Last summer, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America announced that member agencies with revenues below $50 million will receive compliementary licenses for use of ACORD forms. ACORD intends to start charging all end users licensing fees effective Jan. 1, 2020. The Big I member benefit covers the cost of those fees.
Steve Anderson, an insurance technology expert and an at-large member of the Big I New York board of directors, is out with a new blog post about the changes ACORD is making. The entire post is worth reading in full, but these parts relate to the Big I member benefit:
[Update] The National Big I has confirmed that they have finalized the validation database to identify Big ‘I’ members under $50m in premium – which is being used by ACORD. Anything outside of that involving agent workflow to validate is ACORD’s responsibility, as well as coordination between ACORD and the management system vendors. ...
ACORD has a list of all eligible Big I members, so agencies should not have to prove membership to ACORD.
ACORD will require all end users (meaning agencies and brokerages) to sign an End User License Agreement (EULA) in order to use the forms. Steve's blog post continues:
I have been unable to obtain a copy of the Agency/Broker End User License Agreement. I reached out to ACORD last week, and their response was, “Thank you for reaching out to ACORD. ACORD and Big I are finalizing the steps and we will have detailed information about end-user license agreement by next week.”
[Update] A clarification from The National Big I — Regardless of ACORD’s statement above, the Big ‘I’ has no input on what the EULA contains in any form.
When a EULA becomes available, this agreement should be reviewed very carefully before signing. This is not a situation where someone in your office should simply click, “I Agree.”
There are less than three weeks left in 2019, so one assumes that ACORD will deliver the EULAs to end users very soon. We encourage you to read Steve's post in full and keep an eye out for communications from ACORD and/or your agency management system vendors with regard to this program.
ACORD has shared with us that they will be reaching out to eligible participants as soon as possible. Should you have questions before you hear from them, please email them at email@example.com.
[UPDATE]: The national Big I sent additional information to the state agents' associations late on December 16. The messsage stated in part:
We have spoken with ACORD CEO Bill Pieroni, as well as some of the larger (agency management system) providers, and we want to assure you that despite any authentication problems, Big I members covered by our agreement will not have to pay the new ACORD license fee on January 1. [Emphasis added] Further, Big I members will still have access to ACORD forms on their agency management systems, as they do now - no disruption in workflow. We are working to ensure that as the agency management system companies work out the authentication process.
Agents using a management system will be directed to access the ACORD Forms License website
and follow a very short process to claim their complimentary license. They then return to the management system workflow, acknowledge that they have obtained the license, and return to accessing the needed ACORD forms. This process will be required annually.
The message also said that the Big I has obtained a copy of ACORD's end user license agreement. They are reviewing it and offering comments and suggestions to ACORD.
Visit the Big I's FAQ web page for additional information. They are updating it as more information becomes available.