During the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America's (PCI) annual meeting last month in Chicago, Ernie Csiszar, Des Plaines, Ill.-based PCI's president and CEO, challenged insurers to rethink their approach to regulatory reform, calling the current regulatory system "untenable." He added that the issue would be a top priority for PCI in 2006.
Joseph Annotti, SVP of public affairs for PCI, explains that because each state has its own mandated regulations, compliance has become disjointed and inefficient. "There's increasing federal pressure to get the states up to speed, and I think there is certainly a role for technology in that," Annotti contends, pointing to the System for Electronic Rate and Form Filing (SERFF) as a possible part of the solution. Annotti relates that the Kansas City, Mo.-based National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) designed SERFF - an automated electronic filing process - to create a uniform compliance process for insurers that can be used across all states.
According to the NAIC's Web site, the association contracted IES Midwest (Overland Park, Kan.) in 1997 to build SERFF using IBM's (Armonk, N.Y.) Lotus Notes as the developmental technology. In 1998, NAIC contracted Integrated Corporate Solutions (Overland Park) to add help desk support and technical support to the SERFF system. Currently, the process is utilized by 1,150 insurance companies in the U.S.
"This system would dramatically reduce the costs of administration and processing," Annotti says. "It would also help streamline state regulation."
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