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Carriers Posts


March 21, 2017

Q1, 2017 Regulatory Recap

We have a short list of updates from the first quarter of 2017 that you should be aware of!

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February 10, 2017

7 Ways the Vertafore User Group Will Benefit You

NetVU is the Network of Vertafore Users— a volunteer driven organization whose purpose is to connect Vertafore product users. Whether you're using your technology often or only a few times per month, there is a way to improve not only your compliance practices, but drive innovation in the industry...

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January 31, 2017

The Most Info-Packed Webinar of The Year is Back!

Sam Meyer SILA President

Successful compliance professionals constantly evolve, hurdling over compliance-risk obstacles to keep business humming. This meanings keeping a finger on the pulse of regulatory change and savvy decision making to leverage it for a competitive edge. And this year, we're holding two!

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January 12, 2017

Q4, 2016 Regulatory Round Up

In closing 2016, we have a short list of updates from Q4 that you should be aware of!

By: Holli Bratt and Leslie Kosal

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January 10, 2017

Sircon Blog 2016: A Year in Review

Compliance and keeping up with regulatory change isn't easy. That's why this year, the Sircon blog features several posts on best practices for specific areas of the industry to ensure we're sharing our knowledge for all areas of the market! Here are just a few of our favorites.

By: Sydney Beaudreault

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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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October 20, 2016

Best Practices for Secure Agency – Carrier Communications Pt. 2

In Part 1 of our series on secure agency – carrier communications, Sydney outlined the security concerns in the industry for both agencies and carriers. Carriers are requesting additional steps in collecting producer information to ensure protected data, which can hold up the onboarding process. It's no surprise that the industry...

By: Kevin Horgan

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October 7, 2016

Q3 Regulatory Recap: What's New and What's to Come

State by state changes you should know, and updates on NARAB II, the CLAIM Act, Fiduciary Rule, and more!

By: Holli Bratt and Leslie Kosal

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September 28, 2016

Best Practices for Secure Agency – Carrier Communications Pt. 1

Here at Vertafore, we're always discussing industry concerns followed by ways to automate, and improve overall compliance processes whether that be through uniformity and involving ourselves in industry groups, sharing expertise and best practices, or by providing technology solutions. Recently we have had agencies voice concern with issues submitting producer onboarding forms to carriers. The concern is...

By: Sydney Beaudreault

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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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August 10, 2016

Anatomy of a Regulatory Change Pt. 6: Concluding Thoughts

We hope this series provided you some valuable takeaways that you can take back to your business. We have, however, thrown a lot of information for you at once, so here's a compiled checklist from our posts to make sure that you're crossing your t's and dotting your i's...

By: Tim Owen

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July 28, 2016

Mass appointments, renewals, and terminations are easy

Yes, you read that title correctly. Appointing huge amounts of producers at once can be extremely easy. Renewing appointments and terminating them can be too...

By: Neal Hamilton

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July 14, 2016

Mid-2016 Regulatory Round Up

As usual around the middle of the year, we're seeing a LOT of upcoming law changes, so we've compiled a quick state-by-state list of some things you may want to be ready for or be aware of...

By: Holli Bratt and Leslie Kosal

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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 07, 2016

Summer '16 Carrier Update Series Pt. 4: Putting You Back In Control with Sales Authorization Profiles

Alright, enough preamble already. You know how sales authorizations can validate new business, you know we could use them to make onboarding more effective, and you agree that self-service in a business application is a good thing. This is the Summer '16 Update Series, it's finally time to talk about the big update coming to Sircon Producer Manager and Producer Express...

By: Patrick Masi

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July 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 26, 2016

Summer '16 Carrier Update Series Pt. 3: Your Business, Your Rules, Our Service

Have you ever implemented an automation system for handling some portion of your business, then realized just how much control you lost? Before your latest IT modernization initiative, it used to be a simpler process when regulatory rules changed. Perhaps you'd notify your team via an email, maybe have a quick training session, and off we go – the process has been updated...

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 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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January 19, 2016

Sircon Listens: What Are Carriers Asking?

Carriers have a lot on their plate. As regulations continue to evolve, a licensing specialist will need to understand the regulations and figure out how to modify their operational practices without negatively affecting the agent experience. It's not a trivial task. The most forward-thinking carriers look to experts for help, and that's where Sircon comes in. However, it's not just carriers getting information out of Sircon services...

By: Patrick Masi

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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 15, 2015

How Life, Health & Annuity carriers can become easier to do business with

A key goal of the 34th annual NAILBA national conference in Orlando in November was to provide a more intimate setting for carrier's to share product updates and hear the latest information from industry experts to improve growth and retention for the life brokerage community. This year's focus was on the role that Broker General Agencies (BGA) perform to grow business and improve...

By: Dane Sprecher

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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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November 12, 2015

Carriers: 3 Ways to Get Ahead in 2016

With 2015 coming to a close and 2016 rapidly approaching, you have probably established your long-terms goals and you are working to finalize the near-term 2016 goals. You not only want these goals to improve business now, but increase your long-term success and competitiveness as well. Let's start with the near-term goals. How can you gain efficiency, enhance long-term success, and...

By: Sydney Beaudreault

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November 6, 2015

Top 4 Things Carriers Should Avoid to Improve Agent-Carrier Communication

Many carriers have created customized agent onboarding, retention, and termination processes. If you are like them, you may not be aware of the work being done by industry organizations to create best practices, standards, and forms for these critical processes. By adopting these best practices, some carriers are leading the industry and standardizing agent communications for these key interactions. If your organization...

By: Patrick Masi

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October 06, 2015

Carriers: This is what Agents Expect from You

The never-ending challenge of recruiting the most capable, highest performing producers is full of surprises. What made you stand out as a carrier of choice one year is quickly surpassed by a competitor's new, flashy product or compensation plan. Throw in the technological expectations of the emerging generation of producers and it's enough to make your head spin. But don't fret. You have one characteristic that you can always count on to make...

By: Neal Hamilton

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September 29, 2015

Why Carriers Should Attend NetVU16

What is NetVU? The Network of Vertafore Users is the industry's largest, most active independent user group. With 23,000 member firms across the country, the user group includes agencies, carriers, MGA's. More popularly known as NetVU, the Vertafore user group promotes three core values: 1. Advocacy 2. Education 3. Networking. Members can participate in chapter meetings, online discussions, and conferences to gain product knowledge, quickly address issues, and help shape the future...

By: Dane Sprecher

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September 17, 2015

Budget Season: 3 Ways to Clean Up Your Producer Data without Breaking Your Budget

As budget season comes to a close, things may come up that you haven't quite accounted for. For example: How's your producer data accuracy? In our recent blog, Carriers: 3 Signs Its Time to Dust Off Your Producer Data, Neal Hamilton discussed the consequences of having bad producer data. Data cleanups are necessary to avoid compliance risks, lengthy onboarding time, delayed sales, and audit failures. Don't worry. If you forgot to include a project to update your producer data ...

By: Patrick Masi

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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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August 25, 2015

What do agents expect from their carriers?

We've stressed the importance of agent experience for quite some time by sharing best practices on attracting new agents, and improving agent experience and retention rates, including proactive sales authorization, quick and easy onboarding, improved agent portals, and automation of manual tasks. With several opinions on how to improve the agent experience, we sought to dive a little deeper to discover agent's top priorities and must haves in a business relationship. An Agent-centere...

By: Dane Sprecher

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July 07, 2015

Let's Work Together to Improve Carrier-Distributor Communication and Automation for Licensing & Appointments

Did you know that various industry leaders have been working together to create best practices to improve carrier-distributor license & appointment automation and communication? How about the push to establish actual business scenarios to standardize the process? These are progressive steps for the industry that the Sircon team at Vertafore is helping with, but we can't do it alone. Thus far, Vertafore has been collaborating with the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), the Association...

By: Tim Owen

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June 09, 2015

A Call for Continuing Education Uniformity

Carriers and agencies: Are you looking for a quick and easy solution to retrieve and verify CE status information? Education providers: Are your CE course completion submissions slowing down your business processes? Inconsistencies and Inefficient Processes Agencies and Carriers In a recent survey completed by 200 Vertafore agency customers, 35.7% of agents have unwillingly had a license lapse in the last five years. Late license renewals can cost up to 4x the normal amount — it's cr...

By: Scott Gillahan

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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

Verifying Securities Registrations ? How Do Carriers Do It?

Insurance carriers have a lot of responsibility when it comes to verifying agent credentials to sell insurance products. Licenses, lines of authority, appointments, education, and contractual relationships are just a few of the selling credentials that carriers are tasked with tracking and managing. The burden of responsibility increases significantly when selling products with a securities component, such as variable annuities, where instead of only dealing with a state department of insurance...

By: Patrick Masi

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May 05, 2015

Maintaining Your Reputation as The Agent's Carrier of Choice

For avid Sircon® blog readers, you may have seen Patrick Masi's The Secret to Becoming the Agent's Carrier of Choice. If not, spoiler alert: carrier's today are attracting agents and getting agents selling faster through improving agents' first experience: onboarding. Learn more from Joanna Hagelberger, Senior Account Manager for Vertafore's Sircon® Solutions, about how you can improve your agent experience with the next step in the process: retenti...

By: Joanna Hagelberger

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March 31, 2015

The Secret to Becoming the Agent's Carrier of Choice

It's a topic that's trending among insurance leaders: How can you improve the experience you provide for your first customer, the insurance agent, to increase placement rates and get them selling faster? It's a tricky concept if you think about it. A "better experience" can mean a lot of different things, which, for a business, means a lot of different areas to place your bets on. Better commission rates? More marketable products? Sure. But those are obvious choices, and you can bet your co...

By: Patrick Masi

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March 31, 2015

The Secret to Becoming the Agent's Carrier of Choice

It's a topic that's trending among insurance leaders: How can you improve the experience you provide for your first customer, the insurance agent, to increase placement rates and get them selling faster? It's a tricky concept if you think about it. A "better experience" can mean a lot of different things, which, for a business, means a lot of different areas to place your bets on. Better commission rates? More marketable products? Sure. But those are obvious choices, and you can bet your co...

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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