A recent meeting prior to the opening of the ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum in Orlando united several of ACORD's Reinsurance Committees. Their missions for the day were to coordinate activities that are taking place regionally and to work towards resolution on any differences in their approaches to implementation of the ACORD back office standards for premiums, claims and settlement.
Representatives from the ACORD's U.S. Reinsurance Committee, the Ruschlikon Committee, Bermuda Committee, and the London Non-Bureau Group were in attendance.
Overall, the groups share a common global goal – improving efficiency and accuracy across the reinsurance workflow through the implementation of eBusiness practices and ACORD Standards. The model used by the implementation communities, is local advocacy but one common standard.
"While the groups all share a common goal, there are differences in how each region approaches implementation as well as handling any regional sensitivities. That's why meetings such as this … that bring all of these ACORD committees together are so important. We were able to accomplish a lot by speaking face to face and increasing understanding and awareness," said Mark Barwick, Program Director, ACORD.
The communities all agreed to a shared global vision for reinsurance. A sub-group is being formed to accomplish this task which will produce and publish this unified vision. "All of the communities share the same ideals and objectives but much of that is currently taking place within the individual groups. By doing this, we will be able to publicly show that ACORD's reinsurance communities are working together and focusing on the same goals, regardless of geography," added Maggy Leon, Director of Implementation for ACORD.
Global (re)Insurance Best Practices – Accounting, Settlement, & Claims
The Rulebook that is being used for many of these activities was the focus of much attention. While its value was clearly acknowledged as it addresses implementation flows and enforces consistency, it was seen as a possible barrier to implementation since the name didn’t necessarily reflect that this was being used globally. It was agreed that the name be changed to Global (Re)insurance Best Practices – Accounting, Settlement, & Claims. There was also agreement that the document be revised with an update released in the coming few months.
While the Global (Re)insurance Best Practices is mandated in some geographies, this isn't effective or recommended in all areas and will be promoted by those committees as a best practice instead.
Business versus Technology
An area all agreed on was the need to provide a more business-friendly focus. For example, the use of terms such as EBOT (Electronic Back Office Trading) and ECOT (Electronic Claims Office Transactions) are accepted among technical implementers and "inner circle" of users, the committees believe that such names can turn away business users. Therefore, to better communicate across groups, terminology will be updated and made consistent and understandable to all audiences.
BIG (Business Implementation Group)
There was recognition by attendees that a single forum for technical issues for all communities was essential. The existing Business Implementation Group (BIG), run by ACORD, was determined to be the ideal group that would best serve all of the regional communities. BIG will review issues raised by the implementation communities and identify solutions which work for all and then feed into the ACORD Standards process with maintenance requests. It would also serve as the combined knowledge base.
Following the meeting, the representatives were to report back to their individual communities and begin work on accomplishing the tasks at hand. These actions included selecting representatives to the global vision subgroup, working on marketing activities to further grow the communities, and finalizing any decisions regarding documentation changes.