Since we began in 1999, ACT has extended our strong legacy of focus on driving consistent, accelerated technology to improve independent agency workflows. The resulting is a better environment for all - agents & brokers, carriers, vendors, user groups, associations, and industry consultants.
Forward movement is never the result of one person or group - We succeed as an industry because of the passionate participation from all of our members. More than ever, we are responding to intense pressure from not just direct writers, but InsureTechs, emerging tech startups, and other disruptive technology forces that emerge almost daily. New technologies drive opportunities, but also are a call for our distribution to anticipate and implement far more rapidly.
Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your commitment to ACT. It’s our sincere hope that you continue to be an active participant in ACT in 2020, and beyond!
2019 Accomplishments & 2020 Plans
The Future Issues Work Group continues to drive our industry as the leading forward-thinking group, ensuring we are aware of the ‘hard’ trends, and determining the 'must-do' issues. In 2019, this work group created an 'Internet of Things Deep Dive' report. This IoT Deep Dive helps our industry leadership across carriers, agents, and vendors to understand the complex issues across IoT, and understand the impacts for Personal Lines, Commercial Lines, and Life & Health sectors. The group is now working on a similar 'deep dive' for Artificial Intelligence ('AI'), which will provide strategic guidance on the rapidly-evolving arena of issues.
In response to the ever-growing frequency and severity of natural and man-made disasters, ACT's Disaster Planning work group created a comprehensive 'Agency Disaster Plan'. This guide provides an in-depth template agencies can use to identify and plan for disaster-related issues with their staff, physical location, data, equipment, as well as interactions with carrier partners, adjusters, and most importantly - their clients. This up-to-date guide contemplates the critical planning areas and is available in online and downloadable formats.
The Customer Experience (CX) Work Group created a usable ‘roadmap’ for independent agents and their carriers in order to deliver an outstanding customer experience. The "Customer Experience Recommendations" document has been consistently updated as resources have appeared and evolved. In August 2018, the CX work group created the first-of-its-kind 'Customer Experience Journey ' interactive website. This is online CX tool that agencies can use to assess their current CX position, then create a customized recommendations plan that provides step-by-step recommendations with resources, and also monitors their progress. Through the end of 2019 and into mid-2020, the work group will expand this resource's functionality to include an online interactive agency CX assessment, and CX project planning tools as well.
The Security Issues Work Group continues to generate critical security tools for agents, including our 'Agency Security Issues’ Pocket Guide and supporting Reference Guide, and free 'Cyber Hygiene' toolkits. In September 2018, the group updated this resource to the 'Agency Cyber Guide 2.0 ', which 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. and includes an easy-to-use vendor matrix of all cyber regulation vendors in our industry, allowing agents to quickly assess resources to engage in order to comply with onerous cyber regulations.
In late 2019 and into early 2020, this group is working on an updated '3.0' version of the Agency Cyber Guide which will increase ease of use and will feature a web page to detail actual real-world instances of data breaches experienced by independent agents. The group will also determine additional focus areas to provide resources to ensure agents and our industry have the tools needed to be cyber-ready.
The ACT Communications Work Group has continued to improve the content of our monthly ‘ACT News’ eNewsletter, which is a response to members’ call for a concise, targeted insurance news vehicle. ACT News contains several short articles with links to full stories, videos on ACT focus areas, as well as a calendar of events with live links. Subscription requests continue to increase. The work group also has subgroups focusing on the ACT website, member best practices, getting the most from ACT, as well as brand and communications strategy.
ACT’s Small Commercial Real-Time Rating Work Group continued to address rating for Small Commercial Lines, building off their 'Carrier Bridging Best Practices Recommendations document' for Small Commercial Lines. This document was created with insights from carries who were identified as providing the most effective and efficient bridging workflow from management systems to their carrier agent portals - The goal is to drive the most consistent and agent-friendly process possible for bridging small commercial quotes. Throughout the second half of 2019, the group ran a free pilot for approximately 60 agencies, offering one of two Small Commercial rating vendors. The purpose of this pilot is to create a report by YE 2019 which will provide an ROI template to drive additional carrier participation, and ultimately increase agent utilization.
- The Changing Nature of Risk work group was created out of the SFI work group's 'Must Do' recommendations - Across 2017 & 2018, the CNoR work group created over 15 ‘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. In the fall of 2018, this group is completing a 'deep-dive' document on the Internet of Things (IoT), being this topic encompasses so many emerging areas.
ACT continues our primary focus on agents & brokers by active support and participation with User Groups and Associations such as the Applied Client Network, EZLynx AgentLynx, HawkSoft User Group, NetVU, the Nexsure User Group, Partner XE, and others. ACT also actively participates with our Carrier partners, by attending their agent council and leadership planning meetings, providing an industry perspective on strategic roadmap development.
ACT created several Webinars, including a 3-part 'Lightning Learning' series on Cyber awareness and hygiene. Additional webinars can be found on the ACT 'Webinars' web page.
ACT continued proactive support of industry initiatives, such as ID Federation/SignOn Once, AUGIE, and WSIA ( support for the wholesale and E&S lines).
ACT has continued to expand our "ACT News" eNewsletter, published the 3rd Wednesday of each month, ACT News provides 4-5 brief articles with links to additional info, timely videos, interviews with industry leaders, and a calendar of events. Subscription to this newsletter has now surpassed 4,100 with industry-leading open and click-through rates.
ACT tactically increased our integration with IIABA programs such as Young Agents, Diversity, and InVEST (an IIABA youth school-to-work insurance advocacy program), as well as TrustedChoice.com.
ACT continues to host two (2) in-person ACT Meetings per year, increasing attendance, working to make each meeting interactive, including featuring technology futurist keynote speakers. Our strategy is to co-locate these meetings industry user groups and to continue to increase in attendance. Along these same lines, we are successfully executing on plans to significantly increase agent attendance.
Engage the ongoing ACT work groups as needed, including, but not limited to: APIs, Agencies of the Future, Mobile Strategies, Business Intelligence, Carrier Communications, and Mid-Commercial.
Here is a printable copy of this report: ACT 2019 Accomplishments and 2020 Strategies.pdf
Promote the industry priorities of commercial and personal lines real-time rating, eDocs and Messages, electronic policy delivery, and electronic signatures.
For more information about ACT, please contact:
Ron Berg, ACT Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)