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PIA's Spalding, Savino, Brevik Speak on Standards at ACORD

PIA National President Jon Spalding; Keith Savino, PIA National's representative to ACORD; and Leonard C. Brevik, Executive Vice President & CEO of PIA National participated...
June 15, 2010

PIA National President Jon Spalding; Keith Savino, PIA National's representative to ACORD; and Leonard C. Brevik, Executive Vice President & CEO of PIA National participated in a video forum during the recent ACORD/ Life Office Management System Association (LOMA) Insurance Systems Forum held May 24-26 in Las Vegas. The interview with PIA was conducted by ACORD President & CEO Gregory A. Maciag.

ACORD - the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development - is a global standards development organization serving the insurance industry and related financial services industries. It was founded by agents and brokers 40 years ago, including PIA.

"The biggest thing that ACORD gives us is the standardization that's necessary to provide the information that agents need," said Spalding. "It's necessary for the carriers to get consistent information so that they can then price the account accordingly. From a personal perspective, it's the ease of doing business with the carriers that we have appointments with."

PIA National ACORD representative Keith Savino, who also serves on the board of ACORD, said he is proudest of his involvement in the ACORD User Group Information Exchange (AUGIE). "Understanding how we can do business better to solve that three-legged stool issue, which is the agents, the carriers and the vendors. Getting us all on the same page at the same time - to prioritize those things we need to do in the business to better service our clients, because at the end of the day it's about the policyholder, and it always has been - And that's the focal point of PIA and Main Street agents, taking care of the policyholder."

"What ACORD has done is to bring everybody together to reach a standard that everybody can agree on, and that's not always an easy process," said Brevik.

"We heard in the AUGIE survey results today that we [agents] save an hour per employee per day through ACORD's real-time interface capabilities," Spalding said. "To an independent agency owner, that's a huge number." He added that realtime standards provide a competitive advantage. "For example, on first notice of loss, if I'm using real-time and my competitor is not, my client gets in the loop that much quicker in the claims process and gets their claim settled, we look like the hero."

Brevik said what ACORD has accomplished is to successfully combine insight with foresight and hindsight, approaching the need for seamless processing in a manner that encourages cooperation on standards among the many players in the insurance industry. "PIA agents on a daily basis, particularly in the coastal markets, are always looking for new markets and new market opportunities. Without these standards, those markets are not going to exist." He added that ACORD has taken its mission beyond the shores of the United States. "The whole methodology that you've approached this to export your expertise and American standards to the rest of the world is a significant achievement for ACORD and for the agents," he said.

"Our 'secret sauce' is agents and brokers," said Maciag. "Agents and brokers founded ACORD 40 years ago this year, because they were sitting at the crossroads of all that data going back and forth among the trading partners and realized [that] cooperation was the only way to do it. After 40 years, agents are still intimately involved in what we do. They take a leadership role in what we do. We couldn't have done it without you."

 

                PIA and ACORD On the Air: PIA National participates in a video interview during the recent ACORD/LOMA Insurance Systems Forum held May 24-26 in Las Vegas. (From left to right) ACORD President & CEO Gregory A. Maciag; PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Leonard C. Brevik; PIA National ACORD representative Keith Savino; and PIA National President Jon D. Spalding.

                                              Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (right) with Len Brevik at
the ACORD/LOMA forum in Las Vegas. Mr. Wozniak is
wearing a helmet because he rode his Segway through the
ACORD trade show. (As one of the richest men in the world,
Mr. Wozniak can wear whatever he wants).

ACORD video with PIA's Spalding, Savino, Brevik

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