WIN Magazine - Spring 2015 - (Page 8)
WILL THE E&S
SADDLE UP with STANDARDS?
BY CJ KETTERER
Wholesalers Benefit if Partners
Implement More Electronic Interchange
HE E&S WORLD is
a little like the Wild
finding his or her
own way to the
frontier of business.
Living out in the western half of the
country, it's not hard to imagine those
prospectors in covered wagons westward bound in search of gold.
Ours is a business that prizes innovation, specialization, speed to market
and product creativity and diversity-
traits that have led to valued insurance coverage for everything from
London Bridge to Bono's vocal chords.
We'd insure Santa's workshop and
Cupid's arrow if we could.
But those same traits mean we've
lagged in creating and adopting standards and data sharing.
It's time-past time, in fact-to set
aside a smidgen of the independence
in favor of the greater good-a greater
good that can work to our own good.
It's time for more of the people in the
E&S business to collaborate to make
* Widely implemented
* More commonly used
* Available for many more
* Highly valuable to all business
partners and most of all to
It's time to build the virtual connections-the digital wagon trails, call
them-that can carry the data with
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the speed we need all over this country and the rest of the E&S world.
After all, this is not your father's
surplus lines business. In 20 years,
it's more than doubled: E&S now represents 13.7 percent of commercial
lines direct premiums written in the
U.S. as of 2013. That's more than double the 6.1 percent share for 1993,
noted Best's 2014 Special Report, U.S.
Surplus Lines-Segment Review,
produced with the Derek Hughes/
NAPSLO Educational Foundation.
But is our industry's use of data
standards-those methods of interchange among business partners-
Well, no. Part of that is for good reason: Data standards for E&S, where
they exist, are fairly new.
But the fact is that our business
has a great number of information
silos-systems and automations that
work well, but only within segments
of the overall business. One colleague
commented to me recently how automation in E&S is so often limited to
only a portion of a workflow or by
providing a solution for only a single
It's time to change.
The industry's organization to
develop standards together-the
E&S Joint Working Group (ESJWG)
sponsored by AAMGA, NAPSLO,
the Agents Council for Technology
and ACORD-is well established.
But we are short of participation.
What we need most of all are people and passion to develop and
We have cut a number of paths
across the frontier, which leads me
to believe we can replicate that effort
for other business needs. Let me take
a look back at the recent history of
ESJWG, a group that's flown under
the radar of many in the business.
Since 2011, a core group of volunteer leaders has been updating interface capabilities for the E&S business,
aiming for greater interoperability
among partners. Here's what these
volunteers have already accomplished:
Chair: Tate Tooley, AAMGA member, Bloss & Dillard. The subgroup
works on ways for MGAs to better
support their retail agent business
partners who bring them risks.
* Created roadmap for MGAs to
develop websites for online access
* Provided proof of concept for passing data from agents' management
system to MGA system.
* Calling on business partners in
E&S to implement standards.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WIN Magazine - Spring 2015
Cover Story: Will the Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance Business Saddle Up with Standards? By CJ Ketterer
Digital Maturity—or Extinction: Your Survival Now Depends on Digital Transformation By Scott Klososky and Corey White
Emerging Trends: The Technology Side By Greg Ricker, CPCU
Emerging Trends in the Property Insurance Market By Ralph Sabbagh, ASLI
Underwriting the Exposures of Business Operations: The Impact of Tenant Leases By Craig A. Mathre, CPCU, CLU, CIC, CRM, ASLI, RPLU, AU, AIC, ARM, AAM
Emerging Risks: Brain Research By Dr. Achim Regenauer
Millennials: How Well You Attract and Keep Them Could Be Your Competitive Advantage By Teresa Vaughn, SPHR
Volcanoes, Hurricanes, Tropical Storms and Floods: Perils and Exposures in Paradise By Sharon K. Lee
“Empowering the Wholesale Nation”: AAMGA Annual Meeting Registration and Room Block Are Now Open
Index of Advertisers
WIN Magazine - Spring 2015