By Elaine Joggerst, Functional Product Manager, VUE Software
I had an opportunity to attend the annual E-Reg conference in Kansas City, Missouri this past April. When I got back and debriefed my team members on what I learned, I realized that two main themes mentioned were HUGE, but were not emphasized so that everyone could feel the ramifications.
The first issue I noticed was the differences in state rules. Some rules are like “chalk and cheese,” so different from one another that you wonder if they are offering the same product, while some sound the same but are interpreted differently depending on the state. For example, some states need your date of birth (as if that changes) to price your license, some require fingerprint verification (why not every jurisdiction), and every state has their interpretation of perpetual and when to appoint. Then there are the tiny differences like the number of days to submit. For instance, several states may give the same number of days with some meaning work days while others mean calendar days.
As the functional product manager for a large insurance industry software vendor, I would appreciate seeing three options of one rule and letting each state choose their favorite. What E-Reg pointed out (very nicely, I might add) was how each state views things differently, which causes confusion and therefore slows down the process of licensing and appointing agents and agencies in 53 markedly different jurisdictions. Which brings us to how NAREB ll was born.
The other issue is, global and political changes that affect the insurance industry are happening a lot quicker than they appear, and if we aren’t proactively and assertively addressing these changes, that proverbial “got the rug pulled out from underneath you” is going to hurt when you hit the ground. Cyber-attacks, terrorism, and natural and man-made disasters are big talking points that have humungous price tags; this isn’t really new but the new laws to ensure that the aftermath is handled ethically and fairly are. The fines attached for mismanagement of these events are gigantic, and I’d hate to be caught off-guard, as much as the next person.
So now what? Attend this conference every year to get your insight adjusted; put it on your calendar and budget for it. The regulators from most every state, NIPR and SILA folks, and fellow people from the industry were there to share new information and listen to and address our concerns. Besides all that, it’s in Kansas City and the people are really nice there—probably because they have great BBQ everywhere—yummy!
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia.Org
Also, invest in an efficient software tool to manage these crazy little details for you. VUE Software has painstakingly and very happily created the code and the method to process transactions through NIPR and thus through the states for most everything. Know that there are hundreds of little nuances and state rules that change all the time. Our solutions can help you monitor and keep abreast of these changes. Care to see all sides of the situation? Come out to the E-Reg conference, be informed, and gently press your state to use the industry best practices that your co-workers have defined in SILA subgroups. Attend and be part of it all.