Commercial Lines Data Standards Ready for Implementation

Commercial lines data standards have been in the news a lot lately, and it’s easy to see why: while CSIO CL data standards have been established and up to date for quite some time, commercial standards are now on the verge of widespread implementation within the broker channel.

The reason? CSIO’s commercial lines working group, formed in July 2018, has completed its work on defining the “minimum data set” for commercial standards. This data set consists of the common data elements used by carriers to underwrite commercial risks, regardless of complexity. It has been mapped to the CSIO XML data standards and will serve as the foundation for implementation in carrier and vendor systems.

What Can Data Standards do for Commercial Lines?

Widespread adoption of commercial lines data standards will have major benefits to commercial brokers including:

Faster quoting

Seamless interaction and structured data will significantly speed up the quoting process and placement of new business. Brokers will be able to approach multiple markets for a quote using the same information.

Minimized double-entry

Standards will enable more connectivity between BMS and carrier systems, meaning brokers perform more work in their BMS and spend less time entering the same data multiple times.

Improved eDocs workflow

Standards will make possible the download of policy data for commercial lines, creating a client file in the BMS. As a result, commercial eDocs will automatically attach to the appropriate file instead of entering a suspense queue for manual intervention.

These efficiencies will remove friction in the workflow, and allow brokers to spend more time on higher-value activities, such as building client relationships. CSIO is working closely with carriers and broker management system (BMS) vendors to support their programming efforts.

The Path to Implementation

In 2017, CSIO commissioned the Conference Board of Canada to produce a research paper that looked at the barriers of implementing commercial lines data standards in Canada.

The study found a widespread understanding across the industry of the benefits that standards provide. It also found that 91% of brokers are more likely to work with carriers who have implemented data standards. However, it also concluded that due to the complexity of commercial risks and the investment required to program the standards, implementation could not proceed without broad industry support.

As a result of the study, CSIO formed the commercial lines standards working group with AIG, Aviva Canada, Economical Insurance, Gore Mutual, Heartland Mutual Insurance, Intact Insurance, Northbridge Insurance, RSA Canada, Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance, SGI Canada, Travelers Canada, Wawanesa Insurance, and Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC). Their objective was to identify the data elements they all have in common to underwrite commercial policies, creating for the first time a defined starting point – the minimum data set.

“This is a transformational development for the broker channel. We’ve already witnessed the benefits of data standards in personal lines: We are on the cusp of bringing the same benefits to commercial brokers, underwriters, and ultimately the consumer. I am proud of our role in the industry collaboration that brought us to this stage and will continue to support the expansion of standards in the future.”

- Brian Warkentin, Assistant Vice President at Aviva

The Future of Commercial Data Standards

CSIO is working with members to develop a certification program for commercial standards, defining industry requirements for implementation that support the seamless exchange of policy data between brokers and carriers. Certification will recognize carriers and BMS vendors that meet those requirements, promoting and encouraging compliance with the standards throughout the broker channel.

The working group will continue to meet in 2019 to discuss and finalize any additional data elements required to underwrite specific types of commercial risks, supporting more commercial transactions over time.