The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced today that it plans to launch an automated, central repository for annuity product information and specifications designed to speed up and streamline the sale of both variable and fixed annuities for the insurance industry. The new service, scheduled to begin testing shortly, will be introduced and demonstrated today at a major insurance industry conference sponsored by The Association for Cooperative Research and Development (ACORD).
The service, offered by DTCC’s Insurance Services group, will allow insurance carriers, distributors and vendors to share product information in an automated, standard format. This enables distributors to access accurate and complete annuity product information and specifications, providing them with all the information they need to help ensure that annuity applications are complete and correct when submitted to the insurance carrier. This Web-based service, subject to regulatory approval, also allows distributors and financial advisers to review annuity information for marketing and sales purposes. The service utilizes the industry’s Product Profile data standard developed by ACORD, the insurance industry’s leading standards organization.
ACORD developed the data standard and worked with DTCC so that the standard was compatible with DTCC’s annuity repository. “Distributing annuity product information for the sale and marketing of these financial products has traditionally been a time-consuming, laborious task, involving brochures, spec sheets, emails and telephone calls. There was never one source to go to for this information,” said J. Randall Grespin, managing director for Distribution Services, DTCC. “The new DTCC repository, coupled with ACORD’s standard, will dramatically speed up the process, further mainstream annuity and life insurance products and help boost revenues for both carriers and distributors.”
Once an insurance carrier downloads its annuity data information to DTCC’s repository, distributors will have the information at their fingertips and will be able to access annuity product information and specifications for almost 50 major insurance carriers linked to DTCC’s services, all in a consistent, uniform presentation. Information that will be in the repository includes basic product data such as premium information, Cusip numbers, riders and rider options.
At the ACORD annual conference in Orlando, Fla. today, the live demonstration will involve several insurance carriers, distributors and vendors.
Insurance carriers will send annuity data directly to a distributor, which will automatically be downloaded to the DTCC repository as well. Another vendor and distributor will then access the information from the repository. “ACORD and DTCC have worked together to help ensure that the Product Profile and the new repository would provide the standardization and automation needed to help mainstream annuity and life products,” said Gregory A. Maciag, president and CEO, ACORD. “This new service will enable broker/dealers to sell and process annuities quickly and efficiently and will mean a dramatic reduction in errors and the submission of near-perfect applications for annuity products.”
DTCC’s Insurance Services provides an automated, centralized system that electronically links insurance carriers with broker/dealers, banks and financial planners for the sale and support of insurance products. In 2001, it provided more than $3.3 billion in money settlement, handled more than 320 million insurance positions records and more than 51 million pricing records. The group currently provides services to 46 major insurance carriers and almost 100 distributors and service providers, and supports more than 1,009 trading relationships.