Initiative Announcement

Data Standards & Accessibility Committee

A Joint Initiative of PIRC & CIECA


Company Support Sign-up Form

SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS

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As described above, this is supporting the initiative in concept, and does not in any way obligate the Company to support financially, attendance, or other.
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We are asking industry organizations to support the need for data standards and accessibility in the property claims / restoration industry to register their support here.  Organizations that add their name to this list are expressing their belief that this initiative can provide meaningful benefits to the industry as a whole in hope that making their support known will help propel the industry to take action.  This expression of support does NOT in any way obligate the registering organizations to contribute directly to this initiative through meeting attendance, committee participation, financial support or otherwise.  While we do expect there will be future opportunities to contribute in these ways (among others), each registrant reserves the right to determine if, when and how they will extend their support when the opportunity arises.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

The property claims / restoration industry lacks sufficient data standards necessary to enable disparate software systems to communicate securely and fluidly with one another with minimal human intervention (data rekeying, manual importing / exporting of files, custom reporting, etc.)

DESIRED OUTCOMES

The goal of the PIRC-CIECA Data Standards & Accessibility Committee is to accelerate industry-wide adoption of data standards to facilitate meaningful advances in secure system-to-system communication.

NEXT STEPS

1.      The critical first step is to confirm that there is broad-based industry support to solve the problem outlined above by asking ‘Supporting Organizations’ to register on the PIRC website

2.      Formally establish the ‘PIRC-CIECA Data Standards & Accessibility Committee’ tasked with outlining a more detailed action plan regarding how to best align and mobilize the industry to reach a collaborative solution and define sub-committee charters

3.      Present preliminary action plan at the upcoming PIRC meeting on November 13-14th in Atlanta, GA to gather and incorporate industry feedback

BACKGROUND

The property claims and restoration industry is a complex ecosystem comprised of numerous contractors / restoration services companies, insurance carriers, third-party administrators (TPA) / managed repair networks (MRN), independent adjusters, technology solution providers, etc.  When a property loss event occurs, these entities must work together to serve the needs of their ultimate mutual customer—the homeowner.  In order to efficiently fulfill their respective obligations throughout the process, each entity relies heavily on proprietary and third-party software systems to capture, secure, transmit and process critical data.

While there are certainly examples within our industry in which these technologies work effectively together to simplify and automate workflows, eliminate unnecessary rekeying of data, expedite decision making and overall cycle-time, etc., most industry constituents feel that there is still significant room for improvement.

Understanding how the adoption of data standards and accessibility within the auto restoration / claims segment enabled industry-wide innovation and workflow efficiency provides valuable insights for the property segment.  Though there are some critical differences between auto and property restoration / claims, the opportunity to accelerate innovation, reduce administrative burden and elevate the customer [homeowner] experience is quite similar.

Realizing these benefits will require a proper foundation.  Defining industry standards related to critical electronic documents / messages and enabling secure / controlled access to this data among industry constituents is fundamental to building this foundation.  The auto restoration / claims segment solved this problem in the early 2000s through the advent of the “EMS file” format.  This file format accomplished two major feats.  One, for the first time there was a standard way in which another software system could interpret an auto estimate, regardless of which estimating system was used to write the estimate.  Second, based upon the strong encouragement of the industry at large, estimating system providers agreed to provide access to the EMS files to third-party software system providers (claims management systems, job management systems, CRM systems, etc.)  Over time, these standards were extended to cover a multitude of other critical messages and documents (assignments, status updates, authorizations, etc.)  Similarly, our initial focus will be on residential property restoration, but we intend to expand the scope to include commercial property claims over time.

In light of the widespread support expressed both publicly and privately by various industry participants at the recent July 2018 PIRC meeting in Chicago, IL, PIRC & CIECA are establishing the Data Standards & Accessibility Committee focused on 1) standardizing how data is exchanged and 2) ensuring that ecosystem constituents maintain secure access to this data.

About PIRC

The PIRC is a forum where property insurance and restoration industry stakeholders come together for discussions to enhance understanding and heighten transparency in order to find common ground and communicate possible solutions and/or best practices to improve the industry.  It is a unique conference experience designed to allow interaction from all members of the audience, from all segments of the property restoration industry.  Attendees participate in the sharing of information and are encouraged to voice their opinion about topics important to the industry.  The PIRC has committees in which participants further work collaboratively to define solutions and report back at future meetings for industry consideration or adoption.

About CIECA

CIECA (Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association) was originally created to develop collision industry electronic standards, codes and standard messages and provides implementation guides to make the industry more efficient.  All standards are developed by member organizations.  Today, CIECA is composed of members of the automobile collision repair industry: repairers, insurers, vehicle manufacturers, parts and material suppliers, information and software providers, general service providers and related segments and industries.  CIECA's goals are to deliver benefits to all participants through reduced development and support costs, lower cost of implementation, reduced barrier to entry and faster development times.  Given CIECA’s expertise in developing data standards for automotive claims and restoration systems and the existing membership of the leading P&C Insurance companies, the organization is uniquely positioned to serve the property claims and restoration segment.  As a result, CIECA is eager to assist PIRC and its’ member organizations on this initiative.