The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) has released itsindustry recommendations for carriers and agents on commerciallines downloads aimed at making the process more accurate andeffective for independent insurance agencies and brokers.

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ACT's advice from its Commercial Lines Download (CLDL) WorkGroup is contained in the report, "ACT CLDL Work Group Review ofAccomplishments & Next Steps: Recommended Agency TestingProcess."

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Working with ACORD and agency management system user groups, theguide was developed to address five major commercial lines:businessowners policies, property, general liability, business autoand workers' compensation.

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The guide identifies, for both carriers and vendors, the minimumdata elements agents need to receive in the CLDL process. The guidealso informs agents what they can expect when they receivecommercial lines downloads.

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Another major component of the work was development of prototypedocuments, which are easily adaptable to individual carrier andvendor processes, to help assure agents receive the informationthey need to implement a particular carrier's downloads in theirspecific systems successfully. The documents are included in thereport.

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ACT said the working group's next step will be development ofeducation and training programs to assist agencies in implementingCLDL successfully.

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"Our accomplishments to date demonstrate the industry's stronginterest and commitment toward fixing past problems and workingtoward successful implementation of commercial lines download,"said Donna Barr, assistant vice president, Marsh USA Inc., PrivateClient Services Division, co-chairwoman of the ACT Commercial LinesDownload work group, and chairwoman of the ASCnet InterfaceCommittee for Applied Systems users.

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Cyndy Smith, vice president of technology at Haylor, Freyer& Coon Inc. and co-chairwoman of the working group, said, "Amajor finding of our study is that carrier implementation of anagency testing process as part of the CLDL implementation processis critical to assure that the commercial lines downloads beingsent are accurate, complete and appear where agents expect to seethem."

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Ms Smith is also chairwoman of the CLDL Committee of the AMSUsers Group.

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Jeff Yates, ACT executive director, said, "We had the broadestparticipation in the CLDL Work Group of any of our work groups,attesting to the interest within the industry to make commerciallines download work more effectively for independent agents andbrokers."

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Mr. Yates added, "It is highly important now for carriers toimplement the agency testing process as approved by ACT so thatthey send agencies the very best downloads. It is also time foragencies to take a fresh look at commercial lines downloadingbecause of the improvements being made in these downloads and thesignificant efficiencies they can bring to the business, just aspersonal lines downloads have."

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The guide is available in the technology reports section of theACT Web site at www.independentagent.com/act.

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