state requirements

One of the greatest difficulties in managing adjuster licensing is the complexities that come from a lack of uniformity between the states. Currently, only 34 states have adjuster licensing requirements for independent adjusters (if you include Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.) So, what does this mean for an adjuster who doesn't reside in one of those states...

By: Jay Davis

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July 7, 2016

Carrier Adjuster Licensing Best Practices – Pt.1: Are you managing adjuster licensing properly?

Similar to producer licensing, some carriers choose to have their adjusters manage their own licensing or others have a designated person or team to manage adjuster credentials. However, with the complexities of adjuster licensing, we're finding that more and more carriers are taking on the task to ensure that they're not risking...

By: Sydney Beaudreault

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June 1, 2016

Anatomy of a Regulatory Change – Pt.5: Communication is Key

Earlier we mentioned that "communication is key", but we described the Vertafore communications loop only. What about you? When a regulatory change occurs, who do you need to inform? There are several key players that you should make sure you are working with so that things don't go wrong...

By: Patrick Masi

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June 21, 2016

Anatomy of a Regulatory Change – Pt.4: Data Impacts and Process Changes

So we've proactively monitored industry sources to see a regulatory change coming, and we've updated our operational practices so that our team knows how to deal with the changes to compliance procedures. We've done a lot to get this far, but things are about to get really technical, really fast...

By: Patrick Masi

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May 17, 2016

Anatomy of a Regulatory Change – Pt.3: Compliance Best Practices

As Leslie mentioned in the previous post, there are several existing resources and groups that can help you monitor change. However, once you're aware of a potential change or know that a law, statute, rule, or regulation will require change in your business processes, then it is time to act/react. In being responsive, there are three stages including pre, during, and post-change that may have several steps and action items that you should be ready for...

By: Holli Bratt

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May 10, 2016

Anatomy of a Regulatory Change – Pt.2: How to Be Proactive

In Pt. 1: Understanding the Regulatory Change Process, Tim Owen introduced the complex web of interactions associated with regulatory change. In this installment, we're going to examine the beginning of that web. Whether a change is legislative, operational (rules and regs), or technical, the process starts well before the change goes into effect. Proactive monitoring is the first step towards...

By: Leslie Kosal

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April 19, 2016

Anatomy of a Regulatory Change – Pt.1: Understanding the regulatory change process

I talk to our customers all the time about the importance and difficulties of effectively and efficiently adapting to regulatory changes. Whether it's a regulator, agency, education provider, securities firm, or carrier customer, the same question often seems to surface: What's so hard about it? Here's the short answer. A regulatory change generates an extensive web of dependent and inter-connected changes across all the...

By: Tim Owen

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February 23, 2016

One Compliance Lesson You Can Learn from Zenefits

You may have seen Buzzfeed's first report on a controversy concerning the software company, Zenefits. In a nutshell, Zenefits provides a "benefits software program" that manages employee health benefits, timecards, payroll, and other HR related back office tasks. The software is free of charge, but organizations must replace their current agent with a Zenefits agent, allowing Zenefits to be paid commissions. Zenefits then...

By: Sydney Beaudreault

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January 29, 2016

Master Compliance with Connections

Whether you're an agent or you work in an agency, you're probably familiar with the processes necessary to keep your licensing and continuing education (CE) information up to date. In last year's "Are You Managing Your Producer Credentials Efficiently?" post, I discussed how people today are trying to make this process as efficient as possible; however, we found that the most common practices...

By: Scott Gillahan

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December 22nd, 2015

Sircon's Top Blogs of 2015

This year, Sircon blog subscription has almost doubled! So we would like to extend a big Sircon thanks to you, the reader, our subscribers, and all of our wonderful guest bloggers. With the year coming to a close, here's a roundup all of our most read posts (and a few of my personal favorites) for you to read as you prepare for 2016.

By: Sydney Beaudreault

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December 10, 2015

Carriers: Best Practices for Managing Producer Data

Earlier this fall, we spoke about the importance of keeping your producer data up to date and accurate in this webinar. With poor producer data, your business can face lengthy onboarding times, delayed sales, potential audit failures, and some pretty unhappy agents. To steer you away from that bumpy road, here's 7 things that you can do to more efficiently manage your producer data...

By: Dalen Feighner

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September 15, 2015

Just-in-Time Appointments Update: How will these potential changes affect you?

Back in May, Patrick Masi raised some questions from the SILA conference regarding Just-in-Time (JIT) appointments and the authorization process. With the SILA 2015 National Education conference right around the corner, those questions are slowly being reviewed and answered. At the August NAIC National Meeting in Chicago in August for example, the NAIC Producer Licensing Working Group (PLWG) continued discussions that started at last year's SILA conference regarding the language surroun...

By: Leslie Kosal

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May 26, 2015

Save Time and Get to Market Faster Than Ever with the New ACORD 821 Form

Is onboarding and appointing agents a source of friction between you and your agency or carrier partners? Perhaps you're already aware of, and possibly using, the ACORD standard form for producer information, which has promoted much-needed uniformity and easier business for a few years now. If you're already using the ACORD 821 Producer Information form, we have great news for you. And if you're not, the news we have for you is even better. In the name of standardized (and j...

By: Tim Owen

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May 19, 2015

Just-In-Time Appointments Update

My last post talked quite a bit about how a carrier might track securities registrations for independent reps. This is just one of many operational issues that Sircon will be discussing with the industry at this year's IRI Ops & Tech Conference, this week in Nashville, TN. In addition, we expect that Just-In-Time Appointments will continue to be a hot topic. In fact, significant questions about this practice were raised during last year's SILA national education conference ...

By: Patrick Masi

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May 12, 2015

Getting More Done with Less: An Exception-based Processing User Spotlight

If you've had a chance to participate in recent industry education conferences — such as SILA, NetVU, or the upcoming IRI Operations and Technology conference — you may have run into someone from Vertafore talking about exception-based processing. In case you missed us, exception-based processing is the idea of using automation to take care of routine compliance, so your team of licensing specialists can focus on the difficult exception cases. Recently, I spoke with a customer who had an interes...

By: Patrick Masi

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April 27, 2015

Are You Managing Your Producer Credentials Efficiently?

In today's digital world, it sometimes surprises me to see how insurance agencies are maintaining and managing producer credentials. Stuck in the Past Agencies are always looking for new ideas to improve processes and become more efficient. But there's a problem: many seem to be stuck in the pre-computing 1960s. However, there have not been many cost-effective options for agencies to easily manage not only their own agency credentials, but also those of their produc...

By: Scott Gillahan

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February 02, 2016

Sila Highlights

RunningStart2016

Successful carriers, securities firms, agencies, and education providers constantly evolve, hurdling over obstacles to keep their business humming. This takes savvy professionals who have fingers on the pulse of change and know how to leverage it for a competitive edge.

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