In ten years of advocating for data standards, I've learned that our industry doesn't take lightly the investment and sustained effort necessary to implement ACORD XML for Claims and Exposures on large commercial accounts. After all, there are legacy systems to consider, and who wants to invest in technology in this economic climate? But challenging times are pushing all of us to find more efficient ways of doing business, and risk managers must lead the way.
In the last year, several industry leaders have been motivated, no, moved, by the request of a major client to support ACORD XML to exchange claims and incident data. Two projects are already up and running, with at least two more currently in development (as of RIMS 2009 conference week). Another risk manager shared with me that they're contemplating moving their insurance program to a new carrier, to escape the limitations and inertia of legacy systems that would prevent them submitting next year's renewal data electronically via ACORD XML. Market pressure can be a powerful force for good...or at least efficiency.
To help RIMS members communicate their expectations to potential trading partners, whether it be a TPA, RMIS vendor, carrier, or broker, the Technology Advisory Council has developed Sample RFP Language for ACORD Data Standards. It is available in the RIMS Resource Library. By including Data Standards requirements in your next RFP, you can help move our industry towards claim reports and policy renewals that are timely, accurate, and far more efficient than the status quo.