Keeping up with bureau changes is a critical aspect of compliance for every insurance company. Depending on the states and lines of business your company writes, your organization might need to track form, rule, and loss cost changes from just a handful–or more than two dozen–rating and advisory organizations per month. Some bureaus, such as Insurance Services Office (ISO), post twenty or more circulars per day. Other bureaus post updates only once every few months. For the frequently-posting bureaus, simply managing the onslaught of updates can pose a challenge. For the less-frequently-posting bureaus, there is a higher risk of forgetting to check the bureau’s site and take action based on their updates.
Adding to the challenge is the process of determining what form, rule or loss cost changes you can implement without filings and which you need to file to be able to use. That depends on three things: whether a state allows the bureau to file on behalf of companies, whether your company has given filing authority to the bureau, and the filing law in that state for that line of business. Even if the new or changed bureau material is filed on behalf of your company, you need to ensure the changes are made in your policy writing and rating systems by the effective date.
No matter the number of bureaus the company tracks, insurance companies face the same challenge: avoiding a breach of compliance by keeping up with bureau changes, including systems changes and the state filings needed to adopt or non-adopt based on state filing law.
As providers of insurance consulting services for companies in all lines of business and in all fifty states, we have seen first-hand how companies fall behind and the chaos it causes when their in-house regulatory compliance services cannot meet their company’s needs.
Here are some helpful insights that can assist your company in wrangling administrative work so you can focus on managing your business.
The challenge of maintaining ever-changing information
The sheer amount of time it takes to mine the bureau sites to compile and analyze relevant information can quickly overwhelm in-house regulatory compliance departments. After gathering information from the bureau sites, compliance staff may need to discuss whether the company would like to utilize the bureau’s changes with key stakeholders. Based on that discussion, they outline the necessary steps for filing to adopt or non-adopt, and request the needed system changes. To track these steps, many insurance carriers rely on ad hoc systems of spreadsheets and emails, thereby risking the accuracy of their information and creating the potential for forgotten or delayed state filings.
Lighten the load with a dedicated bureau monitoring service
To save time, maintain accuracy and streamline the bureau-based state filings process, we recommend outsourcing bureau monitoring and state filings to companies that provide insurance consulting services. These insurance experts monitor bureau changes, can recommend a detailed course of action depending on your company’s lines of business and the states in which you operate, and complete the necessary state filings.
Automating much of the minutiae of monitoring and tracking bureau circulars can relieve your regulatory compliance department of massive amounts of administrative work, freeing them up to focus on big-picture problem-solving.
Use specialized bureau monitoring services developed by insurance experts
Perr&Knight developed Bureau Monitor, a subscription service housed within our StateFilings.com system, specifically to streamline this process. Our compliance analysts review, track and organize circulars for all bureaus and lines of business and put them in one central repository. We keep your account up to date with relevant bureau information and the system keeps you informed in clear, concise terms as to which updates apply to you and what your company needs to do to use the update, including whether your company needs to make any state filings.
Reduce administrative work for faster decision-making and gain time to focus on what matters
Regulatory Compliance departments are often kept busy with compliance issues and filings to make desired changes to your company’s unique products or features. Streamlining the bureau update process enables your compliance department to focus on what matters most to your company while keeping the company in compliance and up to date with key industry changes.
Being able to see status and recommendations for all circulars at a glance significantly improves your efficiency when trying to keep up with the furious pace of insurance bureaus, especially those that require multiple filings per month. If a filing is required to use a bureau update, systems like Bureau Monitor lighten the load because the information your filings staff needs (like the bureau filing number and effective date plus a link to the circular on the bureau’s website) is all in one place. Your compliance staff can also use automated bureau monitoring systems to know which bureau updates will require changes to policy writing and rating systems and indicate the necessary filing has been submitted or approved.
Internal compliance departments can get quickly overwhelmed by the onslaught of changes from frequently updated bureaus, or might simply forget to update material and systems based on updates from the bureaus that post circulars infrequently. Whether you choose to maintain a homegrown system or use an automated bureau monitoring service that augments your team, the most important thing is to maintain a clear, documented process that ensures that no deadlines are missed and all stakeholders have access to the information they need.
If you would like to discuss Bureau Monitor, StateFilings.com or any of the regulatory compliance services or expert insurance consulting services offered by Perr&Knight, call us at (888) 201-5123 ext. 3 and we’ll gladly provide a solution that works best for your business.