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December 10, 2015

Carriers: Best Practices for Managing Producer Data

By: Dalen Feighner Data Repository Picture

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.

1. Address anomalies in the Producer Database data

Today, there are 40 such anomalies in PDB data. For instance, one state flip-flops license effective date and license expiration date. If this isn't corrected, the data is meaningless from a reporting standpoint and will negatively impact downstream systems if you're integrating. These anomalies can be addressed by tracking all changes made to PDB data.

2. Verify status of perpetual licenses

The PDB doesn't track a license expiration date in states with perpetual licenses; however, like renewable licenses, continuing education (CE) is required in order to maintain an active status. In states with perpetual licenses, you must accurately deduce the license expiration date from the CE/qualification date for reporting purposes and to know when to validate that licenses are still active.

3. Regularly validate Producer Database data

The PDB is constantly being updated and with 30+ data fields, it makes the task of keeping your information current practically impossible unless managed by a small army. It is important to track all fields, not just sync license expiration dates. Although tedious, validation is crucial to keeping business on track. For hassle-free management, consider automation to ensure that you are consistently being fed the most up to date information.

4. Be prepared for market conduct exams

Discrepancies in a market conduct exam can cost your business in terms of reputation and fines. One issue is that carriers today are overwriting data to make room for new data. Not a good idea. When examiners come in, they're not asking about the business you sold yesterday, they're asking about the business you sold 3 or more years ago. Make sure to keep your producer data stored and in good order, current or past.

5. Maintain proof of licensure

Maintaining proof of licensure is an essential component of producer compliance management. Some carriers still require producers to submit license copies, but industry best practice is to download and maintain PDB reports. Why? Because a PDB report is comprised of information reported by the State departments of insurance and is accepted as proof of licensure in lieu of a license copy in all insurance jurisdictions. Maintaining historical PDBs is important because some states remove producers from the PDB if a license goes inactive leaving no evidence that they were ever licensed.

6. Keep up with regulatory changes

Be diligent and stay abreast of regulatory changes. Sircon, on average, responds to over 250 regulatory changes per year and incorporates the new rules into its solutions. There are several data repositories that provide the industry with access to the most recent regulatory updates such as the SILA Digest for summarized information and e-PAL? for a comprehensive source of regulatory information

7. Use it!

It's not enough just to have accurate data, you have to use it to make informed business decisions. In a recent survey, we found that the majority of carriers are only doing validation at the time of onboarding and they're not re-validating credentials at the time of quote, commissions, or when new business is submitted/bound. To use effectively, a carrier must know, by state and by product, what combination of license, appointment, and course completions are required in order to be authorized.

Want more advice on how you can follow these 7 best practices in producer data management? Contact me and I would be happy to help!

Dalen Feighner

Dalen is has been with Vertafore for 8 years and serves as a Sales Executive who specifically focuses on strategic carrier, MGA, broker-dealer and financial services accounts in the Midwest. She earned her BA and MBA in Professional Accounting, Supply Chain Management, and Management Information Systems from Michigan State University. Her mission is to help insurance stakeholders accelerate time to revenue, stay in compliance, and deliver stellar agent experiences. In her spare time, Dalen enjoys hiking and drinking wine on the shores of Lake Michigan with her husband.