Technology Update: Data Standards Are A WIP

At the 2016 NASBP Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, CO, Robert Coon of the NASBP Member firm Scott Insurance and Chair of the NASBP Automation and Technology Committee provided attendees with an update on the recent technological efforts and achievements of NASBP. The presentation principally focused on data standards. The Committee is laser-focused on this effort, because they believe it will have an immediate and dramatic impact on the way producers, carriers, GCs, CPAs, vendors, and other industry stakeholders share data.

During the presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here, Coon provided background describing how technology has progressed over the last 30 years and how implementing the use of standards for the surety industry creates a scenario resulting in increased efficiency, decreased errors, and better client relationships. The recent survey conducted by the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD) and NASBP shows that widespread industry support exists for data standards leading to the seamless transmission of information between surety accounts, producers, and carriers. 

Working with ACORD, NASBP is in the process of streamlining distribution of the new 500-series of forms to producers. This includes the newly updated Surety Report of Execution, Bid Bond Request Form, Commercial or Miscellaneous Bond Request Form, and Additional Entity Schedule. Development of the Small Contractor Questionnaire is expected to be added to the ACORD Forms Library during its next voting cycle. Two vendors also have built tools to seamlessly move data using a Microsoft Excel Add-In to a financial management system or other reporting tools using XBRL data standards. You can view these demonstrations by clicking here

The progress made is significant, but there is still much more to do. The most important thing you can do is talk to your vendors and request that they make sure their products can use ACORD and XBRL standards. If you would like to be more involved, contact NASBP Director of Technology Dave Golden at Please take this opportunity to “have a seat at the table” to define these industry standards.