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Business people love to use the word “unique” to make them stand out in the crowd. In insurance, carriers often speak of their unique codes to communicate with others, but an ACORD working group feels the uniqueness of these codes is overstated.

Since January, an ACORD working group has been investigating the issue and discovered that in most cases codes aren’t unique and standards can be implemented to improve data communication.

“It’s not unusual for companies to develop unique codes to meet a need they feel only they have,” says Marcia Berner, ACORD program director for PCS. “The problem is: How do you work with business partners when they use a standard and you don’t? Today, we’re working to eliminate these unique codes that aren’t really unique.”

The group started by examining watercraft coverage and its related codes. Through this initial exercise, they found they were able to replace unique codes by:

  • Using an existing ACORD code
  • Submitting a maintenance request to add some codes to the standard
  • Using different implementation methods such as alternative data elements

Leaving It Unique

“This first effort took some time since we were in uncharted waters and needed to find ways to do this efficiently and easily,” says Berner.

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