September 12, 2019 by Jason Contant
Broker-insurer connectivity took a step forward this week, when the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC)’s data exchange working group announced it had completed a first notice of loss (FNOL) transaction in real-time.
The working group developed the first FNOL transaction as a reusable data service (RDS) and placed it in a library hosted at the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations, IBAC said in a press release. Building on the work of the Toronto Insurance Council and in conjunction with IBAC brokers, the achievement “represents an important milestone in the efforts to advance broker-insurer connectivity by enabling the sharing of information between disparate systems,” the broker association said.
“This RDS allows insurance brokers to enter a FNOL into their broker management system, send it to an insurance carrier, and receive an acknowledgement and claims number back from the carrier in real-time,” said Gina McFetridge, chair of the IBAC technology committee and president of Nova Scotia-based Archway Insurance. “Implementation will result in a significant enhancement to the consumer experience, and reduce administration costs for both brokers and carriers.”
The data exchange working group expects to have three more RDSs in the CSIO library by the end of 2019 – billing inquiry, claims inquiry and claims run request. Additional RDSs for both personal and commercial lines will be developed in 2020. Work is being prioritized by transaction types that will bring the highest value to the end customer and greatest savings to the industry, IBAC reported.
“With the heavy lifting done on the FNOL reusable data service, we feel confident in achieving our goal to release three additional RDSs by the end of the year,” said Kim Opheim, broker technology and innovation lead for IBAC and president of a P&C consulting firm. “In 2020, we will be in a position to apply our proven working group process to take on the more complicated transactions that brokers use every day. This will accelerate output and industry connectivity, which is critical to achieving widespread contribution and utilization of the reusable data services library, and real-time connectivity across the industry.”
The development process is part of the data exchange initiative, also known as the D/X Initiative. The project evolved from the creation of a transactional use case using CSIO data standards and IBAC data exchange principles. Custom Software Solutions Inc. helped to develop the RDS, which was vetted through an CSIO testing facility and four insurance carriers to ensure it could be adopted into different operational environments.
Now complete, the RDS is freely available in CSIO’s non-proprietary reusable data services Library. CSIO vendor and carrier members are able to download and implement it within their own environment, allowing them to develop and deploy their own solutions significantly more quickly and cost-effectively than by working on their own.
“IBAC is pleased that the data exchange working group is delivering on its promise to advance real-time connectivity in Canada,” said Peter Braid, IBAC CEO. “We have entered into a new era of cooperation and I am proud to see insurance brokers leading the way and facilitating this important industry-wide initiative for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders.”