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Aug 11, 2020

ACORD London Market Reflections: Understanding ADEPT

by Chris Newman, Managing Director – Global, ACORD

Welcome to the first post of ACORD London Market Reflections. This regular feature will serve as an outlet to share ACORD news and thoughts with the global insurance market. Likewise, it will bring our collective London Market perspective to international audiences by sharing our collaborations with members, leaders from our London Advisory Board, and ACORD’s Licensed Integrator Partners, which include some of the most innovative technology providers in London.

We thought we’d kick off this series with a topic that is both timely and critical to the insurance industry: London market digitisation and ACORD’s role in transforming the way we communicate across the insurance ecosystem.

Most of us would agree that the insurance industry as a whole hasn’t been as adept at meeting the challenge of digitisation as it could be. The good news is that this will soon change, with the arrival of ACORD’s aptly named ADEPT (ACORD Data Exchange Platform & Translator).

Up to now, the digitisation of data for large, commercial risks has been an issue due to the vast array of systems and interfaces that have accrued over time across the market. Digital adoption is happening, but it is primarily focused on translating the same old processes to the most obvious digital equivalent. It has become painfully apparent that many London Market – and other – stakeholders do not leverage a consistent and logical data model for transactions. Data integration is too variable and requires too much manual intervention. It needs to be embedded in the technology itself. 

To address this challenge, ACORD has introduced ADEPT, a data exchange platform designed to simplify the way the insurance industry shares data. ADEPT allows secure digital insurance data to be shared between organizations for pre-bind, firm order, accounting and settlement, and other purposes via RESTful APIs and ACORD messaging, allowing true global interoperability. ADEPT’s API layer lets participants connect just once to gain access to multiple different systems.

How does ADEPT work?

Here’s a simple analogy to understand ADEPT: think of the copper piping in a house. We all have this running behind our walls, connecting our plumbing systems and enabling water to freely flow from a central reservoir to the tap, and back again. Similarly, ADEPT is an industry-owned market capability through which data flows. Where once there were lots of disparate data interactions across the market (the equivalent of carrying water from point to point in individual buckets), now that data can be securely, temporarily stored in the ADEPT “reservoir” and easily exchanged to any point through the ADEPT-enabled “pipework”.

There are now over 40 electronic placing platforms worldwide, with more being added all the time – and all have been operating independently, with no centralised pipework. Different formats make it difficult to translate into a common language; all of these disparate data interactions across the market have highlighted the need not only for the Data Messaging Standards that ACORD already provides, but also for a centralised exchange of that data. ADEPT fills this market need. 

ADEPT in action: starting now with Ruschlikon

A recent ADEPT initiative addresses a familiar challenge for large global insurers and reinsurers: unallocated cash is a tedious issue, but an expensive one to resolve. This challenge was highlighted through The Ruschlikon Initiative, a group of reinsurance leaders who work to advance back office processes, including technical accounting, claims, and settlement, using the ACORD Global Reinsurance and Large Commercial (GRLC) Standards. 

Ruschlikon members receive data from many sources: manual paper, electronic (emails, peer-to-peer), direct connectivity to different platforms (APIs), etc. By taking unstructured accounting and reconciliation data and processing it through ADEPT, members are able to see the data in a common standardised way, enabling all to take advantage of greater efficiency. 

More ADEPT use cases to come

The ADEPT platform is live now. Early success has spurred wide interest, which tells us that we’re on the right track. The invoicing and data sharing benefits that Ruschlikon members are now seeing are just the beginning – by transforming actual business documents into data that any organisation can share in a standardised way, we see countless potential opportunities for valuable services. ADEPT facilitates every possible scenario in which insurance industry data is received, acting as one window to manage every part of how both parties transact business. 

We are excited to extend our collaborations with our members and partners to bring continued benefits to the broader market. Get in touch with us to find out more about how ADEPT can benefit your business.