ISO Joins Accord to Help Develop Standards for Data Exchange

NEW YORK, NY, January 5, 2001 — Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) has joined ACORD to facilitate collaboration among insurance and financial-industry organizations in the development of data-transmission standards.

"Information exchange, built upon a solid base of clearly defined data standards and using technology, such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), offers insurers and their trading partners an opportunity to streamline their operations by satisfying data needs at each step in the insurance process," said Frank J. Coyne, ISO president and chief executive officer. XML is a universal format for structured documents and data on the Web.

ISO is a leading provider of information about property and liability insurance. Insurers and other financial services providers use ISO's information to rate, underwrite and market insurance products as well as process claims. ACORD is a nonprofit insurance association that facilitates the development and use of standards for the insurance and related financial services industries.

"As the Internet has become an essential industry tool in exchanging information, insurers need to adopt standards for sharing that information with their data partners," said Gregory A. Maciag, president and chief executive officer of ACORD. "And as the financial-services industry converges with the insurance business, insurers must be able to efficiently exchange data with banks and other financial institutions. The ACORD-ISO alliance will help the industry meet those challenges."

Added Maciag: "ISO's involvement in data management and data-quality standards has brought tremendous value to ACORD working groups, such as the Large Commercial and Claims groups, as well as providing strategic advice on the development and adoption of industry data standards."

ISO is working in the Insurance and Reinsurance Interface Model Working Group to ensure that straight-through processing (in which data is adequately defined at its creation to satisfy all subsequent demands for that data) becomes a reality. ACORD and ISO are working to communicate the importance of straight-through processing (STP) to the insurance community, as well as to provide guidance in code list management and data-element definitions.

"The need for widespread use of standards is growing as the Internet emerges as a primary means of exchanging data — not only within an insurer's operations but also among insurers, agencies and other financial institutions," said Coyne. "ACORD is building the protocols for efficient electronic data exchange, and ISO will help ACORD and its membership determine the necessary data content for those protocols."

The ISO-ACORD alliance is one more in a series of alliances ACORD is building with industry organizations to promote standards development, privacy, security and data quality. Among such organizations are the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies, the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations, the Risk and Insurance Management Society, and the Insurance Data Management Association.

ACORD is a nonprofit insurance association whose mission is to facilitate the development and use of standards for the insurance and related financial services industries. ACORD accomplishes its mission by remaining an objective, independent advocate for sharing information among diverse platforms. ACORD's standards and services improve efficiency and expand market reach.

Affiliated with ACORD are tens of thousands of insurance agencies and brokers, insurance companies, related financial services organizations, software providers and industry organizations worldwide.

Insurance Services Office, Inc. provides statistical, actuarial, underwriting and claims information and analyses; consulting and technical services; policy language; and information about specific locations for a broad spectrum of commercial and personal lines of insurance. In the United States and around the world, ISO serves more than 2,900 insurers and reinsurers, as well as agents, brokers, self-insureds, risk managers, insurance regulators and other government agencies.

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Release: Immediate

Giuseppe Barone / Erica Helton
MWW Group (for ISO)
201-507-9500 /

Rick Gilman (ACORD)
1-800-444-3341, ext. 432

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