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During the February 27, 2007 AUGIE meeting on Activity notification , it was decided that the business case included in the “Independent Agency Preferences for Carrier Electronic Communications, A Report by the ACT Electronic Communications Work Group” needed to be re-released to highlight the “Activity Note” section (formerly called the “Alerts” section).” Activity Notifications: An electronic message generated by the carrier to provide immediate notification to the agency of some activity. The notification is processed automatically into the agency management system. Examples include immediate notification of a claim, overdue payments, pending cancellation, etc.

General Conclusions As much as possible, agencies want to handle carrier communications within their agency management systems and existing agency workflows. They want to process incoming electronic information with as little human touch as possible, in order to reduce the overall processing time in the agency. Where the communication relates to a specific customer and/or policy, such as a notification of late payment or an underwriter inquiry, agents would prefer to receive activity notification messages. Activity notifications have the advantage of automatically attaching to the appropriate user's activity log or the policy/customer activity log within the agency management system. Additionally, activity notification messages provide a high level of security for the included data. ACORD XML Activity or Note Request/Response XML Message Standard is currently available for implementation by the various agency management system vendors.

Business Case “Our industry is undergoing a profound change regarding how carriers communicate with their independent agencies and brokers. Electronic communications are rapidly replacing the notifications that have traditionally been sent through the mail. Agents today prefer to receive information electronically. They want to become more paperless, reducing the inefficiency of paper shuffling and processing. However, the many different approaches being taken by the carriers today with regard to these electronic communications threaten to cancel out the potential efficiencies and wreak havoc with agency workflows.”

The incentives for carriers to implement activity notification are the following: • To provide more efficient workflows and responsive service to their agents • To enable their agents to provide more responsive service to their clients and to achieve more effective retention • To turn off the paper for these transactions once the recommended electronic communications are implemented for their agencies. • To improve the readership of the communications they send to their agencies by all of the appropriate people at the agency level

Activity notification The ACORD XML standard is needed to assure that this new technology is broadly implemented by the industry in the most efficient manner possible. Activity notifications consist of a carrier initiated (XML) message to the agency that is retrieved by the agency management system at set intervals and is then automatically processed by the agency management system. Although each agency management system will develop its own processing, typically the message will be entered into the appropriate user activity or the policy/customer activity log. Processing will vary by the message context/content. The agency system should permit the agency to set its preferences for handling and routing activity notification messages.

Example: The carrier is sending an overdue notice to Betty Jones. Concurrently, it sends the agency an activity notification message which the agency management system retrieves from the carrier at pre-defined time intervals. The management system reads the policy number on the activity notification message, sees that this policy is handled by CSR John Doe, and places an open activity into John’s activity list. The next morning John sees the open item, reviews it and decides how to handle the situation.

1. The carrier should provide an opt-in/opt-out feature for activity notification by type of communication to the agency administrator to allow the agency to match its internal work flow and automation capabilities. 2. Activity notification messages should provide a method of prioritization to prompt the agency to appropriate action. m Examples of preference codes for activity notification messages include: • Immediate Response Expected • Response Not Urgent • No Response Expected. 3. Agents prefer activity notification messages over emails with regard to any information the agent will want to attach to a client, policy, or claim in his or her system. 4. Notifications can be sent immediately to the agency or, to accommodate large volumes, batched on a daily basis. Communicating partners need to agree on the implementation. 5. If using in batch processing, agencies would like the option to set their agency management system to retrieve activity notifications, from their carrier, more frequently than on a daily basis. 6. Agency management systems should provide a facility for the agency administrator to set up distribution rules as to where the activity notification is attached and who is notified. For example, late notices should be attached to the policy with notification to the appropriate CSR. 7. Activity notification messages should include a transaction type that provides information to assist in routing within the agency.

Policy perspective activity notifications We encourage the use of ACORD standards wherever they are available. “Download,” refers to ACORD standard AL3 or XML Download. “XML” refers to ACORD standard XML.

Communications we receive today Audit - Notice of Completed Audit

Audit - Notice of Pending Audit (voluntary or on-premises)

Billing - List of payments on cancelled policies/ reinstated policies

Billing - Notice of final cancellation

Recommended Method 1. Activity notification Message with attachment

1. Activity notification Message (on-premises) OR 2. Activity notification Message including attachment of audit form (voluntary) OR 3. Activity notification Message (all others) [depending on type of audit]

1. Download AND 2. Activity notification Message 1. Download AND 2. Activity notification Message

Billing - Overdue Payment List (Cancellation Notice Not Yet Issued)

1. Activity notification Message

Billing - Pending Cancellation for Non-Pay

1. Activity notification Message

Bulletins – Urgent E.g., disaster conditions or binding restrictions

1. Activity notification Message AND/OR 2. Email with information

Communications we receive today

Recommended Method

Claim – new (FNOL)

1. Download – XML AND 2. Activity notification Message AND 3. Immediate voice or email notification for claims over a threshold defined by carrier/agent

Claim activity- existing claim

1. Download/XML – all activity OR 2. Activity notification Message

Communication from underwriter – Immediate response requires immediate response e.g., New business or endorsement question in order to issue

1. Activity notification Message

Communications with underwriter – Response not urgent e.g., Request for policy information Pre-renewal update

1. Activity notification Message

Communication from underwriter – No response No response expected from agency client specific e.g., Broker of Record change or Advanced notification of non-renewal

1. Activity notification Message, with attachment if applicable

Communication with underwriter - Submission Updates Confirmation submission received

1. Activity notification Message

Billing - Notice of Premium Finance (comes from premium finance company)

1. Activity notification Message

Communications we receive today Policy Changes Carrier confirmation of agent requests

Policy Changes Carrier confirmation of direct client requests to carrier

Property Appraisals Providing the carrier’s appraisal to the agency

Recommended Method

1. Activity notification Message in Real Time AND 2. Download

1. Activity notification Message AND 2. Download

1. Activity notification Message with attachment

The “Independent Agency Preferences for Carrier Electronic Communications, was developed by the ACT Electronic Communications Work Group “ for more information and to review the full report, contact Jeff Yates, ACT Executive Director,

1 The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) is an association of agents, brokers, users groups, carriers, vendors, and industry associations dedicated to encouraging and facilitating the most effective use of technology and workflow within the Independent Agency System. ACT is a part of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc. (IIABA). See the ACT web site at for more information about ACT and its initiatives. Copyright 2006 ©, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint is granted to ACT members.

AUGIE Activity Notification