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--> Public Access Insurance will provide 7-Eleven with automobile-related insurance services; --> ACORD forms the ACORD Agents Resource Group; --> CT Insurance Services launches CE Central...

Public Access Insurance will provide 7-Eleven, Inc. (Dallas), with a variety of automobile-related insurance services via the convenience retailer's Vcom electronic kiosks, under the terms of a five-year agreement between the firms. Under the agreement, Public Access will be the exclusive retailer of Instant Auto Agency automobile insurance-related products and services to be offered at Vcom kiosks. Instant Auto Agency and Public Access are subsidiaries of Instant Insurance Holdings, Inc. (Dallas). At the kiosks, 7-Eleven customers will have direct access to Public's centralized service center, where they can obtain automobile quotes, purchase policies, pay their monthly bills and talk to a customer service representative.

Seeking the distribution force's input in the standards process, ACORD has formed the ACORD Agents Resource Group (AARG). The new body is intended to allow agents and brokers to provide their business perspectives as part of the standards-setting process, helping to shape standards to be more compatible with their own business workflow. "By putting AARG into action, agents will get involved with standards at the right place and the right time," says Ron Dudley, vice president of standards, ACORD. "It will provide a more targeted and focused involvement, thereby leveraging their time more effectively."

CT Insurance Services (New York, introduced CE Central, a Web-based continuing education (CE) tracking solution that automatically tracks all producer credits, in every state, for every method of study, for every CE provider. CE Central also matches the credits to the state-by-state requirements and automatically calculates CE requirements, outstanding credits and exemptions. "CE Central streamlines and simplifies the process by integrating the various components needed to fully manage the CE compliance process into a single system," according to Val Poltorak, CT Insurance Services' director of program management and business development. With CE Central, users can store producer CE information, access the latest state CE requirements, obtain automatic calculations of outstanding CE, and electronically communicate upcoming renewal dates and requirements among the CE administrator, producers, field offices and other entities. Producer CE status information can be electronically uploaded from multiple CE providers. In addition, CE administrators or producers can enter this information online.

Windsor, CT-based AMS Services and The Hartford (Hartford) have introduced a bridge enabling users of AfW and AfW Online management systems, or AMS rating products (QuoteWorks East and West), to transfer their data directly to the Hartford's Quote-to-Issue (Q-T-I) Internet-based rating product. Following a successful pilot, the bridges are ready to be released in Connecticut, New York, California, Florida and Arizona. Based on ACORD XML standards, the new bridges enable straight-through processing for auto insurance from the AfW agency management system and QuoteWorks rating products. The Hartford's standard and non-standard auto, in selected states, will be the first lines of business to be supported.

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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