Posted on 10 Aug 04
41 states are now accepting the ACORD Life Form Life Application Part 1, ACORD announced. This is a major step in a multi-year initiative and is supported by numerous life insurance companies and associations, including NAILBA and NAVA.
Life Application Part 1 is the primary application form in the Life Insurance process. It captures essential information needed by underwriters about the proposed insured and others applying for insurance. The form is required for issuance of all coverage.
Additional forms and filings are already in the works and the number of Life and Annuity forms available for use is expected to increase rapidly. ACORD, long known for its data standards for Life and Annuity, is bringing this experience to Life and Annuity forms. Currently, there are more than 20 forms which are either approved, pending approval or in development.
A challenge facing most insurance companies is the creation and maintenance of their own unique forms. This creates stockpiles of paper which, due to internal or regulatory changes, are quickly obsolete. Furthermore, the process of keeping up with changes as well as translating them to paper and filing with regulators has become increasingly cumbersome, time-consuming and costly. In addition, providing the right, updated forms on demand is a major undertaking.
These issues led to the ACORD Life and Annuity Forms initiative.
"Our goal is to help ACORD members improve their processing flow throughout the insurance life cycle while increasing cost efficiency," said Kate Ciravolo, vice president and counsel for Government Affairs, adding that "this further expands business opportunities and facilitates communication. By working with industry leaders, we are able to meet not only their needs, but the needs of the industry as a whole."
These forms ease communication not only internally, but across companies and with trading partners.
"One of the immediate benefits of these standardized forms is the ability to use them across multiple product lines and distribution channels," said Denise Garth, vice president, Membership and Development, ACORD, adding that "this eases use for distributors and focuses attention on the product and not the forms."
In addition, ACORD offers to file forms on behalf of member organizations to further streamline their business operations. "We are authorized to file forms where required and have more than 30 years of insurance forms experience and the background to speed up the process," said Brian Marable, program manager, P&C/Life Forms, ACORD.
ACORD Life and Annuity forms are available through the ACORD Web site at http://www.acord.org as PDF files which can be printed and used. Members can download them off the website anytime and from any location with an Internet connection. In the near future, these forms will also be available as ACORD Fillable Forms, allowing users to enter data onscreen and then save locally, print, fax, or email the completed form.