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, Author: Craig Fuher

Let’s Kill the ACORD

ACORD insurance forms are outdated and the future of insurance is with API integrations. I know that sounds like a scary statement, but the reality is the insurance industry is changing and so are the methods that carriers accept and process data, claims, and applications. In this article, we’ll explore why we should kill the ACORD (but still keep the good parts), and how the modern insurance industry is using APIs.

ACORDs and the Market

In the 1970’s the internet and email communication was not as widespread as it is today. As a result, ACORD insurance forms were introduced to the insurance industry as a way to standardize and automate the process of underwriting. They were thought of as a way to make sure all the necessary data was captured from the client and was being verified by multiple parties.

ACORDs brought something to the industry that was needed – standardization. That’s a good thing. We should keep that part and many of the new technology solutions are built on the standardization that the ACORD insurance form created. 

However, the traditional paper ACORD is no longer effective when it comes to providing accurate information for underwriting. The data is often incomplete or inaccurate, which can result in incorrect pricing, inaccurate risk assessments, and other risks. Despite the progress the ACORD has made from paper forms to digital formats, the fact of the matter is they are being replaced by newer solutions and technology that is more efficient for data sharing and processing purposes.

These new solutions and technologies, such as APIs, cloud computing, mobile devices, and social media, have rendered paper (and even PDF format) ACORDs unnecessary. And, continued usage and acceptance of the ACORD are slowing down the insurance industry, preventing progress, and handicapping agencies, brokerages, and other businesses and people who work in the field. Think about it, you no longer use dial-up to access the internet or rent movies from a store. It’s time to move insurance data, underwriting, submission, and claim processing to the 21st century. It’s time to kill the ACORD insurance form.

APIs Are the Future

The world has gone digital and APIs, or application programming interfaces, are just one of the ways businesses are using technology to connect with customers, employees, partners, and suppliers. APIs are already so ingrained into society you already use them whether you know it or not. For example, when you search Google for the weather, log in to an account using your Facebook or Google information, pay online, order food delivery, etc. It is estimated that by 2030 there will be 29.4 billion connected devices around the world with over 13 billion APIs available for developers to build on.

The insurance industry as a whole can no longer ignore the advancements being made in other industries. Fortunately, we are seeing APIs integrated into the insurance process in new and unique ways. And the commercial insurance space is no different. APIs and other technologies are encouraging new ways of doing business, streamlining and simplifying tedious and consuming processes.

API Implementation

Did you know that APIs are among the most important insurance technology to have emerged in the past few years? They are crucial for businesses to grow, and they will be the foundations for more advanced technology in the future. This is because APIs provide companies with a way of connecting with other companies and consumers through software. This leads to fewer mistakes due to repetitive processes, and increased client satisfaction and retention.

For years, carriers tried to build their own APIs – at a high cost and with little-to-no ability to implement. But, with the rise of insurance technology, many carriers saw the value of leveraging outside companies and tech to power their submission and claims processing.

Those leveraging API technology found it was easier to integrate and update their systems with an API connection managed by a third party rather than managing the updates and hundreds of connections to their distributors. It also gives them increased access to valuable data they can use internally to make better business decisions and offer more robust products.

APIs Make Business Simpler

API integrations are not just about making things easier for carriers. But also about making things simpler for everyone, including large brokerages, agency management systems, small agencies, and businesses as well. API integrations also help to make businesses more streamlined.

The latest API integrations offer the ability to automate onboarding, cross-sell and upsell, submission management, and (with integrations to other systems like an AMS) policy management. These features help providers deliver a great customer experience while increasing efficiency across the board.

Furthermore, forward-thinking brokerages, AMSs, and even agencies are seeing the benefit of leaving behind analog processes like ACORD insurance forms and investing in API connections. By building on previous technological advancements and implementing API technology, they found it was easier, faster, and simpler to submit insurance applications and claims digitally, rather than continue processing data manually with the outdated ACORD insurance form.

Increase Efficiency

Beyond simplifying the processes, the industry is seeing increased efficiency and more effective ways to access and process data by implementing APIs. Data that would be difficult or expensive for them to collect themselves. Plus, by eliminating the need to manually fill in and submit an ACORD insurance form, an agent, broker, or underwriter can use a platform like Talage’s Wheelhouse to submit and manage all their commercial submissions in one location. Not to mention, that by entering their data one time into the software, they can push data to and from their AMS, or submit it to multiple carriers for commercial quotes.

Furthermore, APIs help companies scale by letting them integrate new features without having to re-write code from scratch every time they want something new up and running. This allows carriers, brokerages, and agencies to stay competitive by ensuring they provide their clients with increased opportunities for coverage, and better turnarounds on quotes and even claims.

Plus, insurance providers can partner with third parties to extend their reach. Insurance companies that provide their services to consumers through third parties have been taking advantage of APIs to expand their reach for years – think travel insurance offered on an airline’s website before checkout. This allows companies to grow at scale and take advantage of new technologies without having to reinvent the wheel.

As the insurance industry evolves, companies need to be open to new technologies like APIs. By investing in companies that build and service APIs, insurance providers can streamline their processes and provide a better customer experience. APIs also save them money by cutting back on unnecessary expenses that come with manual processes, like filling out and submitting an ACORD insurance form. it’s not a matter of if the ACORD will be able to catch up, but when it will die. Jump into the future and start leveraging APIs for growth and scale today.