Skip to Main Content

Ruschlikon FAQ






What is Ruschlikon and how does it fit in with ACORD?

Faster cash, higher efficiency, better information, enhanced client service – the Ruschlikon Initiative enables leading players of the (re)insurance industry to improve their back office processes for technical accounting, claims, and settlement by using the ACORD Global Reinsurance and Large Commercial (GRLC) Standards.

Rüschlikon is a small town outside Zürich, Switzerland. Here, a group of pioneering (re)insurers and brokers agreed to a common vision for reducing back office frictional costs and streamlining processes for the (re)insurance sector by implementing global ACORD Data Standards together with an agreed set of business processes and rules. This initiative was named Ruschlikon in honour of its beginning.

ACORD facilitates Ruschlikon meetings and provides the standards that Ruschlikon uses, which are part of its Global Reinsurance Large Commercial Standards. Ruschlikon has its own Steering Committee, which provides the guidance and strategy for the entire Ruschlikon family and its implementation communities.

Return to top ⮝

What are the roles of the different Ruschlikon groups or bodies?

Steering Committees for ePlacing and for eAccounting & Claims determine objectives, strategy, and priorities for the Ruschlikon Initiative. They work in close collaboration with all stakeholders and coordinate global activities with other representative groups such as industry associations, vendors, etc.

The ePlacing Business Implementation Group standardizes the generic data attributes used in the various phases of placing using existing (or where necessary, enhanced) standards. The group agrees on and formalizes process flows & protocols for placing in line with business needs and builds best practice and implementation guides. It shares success factors and potential challenges and helps to enhance the scenarios available on the ACORD Test Harness by including ePlacing tests to simulate messaging and support smooth production deployments.

The eAccounting & Claims Business Implementation Group evaluates/refines enhancements - to be submitted to the ACORD Standard process for approval by all relevant ACORD members. The group maintains the Global (Re)insurance Best Practice, Implementation, and Reference guides and coordinates changes across the entire Ruschlikon community to support uniform adoption of Ruschlikon Best Practice and ACORD GRLC Data Standards.

The Regional Implementation Groups (RIG) foster the Ruschlikon approach in a local environment and help drive local implementation. They pick up on market specifics and address them efficiently to other Ruschlikon bodies. In addition, they join forces with other market players to address business needs more powerfully, as one community. The RIGs leverage effort and experience across the regions to aid implementation.

The Ruschlikon Marketing Group supports the goals of the Ruschlikon initiative by providing a suitable marketing and communication concept and supporting materials. This includes among others maintaining the Ruschlikon website (as part of the ACORD website) and the Ruschlikon LinkedIn profile.

For more information, see the Ruschlikon Initiative Organization Chart.

Return to top ⮝


Is Ruschlikon only focused on reinsurance administration?

At the global level, the Ruschlikon Initiative has evolved and continues to build/enhance standards for the whole end-to-end process (i.e. from bid to bind, accounting to claims, and financial handling), addressing the entire (re)insurance lifecycle. Regional Implementation Groups will focus on reinsurance and/or large commercial business implementations, depending upon their local priorities.

Return to top ⮝

What would you like to share from your Regional Implementation Group that will have an impact on other countries or regions?

Regional Implementation Group chairs are meeting regularly to share information across regions and to scale successful approaches and/or materials.

However, the different regions are at different maturity levels and have different needs. The regional chairs are ensuring proper onboarding of new members, motivating all members to openly share successes, challenges, and needs, and facilitating discussion to create a community spirit with the ultimate aim of growing the number of implementations.

Wherever possible, meetings are held in the local language to allow easy communication.

Return to top ⮝

Can a company participate in more than one Regional Implementation Group?

Companies can be represented in various Regional Implementation Groups and/or other Ruschlikon bodies. It is highly recommended that the company representatives in the various Ruschlikon bodies communicate/collaborate internally to be aligned on a group level and to best leverage efforts on a global scale.

Return to top ⮝

Why are solution providers active members in some Regional Implementation Groups but not in others?

Solution providers/vendors are business partners and enablers within the Ruschlikon Initiative, as long as they adhere to the ACORD GRLC Data Standards and Ruschlikon Best Practice processes.

Whilst in some regions first implementations can only begin once the applications are technically ready, other markets are at a very early stage and need to first focus on standardization topics before technical requirements can be addressed.

The leadership team of each Regional Implementation Group has the responsibility to involve vendors as per the group's need. Regional Implementation Group meetings are not marketing platforms for vendors but are platforms to exchange on business and technical needs.

Return to top ⮝

What are some of the reasons that a Regional Implementation Group might dissolve?

The Ruschlikon Steering Committees regularly assess the progress of the Regional Implementation Groups. If the commitment in a specific region is no longer given, the evaluation may result in the closure of a group.

However, this does not prevent existing business partnerships from continuing once an integration has been established.

Return to top ⮝

Why should I get involved in the Ruschlikon Initiative?

There are clear business benefits to being involved with the initiative. Ruschlikon already is a committed community of brokers, carriers, and reinsurers, all striving towards a single purpose. There is governance in place, and the standards employed are mature and stable – i.e. the initiative is already set up with partner end points in place.

Once you start exchanging EBOT and ECOT messages, your organization will benefit from greatly reduced costs, timescales, and errors. You and your clients will also benefit from faster payment cycles and improved data quality. In addition, joining the Ruschlikon Initiative shows your support for the industry, your peers, and your partners.

Some companies report that on average, these benefits have amounted to 30% less administrative costs, 30% faster premium settlement, and 40% faster claims settlement than that of business done without using Ruschlikon.

Return to top ⮝

What have been the main success stories to date?

There have been many success stories over the last decade. Please see the Case Studies section of this website for specific examples.

Return to top ⮝

What are the benefits of being part of a Regional Implementation Group?

By joining forces, the collaborating practitioners get a stronger voice, and business needs can be addressed more powerfully. By sharing experience within and across the Regional Implementation Groups, implementations can be actively supported by subject matter experts. Market relevant changes are followed and discussed to help the industry progress as a community into more standardization, digitization, and automation throughout the lifecycle of a risk.

Return to top ⮝

How can I keep control of my processes if I follow a standard process?

Using the common Ruschlikon/ACORD process and Data Standards is the basis for system and workflow integration. Each business partner decides as per its own needs and capabilities on the degree of automation. The implementation of these standards with their potential for automated processing frees up the capacity of the staff to focus on more complex cases and value adding tasks. Decision points are part of the standard process and may be built into the internal data quality framework to allow automated validation.

Return to top ⮝

How does Ruschlikon achieve these benefits?

Ruschlikon requires all brokers and (re)insurers to commit to the common principles, standard messages, and processes specified in the Global (Re)insurance Best Practices – Accounting, Claims, and Settlement. The Best Practice Guide also suggests target processing times that firms should aspire to ensure that trading partners get the most from their implementations.

Return to top ⮝

Where does Ruschlikon operate?

The Ruschlikon Initiative is a global initiative and makes use of international data standards. The Ruschlikon Initiative is organized in various bodies.

Return to top ⮝

How is a community formed, and who decides where a community can be formed?

Regional Implementation Groups can be formed anywhere if there are sufficient representatives of the (re)insurance community willing to jointly work on modernizing the market/region in line with the ACORD GRLC Data Standards.

The Ruschlikon Implementation Group members are committed to actively working towards further implementations.

The Ruschlikon Steering Committees for Placing and Accounting & Claims evaluate the need for new Regional Implementation Groups and actively support the evolution and development of these groups.

Return to top ⮝

What are the commitments and costs required to become a Ruschlikon Regional Implementation Group member?

There are no fees involved in becoming a Ruschlikon Regional Implementation Group member. There are indirect costs, such as time investment (meetings, contribution to documents, etc.) and potentially other sundry costs (travel, etc.), but only where appropriate.
The members of the Ruschlikon Implementation Groups are committed to:

  • Implementing agreed ACORD GRLC Data Standards and the Ruschlikon processes as best practice (as per companies' own time schedules).
  • Involving both business and IT resources in process development initiatives.
  • Promoting change and collaboration across organizations for the wider benefit of the (re)insurance industry.

Return to top ⮝

How are the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements met through the Ruschlikon processes and data exchange?

GDPR compliance is not inherent in the properties of data standards themselves, but in how they are applied. The methods of transporting and holding the data are required to observe GDPR regulations. It is the responsibility of the participating organizations to ensure compliance. It is highly recommended that data transportation is undertaken using established web security standards.

Return to top ⮝

How is it ensured that (re)insurance business partners adhere to antitrust/competition laws?

At the start of all meetings, the respective chairs remind participants of the following:

"I have been asked to remind all of you in attendance that various local, national, and international laws restrict the exchange of information among competitors regarding matters pertaining to pricing, refusal to deal, market division, tying relationships, and other topics which might infringe upon antitrust regulations and/or competition law. No such exchange or discussion will be permitted during this meeting."

Any deviation from this should be recognized and dealt with immediately.

Return to top ⮝

How much does it cost to exchange information based on the Ruschlikon principles?

There is no membership or subscription fee to join the Ruschlikon Initiative. However, there are ACORD membership fees.

For a Ruschlikon implementation, the business partners must comply with the Global (Re)insurance and Large Commercial (GRLC) Best Practices requirements.

There are a number of service suppliers that can assist with data exchange/management using the ACORD GRLC Data Standards and Ruschlikon Best Practice, but of course they will have separate commercial models.

Return to top ⮝

Do I have to be an ACORD member to become part of the Ruschlikon Initiative?

ACORD membership is not currently a prerequisite to be part of the Ruschlikon Initiative.

However, ACORD membership is strongly recommended, and all founding members of Ruschlikon are ACORD members. Support for ACORD, a not-for-profit organization, helps to ensure the ongoing development and maintenance of data standards for the industry. ACORD members can participate in, and vote on, governance and improvements to the data standards used by Ruschlikon, whereas non-members cannot. ACORD membership also provides several other valuable benefits and access to assets and services, including research, education, and training.

Return to top ⮝

What is ACORD certification?

ACORD tests and certifies the proper implementation of ACORD messages for specific insurance processes by an organization.

ACORD also provides a Test Harness, which is a utility that aids in the development and testing of systems new to using the ACORD GRLC Standards, or for those upgrading their systems to a newer version of the Data Standards.

The ACORD Test Harness can also be utilized for certification of the sender or receiver system to a specific version of the ACORD Standards. It provides business partners with evidence of a system's ACORD capability.

Ruschlikon Best Practice for ePlacing, Accounting, Claims, and Settlement suggests that all business partners should undertake appropriate testing and be ACORD certified before they can process live business.

Return to top ⮝

What are the benefits of ACORD certification?

Testing and certification ensures that set up times between business partners are kept to a minimum, and companies can start to obtain benefits from reliable messaging as soon as possible. It also ensures that everyone is using the same standards, and that there is no burden on companies with established processes to provide support to newer implementers. The ACORD Test Harness is continuously enhanced and is always updated in line with latest ACORD GRLC release, providing support to upgrade efforts.

Recertification for major releases is mandatory for all business partners.

Return to top ⮝

Are there costs involved with certification, and respectively, re-certification?

There are certification fees, dependent upon the level of certification required. It is recommended that you contact the ACORD Members Services team for more information about costs.

Return to top ⮝

How much does it cost to become an ACORD member? Are there any different types of memberships? Who can I contact to get more information about ACORD membership?

ACORD has a number of membership models and license programmes to suit the needs of a wide community with varying needs.

Organizations interested in potential ACORD membership should engage directly with the ACORD Member Services team to establish their short- and long-term needs and determine the best model. Details on how to get in contact with Member Services can be found here.

Return to top ⮝

How can I raise Ruschlikon- and ACORD- related questions?

General questions can be easily addressed via

Return to top ⮝

How can I make suggestions for the ACORD GRLC Standards and the Ruschlikon Best Practice processes?

The different Business Implementation Groups (BIG) meet and discuss enhancements to the ACORD GRLC Data Standards regularly.

Click the following links to view the BIG eA&C Contacts Page and the BIG ePlacing Contacts Page.

Only ACORD members can actually participate in the Standards enhancement process.

Return to top ⮝

Does the Ruschlikon Best Practice comply with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 2017 requirements?

Ruschlikon Best Practice is based on ACORD Standards, which are regularly enhanced in line with regulatory requirements, based on ACORD member input. However, it is the responsibility of the participating organizations to ensure compliance.

Return to top ⮝

Is this a business initiative or an IT project?

Although there is a technical element to it, Ruschlikon is a business initiative. Ruschlikon delivers real benefits to businesses, such as reduced error rates, faster processing times, faster payment times, reduced processing costs, improved data quality, community-wide business rules and service levels, and the potential for straight-through processing. All of this results in better service to the client and reduced costs to the industry.

Return to top ⮝

What are the positive drivers of quick and successful implementation?

Commitment of management to modernize the (re)insurance industry and a close collaboration between IT and business. Adherence to the ACORD GRLC Data Standards, Ruschlikon Best Practice process standards, leverage of experience, and expertise from mature partnerships across the regions speed up future implementations.

For more examples, see Case Studies.

Return to top ⮝

What are the main obstacles to successful implementation?

There are often factors that can create obstacles, but in most cases, these can be mitigated by a commitment to change.

Here are some selected examples of hurdles to be aware of:

  • Internal prioritization of business and IT resource.
  • Resistance to cultural change.
  • Vendor support for the initiative.
  • Challenging legacy books that may not be easy to digitize.
  • Inability to sufficiently articulate the business case.

Return to top ⮝

Do you think the market is ready to meet the technical standards?

Different markets are at different stages. While for the UK/US brokered markets, the automation of reinsurance administration has been adopted to a high degree, other regions are only now beginning to develop systems capabilities and understanding.

Tools are available that can help organizations join the journey at a very early level of digital maturity, effectively converting paper and spreadsheets into ACORD GRLC messages.

Click here to learn more about Engaging with Ruschlikon.

Return to top ⮝

Is Ruschlikon a peer-to-peer implementation, an electronic platform, or hub?

Ruschlikon is neither a platform nor a hub. It is a set of best practice guidelines for sharing data.

It allows standardized data to be passed consistently and reliably between a sender and a receiver, regardless of whether the interaction is peer-to-peer or service-to-service, connecting to platforms and/or hubs.

Click here to learn more about Engaging with Ruschlikon.

Return to top ⮝

How do I know who has implemented Ruschlikon?

The latest information about Ruschlikon capabilities in relation to existing or prospective business partners can be found on the Ruschlikon Adoption Directory (RAD) available on this website.

The RAD is updated on a quarterly basis.

Return to top ⮝

What is Ruschlikon Lite?

Ruschlikon Lite is a service that converts structured accounting information for proportional treaty business in electronic format. The sender does not need to invest in messaging capability/technology.

Return to top ⮝

Are the communities restricted to P&C business or do they also exist for L&H?

The focus of the Ruschlikon Initiative is all non-life business.

Return to top ⮝

When will brokers be able to receive eMessages?

Brokers are represented in various Ruschlikon bodies. Message receiving capabilities on the broker side is on the strategic roadmap of the Ruschlikon eAccounting and Claims Steering Committee.

Business cases are currently be constructed.

Return to top ⮝

How do Ruschlikon and the various Blockchain initiatives work together?

The established Ruschlikon business-to-business (B2B) processes and Distributed Ledger Technology market solutions will continue to co-exist as complementary solutions. Guidance for implementing Ruschlikon processes and ACORD Data Standards will be the same for Distributed Ledger Technology initiatives, as they are for B2B programs.

View the Ruschlikon/DLT document for more information.

Return to top ⮝

What are EBOT and ECOT?

EBOT and ECOT are ACORD Standard specifications. They document the business data and rules required for conducting electronic business interactions from system-to-system.

EBOT stands for Electronic Back Office Transactions. It deals with the usage of ACORD Technical Account and Financial Account messaging. ECOT stands for Electronic Claims Office Transactions. It deals with the usage of the ACORD Claims Movement message and links with EBOT for completing claims-related payments.

Placing messages are used for electronic data exchange in the context of ePlacing.

Return to top ⮝