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May 26, 2015

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

By: Tim Owen

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 just plain easier) communication between agencies and carriers, ACORD has updated the 821 Producer Information Form – and it's available for you to use today.  

The Updated ACORD 821 is a Big Step

ACORD 821 is intended to help standardize the communication between agencies and their carrier partners for getting producers authorized to sell for that carrier. We recently reviewed our statistics and tThe industry as a whole onboards nearly 500,000 agents a year, and fewer than 25% of those requests are made using ACORD standards for onboarding transactions.

And of the small percentage of carriers that have adopted the ACORD form, many haven't been using the most current version. In fact, only one carrier of the 25% mentioned has adopted the ACORD 821 form.

In an industry often characterized by its reluctance to change, insurers clearly have significant progress to make in adopting standards and automating the onboarding process to improve communications as a whole.

The updated ACORD 821 Producer Information Form is a big step in that direction.

Also worth knowing:

ACORD also supports the DTCC's LNA (License and Appointment) EDI transaction standard. This standard is used primarily between large broker dealers and large life and annuity carriers. We support the transaction standard for both distributors and carriers as well, but this is another case where adoption has been limited to the largest distributors and carriers.

In addition to these standards, we've worked with the SILA SACS (SILA Agency-Carrier Communication) subgroup to identify best practices for carrier to agency communications. These are published in the SILA Best Practices handbook. The recommended producer onboarding best practices have been out for a couple years now, but if our customer implementations are any indication, those best practices are not heavily followed either.

So how do we improve the adoption of standards and improved efficiency through automation?

One way is to learn more about how these standards and best practices can incrementally improve your business processes as well as put you ahead of your competition with automation capabilities available today.

And –

You can join us for the ACORD, SILA Producer Licensing Processes webinar on June 25 at 2:00 p.m. to learn more about industry standard producer licensing processes.

Tim Owen

Industry veteran Tim Owen brings nearly 20 years of expertise in creating and deploying usable and scalable technology solutions for the insurance and securities industries. As Vice President of Product Management, Tim focuses his attention on delivering high-level strategies for product development, product requirements, product launches, and regulatory compliance for Vertafore's Producer Lifecycle Management offerings.