Aon Benfield, the world’s premier reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor, has joined forces with a group of leading reinsurers to promote the use of ACORD standards across the global marketplace.
Reinsurers including Partner Re, XL Re and Swiss Re, which are currently transacting with Aon Benfield in ACORD format in the US, have joined the company in urging the industry to fully embrace the protocol – which has significantly increased transactional efficiency among its current adopters.
In addition to accuracy of data and speed of processing, the use of ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) can lead to significant internal and external cost savings. This was highlighted in the August 2008 merger of Aon Re Global and Benfield Group Limited.
Mitch Balter, Head of Operations for Aon Benfield Americas, said: “Our primary goal in the merger was to create a new company that would offer the very best in client service. We wanted to deliver quality information to our clients and reinsurers as quickly and accurately as possible, and the use of ACORD standards has helped Aon Benfield to achieve that.”
Since January 2009, Aon Benfield globally has transmitted more than 1.3 million ACORD messages across North America, London and Europe, in the areas of Claims, Technical Accounts, Settlement and Placing.
Ian Summers, Managing Director of eBusiness and Market Reform at Aon Benfield, and a member of the North American ACORD Advisory Committee, said: “In London, we saw a 50% improvement in settlement times from reinsurers to clients once we moved to ACORD’s ClaimMovements module. Meanwhile, in the paper world, there used to be an average of 30% rework required in reconciling statements to invoices due to errors. Once the TechAccounts module was introduced, the rework percentage dropped to about 1%, which is an incredible improvement.”
Tom Neff, Director of eCommerce at Aon Benfield, added: “ACORD standards are the key. Whereas proprietary standards work once, ACORD standards keep working because they are the ‘industry’ standards. Once you map your internal data to the ACORD standards, you don’t need to do it again for each new partner.”
Dave Hughes, Senior Vice President of Claims at XL Re America, said: “Electronic data exchange has had a very positive impact on our Claims and Accounting processes.”
Urs Foley, Chief Information Officer of XL Re Global, added: “ACORD messaging has enabled us to meet our vision of setting higher business standards by facilitating that information flows accurately, speedily and consistently from our broker’s source systems, through our global administration system, all the way to our General Ledger in an efficient, effective and controlled environment.”
According to Aon Benfield, ACORD standards can help companies to improve efficiencies, automate processes, and enable future business growth with minimum costs, which is particularly important in the current weakened economic environment.
Shawn Sylvester, Senior Vice President Claims Operations at Swiss Re, said: “This implementation is a continued step in our movement to stream line our processes and improve customer service. The ACORD standards provided us with the ability to improve the timeliness and quality of technical accounting and claims data submission to Swiss Re and the submission of electronic data from Aon Benfield provides us an additional control on the quality and timeliness of submission and settlement of accounts.”
John DiBuduo, Chief Information Officer at PartnerRe, added his support: “The evolving use of the ACORD standards between Partner Re and its business partners has had a direct impact on our operating efficiency – improving the support and services we provide to our clients. Where we have successfully implemented the ACORD E-Claims standard, we have reduced our dependency on data entry and have eliminated the creation of paper files.”