ACT Work Groups

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

Fall 2017ACT_promo_QA2_toPrint.jpgACT facilitates work groups focused on key industry issues and creates tools in the form of best practice recommendations, white papers and education materials. These are communicated to all our stakeholders and are used to assist with setting technology strategy and effective, consistent agency workflows.

ACT benefits from volunteer participation by our key stakeholders – from agents & brokers, carriers, technology providers, and other industry associations and user groups.   
For more information on how you can get involved please contact Ron Berg, ACT Executive Director.
*LAST UPDATED: ​ Nov 28, 2017 

​The need for agencies to be fully prepared for catastrophic storms and other disasters has never been greater.

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 on technology, social media, and resources that we can add.

As of Oct 2017, we are re-enacting the Disaster Prep work group for a short time to review
the existing document as well as other ACT & industry resources, determine what format to use to move forward, and complete an update.  This is a critical document for our industry.  The group expects to have the fuill update in early 2018.

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 SFI include the Customer Experience, Mobile/Mobility, Social Web, Agencies of the Future, Mobile Strategies, Business Intelligence, Carrier Communications, and Mid-Commercial. The SFI 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.
The SFI Work Group directed creation of the Changing Nature of Risk work group, which creates 2-3 page 'Risk Advisories on individual topics.  From the Risk Advisories, the SFI work group has identified the top areas the industry must address; the Internet of Things, Smart Homes & Buildings, and the Sharing Economy.  We are now working on creating new in-depth​ 'Must Do' actions around these for ACT and our industry.
Chair: Rick Morgan (WAHVE and Rick Morgan Consulting).
Click here to review the '2015 SFI Hard Trends Report'.
​From the SFI work group’s 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 will focus on both continuing to address new Advisories and also update key previously-issued Advisories that have seen the greatest continued evolution.
Co-Chairs: Steve Anderson (Anderson Consulting), Jerry Fox (CoreLogic Insurance Solutions), and Rick Morgan (WAHVE)
Click here to watch the Changing Nature of Risk Breakout from the February 2016 ACT Meeting.

​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. Last year, the work group released our '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' tool kits for agents (now available).

In fall 2017, the group released the 'ACT Agency Cyber Guide 1.0' - This 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
Throughtout the remainder of 2017 and into 2018 the group will release 'quick hit' advisories focusing on security aspects such as routers, passwords, security testing/and others.
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 supporting full Summary Reference Guide.
Click here to access the ACT/CIS 'Cyber Hygiene' tool kits.
The objective of this work group is to create a roadmap for independent agents and their carriers to deliver an outstanding customer experience ('CX') at each stage of the customer’s journey – one that stands out from what the competing distribution systems are able to offer. This work group has documented the agent ‘touchpoints’ on which prospects and clients experience across their research, buying, renewal, and advocacy journey. From this, we have determined the critical elements and released the Final Recommendations on Feb 18, 2015. 
The work group is now working on creation of an online CX tool that agencies can use to understand their current CX position, then create a customized recommendations plan that provides step-by-step recommendations with resources, and also monitors their progress.  The work group will continue development of this into 2018.
Chair: Claudia McClain (McClain Insurance Services)
Click here to view the full 'Customer Experience Journey Recommendations' document.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.

The group is now working on their next phase of the desired 'end state' for full round-trip real time rating for Small Commercial Lines. 
Co-Chairs:  Jim Armitage (Arroyo Insurance Services), & Susan LaBarre (Liberty Mutual). 
Click here to access the "Carrier Bridging Best Practices" Recommendations document.
Click here to view work group most current notes on "action items."
​​​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 the ACT website, member best practices, getting the most from ACT, as well as brand and communications strategy.
Chair: Peter van Aartrijk
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"