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Last modified: August 08, 2007
ACORD - XML for the Insurance Industry


ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) "is a global, nonprofit insurance association whose mission is to facilitate the development and use of standards for the insurance, reinsurance and related financial services industries. Affiliated with ACORD are hundreds of insurance and reinsurance companies, and thousands of agents and brokers, related financial services organizations, software providers, and industry organizations worldwide... ACORD XML (Extensible Markup Language) is the electronic language of the insurance Internet, facilitating real-time, cross-platform, peer-to-peer communication. ACORD XML for Life, Annuity & Health is based on the ACORD Life Data Model and provides a robust, industry-tested XML vocabulary. ACORD XML for Life, Annuity & Health is a family of specifications for the industry designed to enable real-time, cross platform business partner message/information sharing. It accomplishes this by combining the rich data vocabulary of the Life, Annuity & Health Data Model with all the benefits of XML. The ACORD XML for P&C/Surety standard addresses the industry's real-time requirements. It defines P&C/Surety transactions that include both request and response messages for Accounting, Claims, Personal Lines, Commercial Lines, Specialty Lines and Surety transactions. The strength of Extensible Markup Language (XML) is that it provides a generic way to process data on the Internet and an efficient way to transfer structured data between applications. In the Property & Casualty business, ACORD XML provides a foundation for real-time exchange of data between producers, insurers, rating bureaus, service providers and more. ACORD Reinsurance and Large Commercial Insurance (RLC) are designed to provide seamless transfer of information between insurers (cedents), reinsurance brokers and reinsurers ACORD XML for P&C Reinsurance ia a standard created in Extensible Markup Language (XML) that addresses the industry's real-time requirement..." [2007-09]

Early ACORD Descriptions

"ACORD, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development, is the insurance industry's nonprofit standards developer, a resource for information about object technology, EDI, XML and electronic commerce in the United States and abroad. ACORD maintains AL3, OLifE, XML and ACORD Forms Standards. Since 1970, ACORD has been serving the insurance industry. Initially, we developed standard ACORD Forms to enable information sharing in the industry. In the 1980s, we began the task of providing the industry with standards for electronic data sharing. With the addition of the OLifE standard in 1996, we added data integration to our package of services. Today, ACORD has the support and participation of more than 1,000 insurance carriers and groups, 25,000 agencies, the major providers of software and services to the industry, and nonprofit associations including agency system user groups, national producer associations, and the CPCU Society." [From 'About ACORD' 2003]

[May 1999] "ACORD [Agency Company Organization for Research and Development] and the Independent Insurance Agents of America's Agents Council for Technology (ACT) have entered into a joint initiative to deliver to the industry within 120 days, a standardized vocabulary for XML, based on the ACORD ObjX and AL3 standards, announced Gregory A. Maciag, president and CEO, ACORD. This joint initiative will help prevent the potential growth of non-standard DTDs (Document Type Definitions) which would lead to multiple, uncoordinated, and more costly efforts to standardize XML transactions for the industry, said Maciag. "The 'fast track' approach reemphasizes to the industry ACORD's permanent commitment to lead the way in standardizing the exchange of insurance-related data by leveraging our ObjX development. . . [in order to develop a widely accepted standard, the parties] 'are all committed to working together to produce the minimum specifications required to facilitate initial deployment of XML-based insurance applications in a consistent, standardized fashion. . . developing these XML definitions is "a step toward full ObjX implementations and is part of ACORD's mission to build bridges between AL3 and ObjX'."

"ACORD currently has defined a render form Transaction (XML Based). We have a standard object model which we give to our member companies. We are now in the process of working on other transactions including request quote, and establish account. These transactions are based on our UML model, and a standard DTD which we are defining with the help of our members. Much of our work is also based on Microsoft DNAs so we can try to be consistent with the Financial Services Industry."

ACORD is a "not-for-profit standards-setting association for the insurance industry. It is a a resource for information about object technology, EDI, XML and electronic commerce in the United States and abroad. Since 1970, [it has] served as the industry's objective, independent advocate for sharing information between diverse platforms and among all data partners through the use of standards. Its mission is to develop electronic standards to enable and enhance information sharing within the industry and among its data partners. ACORD has approximately 45 full time employees. Its members and participants include more than 27,000 agents, over 60 software vendors and 1,000-plus insurance companies."

Principal References

General: Articles, Papers, News

  • [March 9, 2006] "Back to the Future: V2 XML." Announcement March 9, 2006. "In December 2005, ACORD released the P&C/Surety (PCS) Version 2 XML Standard. The PCS Committee responsible for oversight of ACORD's PCS Standards development viewed this as "the most significant deliverable since the V1 XML publication nearly five years ago." V2's arrival is exciting for all members of the industry, but invites questions to help understand the why - why is there a V2 and why should we implement. In brief, V2 is a new XML specification for PCS. As a major specification release, it breaks backwards compatibility from the current V1.x Standard (e.g. V1.x compliant data streams are not compliant with V2). Because of this fact, moving to a new standard is a significant change. There are a number of reasons for moving to V2. First, the landscape of XML has changed since the original design of the V1.x standard in 1999. In addition, V1.x implementation experience has been insightful with regards to opportunities for design improvements to ease and increase implementation... ACORD's P&C/Surety XML specification is developed and enhanced by ACORD Members. New developments are presented either as proposals for working groups and/or as proposed changes to future specification releases. The ACORD P&C Steering Committee oversees the development of the specification and determines which new working group proposals will move forward...

  • [May 23, 2003]   Microsoft and ACORD Use InfoPath for Linking Insurance Forms to XML Web Services.    A joint announcement from Microsoft and the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD) describes an effort to create a forms service linking standardized insurance forms to XML Web services. The new information-gathering application based upon InfoPath "will enable insurance agencies to fill out electronic forms once and then link the data with the click of a button to other forms, databases, back-end systems and applications via XML Web Services. Aimed at helping the insurance industry reduce the overhead associated with complex transaction processing and the errors that result from having to re-key data several times, the forms service is expected to standardize the way forms relate to industry-specific XML data standards such as ACORD's, and how the data itself is delivered. InfoPath utilizes XML and XML-based Web services to enable insurance agencies to complete forms once and then link the data to other forms, databases, back-end systems and applications. As part of the forms service, Microsoft .NET Web services can be used to provide additional functionalities, including e-mail, printing and data-routing." A related announcement highlights Microsoft's support of UNeDocs through InfoPath, using a smart client for on-line and off-line processing of XML forms.

  • [October 21, 2002] "Applied Systems Announces Mass Availability of Real-Time Communication with Major Insurance Carriers for All TAM, Vision Agencies. 7,500 Agencies Now Managing $75 Billion in P/C Premium Using IVANS Transformation Station and ACORD XML." - "Applied Systems, Inc. announced today an initiative, called the 'Light Em Up Campaign,' to install new real-time interface transactions within all agencies using Applied Systems agency management systems, and to automatically enable communications with the major insurance carriers they represent. Real-time interface via IVANS Transformation Station uses ACORD XML and the public Internet to reduce the time and expense for both the agency and the company in processing sales and service transactions. The initiative allows agents to process insurance company policy transactions and retrieve insurance company account status information, directly from within their agency systems, with the click of a mouse button, at exactly the time they need it: A customer has a request, and 'click,' the agent has an answer -- without delays, phone calls or faxes. Applied Systems has automatically set up all of its agency customers with Transformation Station accounts, pre-configured for real-time interface with the companies they represent. Eight major insurance companies are participating within the initial campaign by pre-authorizing real-time communication access, using ACORD XML transactions, for their Applied Systems agencies. The carriers include Travelers Property Casualty, The St. Paul, Progressive, Encompass Insurance, ACUITY, Ohio Casualty Group, The Hartford, and Kemper Auto and Home. The new agency-company real-time interface transactions include: (1) Policy Rating and Issuance; (2) First Notice of Loss reporting; (3) Inquiry for Policy Status, Billing Status, Claim Status and Loss Run; (4) Data Bridging between agency systems and company web sites. While the type of transactions being implemented will vary by company, all are critical transactions that independent agents need for more efficient operations. 'Each of the insurance companies has authorized its agents to begin using real-time ACORD XML transactions, such as policy quote, policy inquiry, billing inquiry, data bridging, and first notice of loss reporting,' Doug Johnston said. 'The combination of agency accounts and authorized companies represents more than 15,000 communicating pair relationships -- and covers agents managing $75 billion in property and casualty premium'..."

  • Joint Venture Standards:

  • ACORD Candidate Recommendation V2 DTD. 2000-11-27. [cache]

  • ACORD Candidate Recommendation V2, 2000-11-27 [cache]

  • [April 22, 2002] "ACORD Brings Insurance Industry to OASIS UBL Liaisons." - "ACORD, the insurance industry standards organization, has become the latest industry group to appoint a representative to the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) Technical Committee. ACORD joins liaisons from a broad group of industry standards organizations in the subcommittee that provides guidance to UBL, the initiative to define standard XML business forms for electronic commerce. 'ACORD has been a long time advocate of working with other organizations to achieve interoperability across industries,' said Gregory Maciag, CEO of ACORD. 'Insurance is not only a vertical market, but also an integral part of international supply chain management. The UBL effort brings together major players in the standards arena to develop ebXML compliant solutions. This is very important to our industry.' Other organizations with liaisons to UBL include: ARTS, representing retail sales; ASC X12, representing EDI standards; EIDX, representing the electronics industry; RosettaNet, the information technology consortium; and XBRL, the accounting industry standards organization. UBL liaisons provide input to UBL and coordinate the review of standard XML business schemas as they become publicly available. 'Input from these pivotal industry groups ensures that UBL reflects the needs of the marketplace,' said Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems, chair of the OASIS UBL Technical Committee and organizer of the working group that created XML. 'Our goal of defining a common XML library for basic business documents like purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notices crosses all industries. Contributing to the development of UBL gives industry groups the opportunity to shape the outcome of our work together'.... The OASIS UBL (Universal Business Language) Technical Committee is an open, publicly accountable, nonprofit initiative to define a common XML library for basic business documents like purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notices. UBL provides a standard set of XML building blocks together with a framework that will enable trading partners to unambiguously identify and exchange basic e-commerce documents in specific business contexts. The OASIS UBL effort builds on the Electronic Business XML (ebXML infrastructure developed by OASIS and the United Nations. The ebXML specifications provide for XML registry services, reliable XML messaging, standardized trading partner agreements, a standard data dictionary, and a business context methodology. However, UBL documents are usable in a wide variety of other ecommerce frameworks as well. UBL unites and harmonizes a number of currently existing XML and EDI business libraries into a set of internationally recognized de jure standards. Designed to solve major interoperability problems for both vendors and users, UBL will speed the entry of small and medium-size businesses into the electronic marketplace. UBL is freely available to everyone without legal encumbrance or licensing fees..." See: "Universal Business Language (UBL)."

  • [October 18, 2001]   New Joint Venture (JV) XML Standards for Reinsurance and Large Commercial Insurance.    A new suite of documents and files defining the JV XML insurance standards has been announced by ACORD, which assumed responsibility for the JV Standards in July 2001. The release includes "an XML specification that gives general information regarding JV XML as well as details of the structure and makeup of the JV XML data tags, aggregates and messages. A Document Type Definition (DTD) is also included that can be used to validate XML datastreams; there are transaction templates which show the XML streams for each of the JV XML messages. This new version is based on extensive pilot testing of the earlier version 1.0, released in June 2000, by a number of broker and reinsurer organizations in the US, UK and Europe. As a result of the pilots, transaction structures have been simplified, and XML designs optimized so that interfaces to them can be incorporated efficiently into an implementers' internal systems. The new release also includes updates to other implementation documentation, and to the JV interactive Data Dictionary, to fully support the new version of the XML standards." [Full context]

  • [April 02, 2001]   Standards Coordination Effort Uses OMG's Unified Modeling Language (UML) and ACORD's Process Model.    An announcement from The Object Management Group (OMG) and the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD) reports that the two standards bodies have "teamed up to leverage their respective strengths to provide a formal representation of software standards for the insurance industry." The agreement calls for the creation of a UML version of the ACORD data model. Also, "when OMG calls for specifications or recommends Request for Proposal's (RFPs) for the insurance industry, OMG will use the ACORD model where applicable." A key goal of OMG's endorsement of the ACORD model through its RFP process is preventing fragmentation of the marketplace. "By leveraging ACORD's own processes and existing models, along with OMG's Unified Modeling Language (UML), both organizations' members gain a rapid, consensus-based, neutral standard which benefits many user communities. UML provides the ability to represent a common platform independent model. This is important because ACORD will be able to maintain a formal high-level model while saving time and money as changes in implementation technology are made. An added benefit for this collaboration between the two organizations is the implementation of OMG's recently announced Model Driven Architecture (MDA) which is based primarily on UML modeling. With MDA, OMG can offer vendors an automated way to produce implementation models that are highly interoperable, making future integration easier. MDA builds upon OMG's established modeling standards: UML, Meta-Object Facility (MOF), XMI Metadata Interchange (XMI), and the Common Warehouse Meta-model (CWM)." [Full context]

  • [March 26, 2001] "MIB to Implement ACORD-Based XML Interface." - "MIB, the voluntary association of nearly 600 life insurance companies, has announced it that it has reached an agreement with ACORD, the insurance industry's non-profit standards developer, to promote industry adoption of ACORD's XML for Life Insurance Standards in IT architecture. MIB will implement three new ACORD-approved TXLife transactions designed for communication between MIB and its member companies. The approved transactions will initially cover the MIB Checking Service. 'We're adopting the ACORD Standards to provide our members with the highest quality of service,' said Fred Pritikin, chief marketing officer of MIB's e-Services Corporation. '"Response time will be just a fraction of that required with our dial-up network and carriers will be able to leverage the same Internet infrastructure they've implemented for other business processes. The carriers will be able to communicate with us using standard data formats and protocols. We expect that this will result in tighter integration of MIB processes with the carriers' internal business processes'. Pritikin said that MIB was completing a reengineering of all its business processes. The three ACORD-approved transactions were designed with these overall improvements in mind." As it begins the implementation of the XML interface, MIB is seeking vendors and carriers who are interested in being among the first to adopt the new technology. MIB plans to work with ACORD to develop additional transactions for business communications."

  • [August 09, 2000] "MIB Inc., ACORD Announce Alliance to Promote ACORD XML Standards." - "MIB Inc., the voluntary association of nearly 600 life insurance companies, and ACORD, the insurance industry's non-profit standards developer, have announced a strategic alliance to promote industry adoption of ACORD's XML for Life Insurance standards in IT architecture. ACORD XML is the industry-specific standard of XML technology, which provides a generic method of processing and transferring data via the Internet... Both ACORD and MIB are taking steps to promote the adoption of the new standards within the industry. MIB, which handles thousands of information transfers with its member companies each day, plans to incorporate ACORD XML for Life Insurance standards for its existing MIB interface, even as it plans for the eventual deployment of a full XML system. ACORD has also announced it will develop standard forms for electronic life insurance applications so that the industry can use a common form as well as have a common data communication standard..."

  • [May 22, 2000] ACORD Technology Conference. "Today ACORD is pleased to announce the establishment of the new Large Commercial Accounts Working Group. This working group will explore electronic standards for the processing of large commercial business. The working group is a response to the increasingly competitive environment in the insurance industry. A kickoff meeting is scheduled for June 8 and 9 at ACORD headquarters in Pearl River, New York, to define the business processes requiring standards and establish a priority list of transactions. This initiative will leverage existing standards of relevant data standards groups. Initial ACORD research points to a need for electronic transmission of large schedules such as schedules of locations, vehicle fleets, and ocean cargo/inland marine reports as key to all participants in the supply chain, from risk managers to insurers and reinsurers. These elements define straight through processing and data integrity-from submission to claims management. Many organizations have committed to participate in the initiative, including carriers, brokers, agents, risk managers, reinsurers and other standards organizations. The participation of the risk managers, the customers and originators of the data, is key to the success of this initiative. The aggressive timeline agreed upon calls for a pilot implementation kickoff by October 1, 2000. ACORD Technology Conference 2001 will be held at the Dolphin Resort at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, May 20 - 23, 2000."

  • Announcement - ACORD and IIAA ACT Announce Joint Initiative to Fast Track XML Standard Definitions for the Insurance Industry -

  • ACORD XML Discussions

  • See also: "iLingo XML Schemas for Insurance."

  • ACORD Data Dictionary Definitions for Large Commercial [WG Draft]. From [cache]

  • [May 31, 2000] The ACORD Master DTD that has been approved by the Subcommittee: ACORD_IFX.dtd. From Alan Stitzer. "Revision: 101.pr1. Public Review Draft 1. Date: 1/22/2000. Interactive Financial Exchange DTD" [cache]

  • ACORD XML Insurance And Surety Business Specification DRAFT 2.doc

  • [September 11, 2000] "ACORD, CSIO Discuss Unified XML Format. In an initiative that would simplify cross-border interchange of data between insurance industry trading partners, discussions have begun between ACORD and CSIO to collaborate on the establishment of a common approach for Extensible Markup Language (XML) between U.S. and Canadian insurers and their affiliates. The collaboration between ACORD and CSIO, the leading data standard development associations in the U.S. and Canada, respectively, is expected to be finalized within the first half of 2001. ACORD, based in Pearl River, N.Y., develops data standards for the insurance/financial services industry in the U.S., while CSIO, based in Toronto, Ontario, develops and maintains EDI standards governing Canadian property/casualty companies. CSIO's new XML initiative will define the business message format and transmission protocols for electronic exchange of data for P/C insurance transactions, leveraging ACORD's XML data dictionary and transactions. The initial project will define an XML framework, data descriptions (tags), and transactions (DTDs) for personal lines. Transaction types to be developed include billing inquiry, claims status inquiry, first notice of loss, policy change, new business and quotes." ('September 11, 2000') announcement.

  • [November 08, 2000] "IIAA 2000: tech demo shows versatility of XML, SEMCI standards." [Edited by] Dave Willis. From Property and Casualty. 11/7/2000. "Insurance companies and technology providers illustrated how they are providing real-life applications of industry communications standards at the Independent Insurance Agents of America's (IIAA) 105th Annual Convention & InfoXchange held last week in Orlando. The presentation, which was hosted by IIAA and its Agents Council for Technology (ACT), included AMS/TowerStreet, Applied Systems, Channelpoint,, Mynd, Lotus/ITM, IVANS, JCRS, MetLife Auto & Home, Nekema, SAFECO, Symmetry, Travelers and The Hartford. The demonstration verified how ACORD XML Standards for Insurance could be implemented to enable practical, everyday, real-time transactions and single-entry, multiple-company interface (SEMCI) for the independent agency system. 'Agents are now beginning to reap the benefits of the new technologies available to them that use the ACORD XML Standards,' said David Findley, senior vice president of commercial lines operations for Travelers Insurance. 'The demonstrations clearly underscored this.' John Carmody, assistant vice president of marketing information systems at SAFECO, said the industry, 'has made a significant leap forward with XML technology -- and the best is yet to come. I think the wide variety of applications from the large number of conversion vendors shows the true power of XML.' 'The demonstration showed how far XML has come, and that the industry is supporting multiple systems interacting with the standards. It doesn't matter whether it's a quote, claim or insurance transaction,' said Jim Rogers, product development manager for TowerStreet, an AMS company delivering point-of-sale products and insurance information via the Internet. Doug Johnston, executive vice president with Applied Systems, said: 'The Internet and XML are really going to help establish the independent agent as the primary distributor and servicer of insurance. I think the agent has to emerge as the principle distribution channel and XML is going to make that happen'."

  • [August 04, 2000] "Travelers Insurance recognized as Early Adopter of XML Standards for Property and Casualty by ACORD." - "Travelers Insurance has been honored as an Early Adopter of XML for property and casualty insurance by ACORD. The award recognizes Travelers' leadership role in developing the ACORD XML standard and enabling SEMCI - single entry, multiple-company interface. Travelers announced in May that it was the first carrier to demonstrate real-time quoting capability directly from an agency management system using the ACORD XML standard. This new process assists the company's independent agents by eliminating redundant data entry, synchronizing information between the agent and carrier, and reducing agents' training and processing costs. It will be available to agents who use Applied System's WARP-enabled WinTAM software beginning in the third quarter of this year. ACORD presented the award to vendors and companies in the insurance industry who have demonstrated leadership roles in early adoption of XML standards at its Technology Conference 2000 in May in Orlando, Fla. Travelers Insurance, a member of Citigroup, is a leading provider of a full range of insurance products. Travelers is a principal source of homeowners and auto insurance for consumers, while also providing a broad range of insurance for commercial markets, including workers' compensation integrated disability, property, liability, specialty lines, surety bonds, inland/ocean marine, and boiler and machinery. Travelers also offers financial products focusing on solving consumers' asset-accumulation and income-protection needs through such vehicles as annuities, group annuities and life insurance. Travelers offers customers a full range of financial services, including retirement planning, estate planning, asset protection and death benefit protection through Citigroup distribution channels and a professional independent agency force."

  • [February 01, 2000] "This posting contains the document approved by the subcommittee in May 2000. This is the ACORD Insurance and Surety Business Message Specification. As you may or may not know, ACORD has formed a working relationship with IFXForum. The Insurance Service is based on the IFX 1.0.1 Draft 5 specification. We have designated the Insurance Service as chapter 9 since the IFX specification leaves off with Chapter 8. We have followed the documentation conventions and forwarded it to the IFX architecture working group which has offered to provide comments. If you need additional information about IFXForum, you can visit their website at You will be able to find the entire IFX specification at their site. You should use this if you have questions about the definitions about certain data type you should refer to their site for the documentation..."

  • ACORD XML Documents Under Working Group Review - February 28, 2000. ClaimsLiabFirstNoticeOfLossAddRq.dtd [cache]; ClaimsLiabFirstNoticeOfLossAddRs.dtd [cache];

  • [March 21, 2000] "Mercator Announces ACORD XML Integration Software to Accelerate XML Adoption Within Insurance Industry. New Capabilities Dramatically Reduce Cost to Integrate Both XML and EDI Transactions With Insurance Applications Using ACORD Standards." - "Mercator Software, the e-business transformation company, today announced new capabilities within its Mercator E-Business Integration Broker products that enable dramatic reductions in the time, cost and effort to integrate ACORD XML transactions with existing insurance applications. With new e-business data transformation support incorporating ACORD XML, customers will be able to accelerate the adoption of XML for business-to-business (B2B) exchange of insurance transactions, forms and documents. Combined with existing Mercator support for ACORD AL3 standards for EDI, these new capabilities allow customers to deploy a single software architecture for integration of both XML and EDI transactions based on ACORD standards without creating programs, regardless of application complexity. Mercator's e-business transformation capabilities for ACORD are unique in the software industry. Mercator E-Business Integration Broker products capture the complete semantic descriptions of ACORD standards transactions in graphical form, including importing of ACORD data type definitions (DTDs), thereby allowing 100% transformation to any other format through a drag-and-drop interface, without writing programs or coding user exits. This 'any-to-any' capability without programming is a major advance over software tools that only integrate XML to XML. As a result, the time and cost savings to create and maintain interfaces using Mercator integration software that incorporates ACORD standards are substantial. Mercator's commitment to ACORD dates back to 1998, when it joined the organization and first introduced support for ACORD data standards in its Mercator product. Many insurance industry customers, such as Wausau Insurance and Nationwide Insurance, rely on Mercator technology as a strategic component of their application integration architecture."

  • [May 25, 2000] "XML Initiative for Sales Over the Web." - "MaxSol, Inc., a leading supplier of packaged e-business solutions for the insurance industry, today introduced the cornerstone of its XML initiative, eAccessInterchange software. eAccessInterchange provides a switchboard connection between all members of the insurance value chain, enabling seamless, real-time information exchange among disparate systems to enable Internet sales and service. MaxSol plans to provide a full set of ACORD forms that can be completed online and transmitted through eAccessInterchange to any ACORD XML based insurance system. eAccessInterchange accesses data directly from disparate back-end systems without disturbing the underlying data structures or databases. It then translates, integrates, aggregates, and presents it in a uniform format, all on-the-fly. eAccessInterchange links with carrier systems using XML and ACORD AL3 formats, agency management systems, including InStar, AFW and Sagitta, and contact management systems, such as GoldMine." Note also the earlier announcement "MaxSol Introduces XML Internet Switchboard."

  • [November 30, 1999] "ACORD And IFX Forum Announce Cooperative XML Standards Development." - "During semi-annual Standards Subcommittee Meetings in San Francisco, ACORD announced a reciprocal membership agreement with IFX Forum. Both organizations set information technology standards for message transmissions in financial services industries. They will cooperate in the development of XML standards for the electronic exchange of data in the insurance and banking industries. The collaboration is typical of recent announcements of alliances between standards bodies to consolidate development. The arrangement will combine the insurance expertise of ACORD and the banking expertise of IFX Forum. The organizations will focus on the base IFX specification and the proposed ACORD Insurance XML specifications to produce a framework supporting XML-based transaction services. Joint participation is underway. ACORD and IFX Forum have exchanged memberships and committed to participation in each other's working groups. ACORD participants are assessing the base IFX specification and supplying IFX Forum with recommendations. In turn, IFX Forum will route insurance-related issues through the ACORD standards process. According to Kevin Schipani, ACORD's group manager, research and development, 'ACORD's XML working groups have followed IFX developments for several months. We are recommending adoption of key functionality into our own early XML specifications. We appreciate the opportunity to add value to the IFX base specification as we develop compatible insurance services.' The IFX specification defines a messaging standard for secured Internet Protocol (IP)-based banking business messages over the public Internet or private networks. The significance of XML and IP for the insurance industry is the progression from batch store-and-forward Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) transmissions to real-time messaging. Insurance business benefits include fast, reliable rates, quotes, applications, policies, claims and other transactions among a variety of trading partners-carriers, producers, rating bureaus, third-party administrators and service providers."

  • [December 07, 1999] "Lexica has announced the release of a new set of XML schemas, collectively called iLingo, [which] provides the essential structural framework for deploying portable, robust transactional applications that enable business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce. Paving the way for insurance carriers and distributors to more easily meet the exploding consumer demand for online services, Lexica LLC, a leading developer of end-to-end e-business supply chain management software for the insurance industry, today announced that it has published a preview set of Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas on Microsoft's and Lexica's Web sites. This is the industry's first comprehensive set of XML schemas posted to that is specifically designed to empower the supply chain participants in the end-to-end automation of insurance selling and transaction processing. Once Version 1.0 is released in early 2000, iLingo will be freely available to any insurance or related financial services provider. Updates will be posted at, and to 'Lexica is offering iLingo to the industry as critical `head-start' technology, and we're leveraging it in our own product, Lexica Online,' said Peter Henry, Lexica's president and chief technology officer. 'We want it to be the preferred basis of insurance e-business transaction systems. Users will get several immediate benefits by using iLingo XML schemas, including the ability to easily exchange data with vendors, customers and other e-commerce partners; the ability to introduce new products online faster; and the ability to reduce their overall systems maintenance costs.' Lexica Online is an integrated, XML-based platform that enables companies to operate and participate in an efficient electronic marketplace with other trading partners as part of an automated supply chain. By using iLingo in its own software, Lexica will take the lead in building real-world solutions that break the logjam of inefficient inter-company transactions that has hampered insurance industry business processes and escalated costs. The company will also incorporate iLingo into its consumer Internet insurance site Developing an XML schema set targeted to the insurance industry is particularly significant due to the enormous potential for online insurance and the equally enormous technological challenges faced by this market segment when trying to establish an online presence. The industry's nearly $800 billion a year in premiums dwarfs other emerging e-commerce industries such as travel, book sales, music and video combined. Still the industry has long struggled to seamlessly and effortlessly automate the information exchange and workflow that occurs within its supply chain. The complexity of business processes, and the need to gather and generate data from many sources have served as near impenetrable barriers. [Lexica] will continue to refine the iLingo XML schemas in the coming months, with actual real-world examples from and the Lexica Online software platform. Lexica will also continue to work closely with the appropriate standards bodies to further define its XML schema set. Lexica is a participating member of several technology initiatives and standards bodies including the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), ACORD and the Worldwide Web Consortium (WC3). Lexica will work with ACORD, which has the support and participation of more than 1,000 insurance carries and groups, 25,000 agencies, the major providers of software and services to the industry, and nonprofit associations including agency system user groups, nation producer associations, and the CPCU society. ACORD initially developed standard ACORD forms to enable information sharing in the industry, and has added data integration to its package of services." The iLingo FAQ document provides other information on the XML schema set. See also the full text of the announcement: "Lexica Releases iLingo XML Schemas for Industry Review, Posts It to Microsoft's Web site. XML Schema Set Designed To Revolutionize Insurance Industry e-business." On ACORD, see the ACORD Web site.

  • [December 13, 1999] "Joint Venture to Develop XML Standards for Reinsurance. ACORD and IVANS Selected to Convert Existing Joint Venture EDI Standards." - "The Joint Venture (JV), a group of international insurance industry organizations banded together to develop standards for structured data exchange, is initiating an XML version of standards for processing major types of reinsurance transactions. Currently, JV standards documentation is based on global UN/EDIFACT syntax, independent of industry affiliation. The Executive Board of the JV has chosen ACORD, an insurance industry standards association, and IVANS Inc., an e-business solutions provider serving the insurance industry, to collaborate on an XML version of data standards for processing major types of reinsurance transactions. Scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter, 2000, the JV XML standards will help reinsurance keep pace with cross-industry XML initiatives. 'The JV XML standards will be the universal XML standards for reinsurance, supported by every major reinsurer and intermediary in the US, London and Western European markets,' says Dan Carmichael, president and chief executive officer of IVANS. 'Any individual company or vendor that is developing proprietary XML applications for reinsurance or insurance will eventually have to map to the JV XML standards to communicate with the rest of the world.' Earlier this year ACORD developed an insurance industry XML dictionary, and the JV project will produce an XML dictionary for JV data. In addition, the project includes Document Type Definitions (DTDs) for all JV messages and research documentation of ongoing XML developments. As part of the XML development, ACORD and IVANS will anticipate evolution of the UN/EDIFACT framework. They will also take into account other emerging international standards, other technologies for transmission among data partners, and XML implementations in other industries. Project objectives include assessment of documentation options and recommendation of standards creation for additional technologies, such as object modeling."

  • [September 29, 1999] "ACORD Releases XML Dictionary for Property/Casualty Insurance. Outlines Next Steps for the Creation of XML Transactions for E-Commerce." - "In record time, ACORD working groups have completed a standardized vocabulary for XML based on the ACORD ObjX and AL3 Standards. ACORD President and CEO, Gregory A. Maciag, said, 'The expertise of the industry volunteers who participated in this effort, and their thorough knowledge of the business environment as well as the ACORD Standards, made possible the delivery of this data dictionary in 'Internet time.' The result of a joint initiative with the Independent Insurance Agents of America, the XML project is targeted to help prevent the potential growth of non-standard DTDs (Document Type Definitions). Jeffrey M. Yates, IIAA CEO for industry and state relations, commended ACORD for its leadership on this significant issue. The use of XML standards will allow agents and companies to move data much more efficiently using the Internet, reducing the need for multiple entry of data, a key goal of SEMCI,' he said. 'It is critical for the companies and agency automation vendors to incorporate these XML standards proactively as they fashion Internet solutions, so that we position our distribution system to compete efficiently with new competitors.' Responding to a specific set of requirements from the IIAA's Agents Council for Technology (ACT), ACORD working groups refocused their XML efforts to address the fragmentation of industry XML standardization. ACT member organizations, all ACORD participants, brought individuals to the table to accelerate the process. The resulting ACORD XML Dictionary encompasses all of the property/casualty data requirements for all existing ACORD Standards including Personal, Commercial, Claims, Accounting, and Surety."

  • ACORD DTD (June 24, 1999). See the package

  • XML Presentation by Lee Buck, CTO of Extensibility. Presented at ACORD Standards Week on June 20, 1999. [local archive copy]

  • AL3 Data Dictionary for XML Codes (draft 01), [local archive copy]

  • AL3 Data Dictionary for XML Elements (draft 03), [local archive copy]

  • [July 14, 1999] "ACORD Releases XML for Life Insurance." - At the June meeting of the ACORD Standards Subcommittee, the ACORD OLifE Subcommittee approved the final version of an XML DTD for life insurance data, dubbed ACORD XMLife. In November 1998, NaviSys took the lead by creating a proposed Document Type Definition (DTD) based on the OLifE model and submitted that to the ACORD OLifE group for consideration, along with a white paper detailing issues uncovered during the conversion process. 'The prospect of XMLife becoming an ACORD standard for the life insurance industry means that enterprise-level integration projects between third party and carrier- or agency-developed systems will be relatively straightforward and simple to implement. This will be a marked improvement over the situation today,' said Rob Marone, vice president, technology, NaviSys. . . One of the strengths of XML is that it supports a hierarchical structure directly, without any 'tweaking' required. The process of creating XML off the proven object hierarchy established in OLifE was very straightforward."

  • [July 14, 1999] "ACORD Transaction Working Group Brings Experience, Expertise to XML Standards Process." - "Representatives from major insurers and vendors gathered in Ft. Lauderdale during ACORD's Standards Week to continue defining the ACORD Insurance XML Standard. The Transaction Working Group is tackling the necessary infrastructure and protocol needed to effectively transport XML transactions. Participating in the working group are Microsoft, Travelers, PMSC, SAFECO, NCFocus, National Grange Mutual, Symmetry Technology Labs, Progressive, APT, Ontos, ISO, Hartford, Applied Systems, Kemper, Delphi, IVANS, CGU, AMS, St. Paul, Docucorp, and others. The strength of the group is due to the extensive experience and knowledge of the individuals. . .Working aggressively toward an August 31, 1999 deliverable, the groups plan to complete the ACORD Insurance XML Dictionary. The objective, introduced by IIAA/ACT, is to prevent industry fragmentation by providing a base dictionary for the production of all future insurance XML transactions."

  • [June 29, 1999] "NaviSys Introduces First XMLife Implementation at ACORD Technology Conference." - "NaviSys Straight Through Processing was introduced in two standing-room-only sessions during the ACORD Technology Conference `99 in Orlando. NaviSys STP is the industry's first platform to integrate sales illustration, policy administration, underwriting and the Internet. On June 21, ACORD approved XMLife, an XML-based implementation of OLifE, as a new life insurance industry standard for data interchange. NaviSys developed XMLife for ACORD and uses it as the underlying architecture for NaviSys STP. [Rob] Marone is also chairman of ACORD's XML working group, which was responsible for researching and developing an XML implementation of OLifE to simplify agent-company functions through the Internet. The main benefit of XML is its interoperability, he explains. 'While desktop OLifE is strictly a client/server architecture, the XMLife model is inherently 'point-to-point' in nature. In desktop OLifE, the applications revolve around the server like the planets orbit the sun; they communicate only with the server, and never with each other directly. In XMLife, any application in the enterprise is free to communicate with any other'."

  • [May 26, 1999] "webMethods Joins Acord in Support of XML Standards Initiative for the Insurance Industry. WebMethods Commits to Supporting ACORD Standards for Interoperable Business Systems." - "WebMethods announced that the company has joined ACORD, a non-profit industry association dedicated to developing open standards for interoperable insurance systems. webMethods will be building upon partnerships with existing customers and working with other ACORD members to accelerate the adoption of XML in the Insurance Industry. As the adoption of XML-based standards continues to accelerate, webMethods B2B ensures the development of open trading communities across multiple industries as it supports all existing business-to-business initiatives and XML standards including ACORD, OBI, Microsoft BizTalk, Commerce XML (cXML) and RosettaNet." [local archive copy]

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