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ACT Work Groups

Please note the date of our last official updates – as technology is constantly evolving so are our work groups.

ACT facilitates multiple work groups focused on key industry issues to create tools in the form of best practice recommendations, advocacy, and educational materials.  These are communicated to all our stakeholders and are used to assist with setting technology strategy and enabling effective, consistent agency workflows.

ACT benefits from volunteer participation by our key stakeholders; agents & brokers, carriers, technology providers, and other industry associations and user groups.

  • Most work groups have monthly 45- to 60-minute virtual meetings.   
  • For any particular work group's strategy update, click below. 
  • For more information on how you can get involved please contact


Updated:   May 25, 2021

ACT is moving forward rapidly with 2020 strategies - and we need YOU! 

More precisely, we need your input and vision - and you do NOT have to be a tech expert. 
Our work groups create valuable industry tools by bringing together carriers, vendors, agents & brokers, user groups and associations.  Each stakeholder takes off their company 'hat' and addresses tech issues to creates consistency, education, and best practices.

The Commitment

Each ACT Work Group has monthly virtual meetings for approximately 45-60 minutes.

Get Started

It's easy: just email our team at sharing which work group(s) you'd like to join.  And it's pressure-free; you don't have to lead or even share immediately.  Instead, you can observe how a particular group works and share when you're comfortable - or dive right in! (we like that second option).

We succeed because of YOUR input. 

Please join us as we work together to improve agent workflows for our industry!

 Current Active Work Groups

This ACT work group was created to address the significant need for education and openness around API opportunities in our distribution channel. We are bringing together reps from carriers, vendors, agencies, as well as state associations to develop a level of understanding on this issue.   

Areas we will work to define:

  • How does each stakeholder define 'API'?

  • What will different levels of success look like?

  • How does each stakeholder work openly with others?

  • What areas can/should ACT impact?

2022 Strategy Update

Based on discussions in API work group meetings, our goal is to develop an 'API Partner Security Guide' to provide background for discussion between development partners.

Working drafts of 'Data Protection' and 'Security SLA' sections are available:

Background and discussion points are available below:

Work Group Chairs
Duke Williams (EchoSage and SimplyEaserPayments), and TBA

The purpose of this work group is to:
•  Understand and communicate the current state of data insight resources – system implementations, insurance company capabilities, third-party solutions, etc.
•  What this group can/should do to provide insights on current-state and emerging AI/Machine Learning/Business Intelligence resources – and what format(s) this should take.
•  Where is our industry progress now, and where do we need to be prepared to be?
•  Determine what additional actions this work group should undertake.

2021 Strategy Update:  This group held its kick-off meeting on June 25, 2020, and held four additional discussion meetings throughout 2020, along with a dedicated session at the Oct 20 ACT Virtual Meeting.  For 2021, the work group Chairs are making recommendations on direction and the full work group will discuss and create educations resource(s) from those, beginning in January.
Let us know if you would like to join the conversation!  Contact 
Co-Chairs:  Wendi Bukowitz (Cincinnati Insurance), Dave Davis (Fudge Insurance)

2020 Strategy Update:  The Future Issues work group is meeting to create an AI 'deep dive', updating our 'Autonomous Vehicles' Risk Advisory, and creation of other Risk Advisories on Chatbots, Messaging, and Marketing.  

This work group has traditionally been the technology trend beacon for ACT and the industry, keeping an eye on the key hard trends, and informing/directing focus areas for other ACT Work Groups and industry associations.  Some of the work groups created or directed by Future include the Customer Experience, Mobile/Mobility, Social Web, Agencies of the Future, Mobile Strategies, Business Intelligence, Carrier Communications, and Mid-Commercial. 

The Future Work Group released the first phase of the 2015 Hard Trends Report, providing a comprehensive update and enhancement of the major 'Hard' trends impacting both the way we do business and the way we serve our customers. The work group then developed the second and final phase of the report which highlights key Must-Do action items that ACT and the industry should pursue in response to the challenges and opportunities brought about by the hard trends.

In October 2018, the work group released a new '2018 Key Tech Trends Report ', assisting our industry in accurately planning technology strategy.
The Future Work Group also directed the creation of the Changing Nature of Risk work group, which creates 2-3 page 'Risk Advisories' on individual topics.  From the Risk Advisories, the Future work group has identified the top areas the industry must address; the Internet of Things, Smart Homes & Buildings, and the Sharing Economy.  
Click Here to review the '2018 Key Tech Trends Report'.

The objective of this work group is to create a digital roadmap for independent agents and their carriers to deliver an outstanding customer experience ('CX') at each stage of the customers' journey one that stands out from what the competing distribution systems are able to offer. This work group has documented the agent touchpoints which prospects and clients experience across their research, buying, renewal, and advocacy journey.  This lead to the development of a Customer Experience Journey Recommendations document.
In August 2018, the CX work group created an online CX Planning website that agencies can use to understand their current CX position, then create a customized recommendations plan that provides recommendations with resources.  

2021 Strategy Update:  The work group has now working enhanced the CX website to include online interactive CX assessment and project planning tools, as well as an "Agency Chatbot 'How-To' Guide".  Next, the CX work group is working to create usable insights on the ROI of CX & digital improvements to help make the case for more implementations, as well as a snapshot of a digital agency in 2021.
Let us know if you would like to join the conversation!  Contact 
Co-Chairs:  Stacie Cooper (Safeco/Liberty Mutual), and Dina Buxton (Crane Agency)
Click here to access the ACT 'CX Planning website'
This work group has generated excellent tools around security and privacy for agents and brokers. The group investigates emerging security issues and determines what guidance we need to provide our IA distribution.  The group has created resources like the 'Agency Security Issues Pocket Guide and supporting Reference Guide to aid agents in setting their security strategy. These guides cover topics such as data encryption, updating security plans, data breach, and laws, issues with mobile devices, texting, and others
ACT also partnered with the Center for Internet Security, offering free 'Cyber Hygiene' toolkits for agents.

In fall 2017, the group released the 'Agency Cyber Guide 1.0', then version '2.0' in Oct 2018.  
As of September 2020, the group released a new, online version of the 'Agency Cyber Guide 3.0'  - - This resource addresses all security regulations from entities like Gramm-Leach-Bliley, NYDFS, and the NAIC.  The Guide provides descriptions and resources for all regulations, including a downloadable template to create an Agency Cybersecurity Policy, as well as a matrix of cybersecurity service providers. 

In 2020, the group also created an additional resource to assist agents with understanding and taking action on emerging ADA & Accessibility challenges, including the alarming volume of compliance lawsuits against independent agent websites.

2021 Strategy Update:  This work group will have no shortage of security-related issues to address - emerging state cyber regulations, NY DFS, NAIC, and many others.  
One goal for 20201 is to connect more proactively with our carrier and vendor partners to have them use the Agency Cyber Guide version 3.0 to urge their agency partners to take action to become cyber secure.  The group is currently developing its additional goals for 2021.

If you'd like to be involved with this work group, please contact
Co-Chairs: Steve Aronson (Aronson Insurance) and George Robertson (Rockingham Insurance)
Click here to view the Agency Security Issues Pocket Guide.
Click here to view the ADA/Accessibility Resource web pages.  
Click here to view the supporting full Summary Reference Guide.
Click here to access the ACT/CIS 'Cyber Hygiene' toolkits.
This work group assesses and guides a wide variety of marketing and communications strategies to advance ACT awareness and impact.

The group is currently creating a comprehensive plan for ACT focused on more effective communication methods, website enhancements, as well as strategies for ACT to employ - taking advantage of available new tools & technologies.  ACT seeks to reach and engage a broader audience (the right people within agencies and carriers), increase its educational effectiveness, provide a forum for ongoing discussion of key technology-related industry issues, and create content that motivates agents and carriers to implement. 

The work group also has subgroups focusing on user experience improvements to the ACT website, member best practices, getting the most from ACT, as well as brand and communications strategy.

2020 Strategy Update:  This group will use feedback from dedicated sessions at ACT Meetings to develop focus areas and objectives.  We have no shortage of communications improvement opportunities to help ACT and our industry!

Are you interested in lending your voice to the evolution of a more impactful communications plan that benefits all stakeholders?  Email '' and we'll make it easy to add you to our roster and meetings!

Chair: Peter van Aartrijk (the Aartrijk Group, Chromium)

 Recent Work Groups

From the SFI work groups creation of the 2015 Hard Trends Report and the resulting Must Do actions, one primary work group recommendation is to create a new ACT Work Group focusing on the changing nature of (insurance) risk.  

This work group reviews the individual topics that will impact risk Machine Learning, Voice Computing, 3D Printing, the Sharing Economy, IoT, Drones, Telematics, Machine Learning, and others and determining for responses needed by ACT and the industry.  
The CNoR work creates Risk Advisories; short, focused advisories on each topic, defining the trend, importance, implications, economic impacts, recommended actions, and resources for more information.  These 'Risk Advisories' are intended to drive strategic discussions among all industry leaders, resulting in accelerated distribution channel movement forward. 
The 'Risk Advisories' are located on the 'Changing Nature of Risk' web page, and the group will continue to populate the web page with new Advisories as they are finalized.
In 2018, this group focused on updating key previously-issued Advisories that have seen the greatest continued evolution.  In addition, volunteers from the group completed an "Internet of Things Deep Dive", published March 2019. 

2019 Strategy Update:  The group has confirmed to create the next 'deep dive' on Artificial Intelligence ('AI'), utilizing the same format as IoT - We are working on this now, and targeting completion by end of Q4/19. 
If you're interested in joining the discussion, simply send a quick email to! 
Co-Chairs: Steve Anderson (Anderson Consulting), Rick Morgan (WAHVE), and Jerry Fox (Systems by Fox)

To access our March 2019 'IoT Deep Dive', click HERE.
Click here to watch a Changing Nature of Risk breakout session from one of our ACT Meetings.


The need for agencies to be fully prepared for catastrophic storms and other disasters has never been greater.  Think of the tropical storms and wildfires our country has dealt with across 2018.

Previously, our ACT 'Disaster Preparedness' work group created a great document for agents to use in planning for disasters.

Though the older ACT 'Disaster Prep' document has many aspects that are still relevant, much has also emerged in technology advancement, social media, and resources that we can add.
We have re-engaged the Disaster Preparedness work group to review the existing document as well as other ACT & industry resources, determine what format to use to move forward, and complete update.  

2020 Strategy Update:  As of April 2019, we have completed and released the Disaster Plan Guide.  Across 2020, we will work to communicate the Disaster Plan widely and update key areas with the Guide as additional resources are identified.  If you would like to review and provide input, please send an email to 

This work group is dedicated to identifying Carrier pain points on Bridging, and real-time comparative rating.  A preliminary discussion between key industry representatives determined that there is an opportunity to re-address rating for Small Commercial Lines. This work group will work to 1) facilitate improvement, consistency, and education on existing 'bridging' functionality from management systems to carrier sites and 2) determine direction and advocacy for the desired end-state of consistent Real Time Comparative Rating for Small Commercial Lines. The work group held a kickoff meeting in September 2015, then fielded an industry-wide survey to confirm challenges and further refine its goals.
Our Small Commercial Rating group used this survey data to assign projects and deliverables  In August 2016, the work group created a "Carrier Bridging Best Practices" Recommendations document as advocacy to carriers for consistency and agency ease-of-use in Bridging quotes to carriers agent portals.  The group will also create a focus group to address existing issues with data and download/rating standards.

2020 Strategy Update:  This work group has now;
1) run 2-3 focused comparative rating pilots to gain insights into challenges and benefits of comparative rating for small commercial lines of business.  The goal will be to create and share best practice learnings that will benefit all stakeholders, driving increased carrier participation, as well as agency awareness & utilization.  Current status:  
  • We landed on separate pilots with two comparative rating vendors - InsureZone and IBQ who graciously offered to let applicant agencies use their rating platforms free of charge for 90 days.  Two other vendors declined to participate.
  • Both InsureZone and IBQ have worked to set up 18-25 agencies each, providing training and support.
  • Participants have also agreed to consistently use the raters every day, as well as provide feedback via a detailed survey we have created.  The comparative rating vendors are also collecting direct feedback during training and support calls and will provide details to us.  ACT will likewise share the feedback we capture with these pilot vendors.
  • While the 90-day pilots will not fully begin prior to the May 20-21 ACT Meeting in Cincinnati, we shared a status update during the meeting.
  • At the conclusion of the pilot, this work group will be engaged to review results and assist in providing summaries/ROI to our distribution channel.
This work group contains very passionate volunteers - If you'd like to join the conversation, please contact
Chair:  Jim Armitage (Arroyo Insurance Services).
Click here to access the "Carrier Bridging Best Practices" Recommendations document.

This work group has updated ACTs agency-carrier technology agreements guide. We have confidentially reviewed a number of national, super-regional and regional carrier agreements with agencies and are in the final phases of generating a ‘recommendations’ document that addresses a number of technology-based areas that have emerged in recent years which current carrier/agency agreements do not contemplate. The work group is comprised of representatives from carriers, vendors, associations and agencies. The final recommendations document was also reviewed by carrier and industry legal representatives to provide full feedback.
A Formal Document, which will be reviewed and refreshed periodically, was released October 27, 2014. A future focus for this group will be to address the use of ‘click-wrap’ agreements on agent portals.
Chair: Jim Armitage (Arroyo Insurance Services)
Click here to view the Carrier-Agency Technology Agreements Recommendations.
Click here to access a 2016 whitepaper on "Privacy & Data Breach Language for Insurance Company Agency Agreements"
ACT engaged this work group beginning in September 2015 to address our distribution channel's struggles with adoption by agents and acceptance by carriers. The work group focuses on clear recommendations on workflow and integration to agency systems, advocacy to carriers for acceptance of vendor eSignature solutions that meet UETA and ESIGN requirements, along with their own proprietary systems, education to agents and the industry, and use and updating of existing reference documents. 
In June, the group created and delivered a 'Carrier eSignature Advocacy' document - Reaching out to carriers not documented as accepting UETA- and ESIGN-compliant vendor eSignatures from agencies.  This document provides significant background and rationale to urge carriers to accept agency eSignatures along with their own proprietary solutions.  We are seeing positive responses from carriers.
Across 2017 and early 2018, the group recently completed additional resources for agencies, such as eSignature Benefits Guides for agency reps and customers, Training & Troubleshooting documents, and an eSignature Workflow template.

2020 Strategy Update:   While this work group is officially on 'hold' having created significant point-in-time resources, we will proactively look for opportunities to update existing materials, as well as determine any new areas we can assist with.
Co-Chairs: Joyce Sigler (Jones & Wenner Insurance) and Nick Khamarji, Jr. (New England Insurance)
Click here to access the ACT eSignature web page which lists the agency tools listed above, and much more.
Click here to access the ACT 'Carrier eSignature Advocacy' web page.

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