Florida Surplus Lines Service Office National Clearinghouse Committee Reviews NIMA Clearinghouse Technology Options
Aug 10, 2011
The Florida Surplus Lines Service Office (“FSLSO”) National Clearinghouse Committee (“Committee”) will promote its technology platform on Friday, August 12, 2011 during a scheduled webinar presentation to representatives of states that have joined the Nonadmitted Insurance Multi-State Agreement (“NIMA”).
The Committee met yesterday, August 9, 2011, and agreed there are still too many variables to discuss how that technology might interface with the NIMA Clearinghouse that would ultimately collect premium taxes and distribute them pursuant to the surplus lines reform provisions of the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010 (“NRRA”). It has not been decided who will operate the Clearinghouse, exactly how it would be run, or how it would be organized. After much discussion, Committee members voted to make the technology platform presentation during the August 12 webinar for the NIMA member states.
Infinity Software, the FSLSO’s information services technology partner, will assist in the Friday presentation, which is designed to provide an overview of the FSLSO system’s capability and functionality. Infinity also has expressed interest in serving as the Clearinghouse operator, although no entity has been chosen for that role at this time.
David Holcombe, chairman of FSLSO’s Board of Governors, said the webinar presentation would have to indicate that FSLSO is willing to partner with whichever company is chosen.
Much of the Committee’s discussion focused on what sort of questions could be answered by the August 12 presentation, in light of the fact that no Clearinghouse operator has been selected and its organizational structure has not yet been approved. Because of that, it was agreed the FSLSO could discuss only how its technology platform could service Clearinghouse operations once they are established.
“We need to structure the presentation in a format that says the catalyst for our presentation is the platform itself,” said one Committee member. “And if that platform is chosen as the vehicle that NIMA wants to use, don’t specify who we will partner with, but indicate that a partner will be derived as part of the relationship to create the Clearinghouse with the platform being the vehicle that is utilized to make it go forward.”
He emphasized that no decision to use Infinity to provide Clearinghouse operations has been made.
“Infinity is on the table. There is no preconceived notion that it’s going to be any one enterprise that is partnered with the platform for the Clearinghouse,” he said.
Committee members said their primary aim is to educate NIMA members about the available technology FSLSO offers.
“What we are supposedly doing is going in and trying to tell them again that the technology is there and we can demonstrate that it has been working with multiple fees and taxes, and not only in Florida, but in Mississippi, Nevada, Washington and-to some extent-California,” one Committee member stated.
“Once that NIMA committee has the information of the technology being there, we hope they will move forward and make proposals as to how they want to administer a Clearinghouse, either by running it themselves or by licensing and contracting with a vendor.”
Another Committee member said no other software platform exists that has been implemented in multiple states. He said the FSLSO platform can handle all of the NIMA members once the implementation and modification of the software has occurred.
“So at the end of the day, the platform is much more important than the model. The model is nothing more than the vehicle that gets the job done,” he said.
Questions about licensing agreements, costs, and time commitments came up, but Committee members agreed they could not be answered at this time.
A representative from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation cautioned against just limiting the Friday presentation to technical services.
“I think the service office needs to present as much as it can on Friday because that may be the only presentation from the service office on whom they are going to pick,” he said. “I wouldn’t just present your platform and hope you get picked. I think you need to come up with a cognizant plan as to how member states can put this into practice.”
He said NIMA members need to hear how the Clearinghouse is going to use the technology they offer, and said offering such information would make the presentation much stronger.
In reviewing other agenda items, Committee members agreed it would be premature to consider anything related to the Clearinghouse’s organizational structure or a project consultant.
With no further business before the Committee, the meeting was adjourned.
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