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Recent headlines have underscored the importance of agents having written security plans to protect the security of their operations and the privacy of their clients’ personal information. Not only could a breach of clients’ personal information devastate an agency’s reputation; it is likely to result in the agency’s having to undertake time consuming and costly actions on behalf of clients whose personal information is compromised.
We are aware of agents being fined in at least two states for not having a written security plan and of a major firm recently having to announce two data breaches, one occurring online and the other when a laptop containing confidential personal information was stolen. Just as a well managed agency takes specific steps to protect against E&O risk, it needs to have a written security plan, incorporate the plan into its procedures, train its employees to implement these procedures consistently, and monitor for compliance.
ACT’s Information Security Plan
ACT has developed a free prototype security plan to assist agents and brokers in formulating and implementing specific procedures, training and monitoring to protect the security of their operations and the privacy of their client information. The plan is the product of ACT’s Agency Security Best Practices Work Group, with assistance from ACT’s Security Issues Work Group and IIABA’s Office of General Counsel. We owe the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents special thanks for making the plan it had developed for its members available to us, which we used as a starting point for our plan.
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The Retail Agent E&S Joint Industry Initaitive (led by ACT, NAPSLO, AAMGA and ACORD) has had a very active group seeking the use of standardized ACORD applications and the development of standardized supplemental applications when needed within the E&S, specialty and program business markets. ACT has been working in close partnership with the ACORD working group charged with developing these forms. We now want to determine our next priorities for needed standardized supplemental applications for the E&S/specialty/program markets.The use of such standardized forms will contribute greatly to the efficiency of these markets, just as it has done in the standard market.
Whether you are a retail agent or broker, MGA or wholesale broker, or E&S or specialty carrier, we would appreciate your taking this very brief survey to help our work groups determine their next priorities for supplemental application development. Please click here to access this survey along with further information on the Retail Agent E&S Joint Industry Initiative and the standardized supplementals that have been developed to-date
Jeff Yates is the ACT Executive Director.