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ACT - Agents Council for Technology

IIABA’s Agents Council for Technology (ACT) is committed to providing agents and the industry with practical information and tools to help them use technology more effectively and to become more productive. 

Whether you are looking for the latest on disaster planning, cybersecurity, customer experience, and other emerging trends to help your agency,  you will find multiple sources of information on these subjects and more.

Check it out at www.independentagent.com/act.


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 ACT's web site is a great resource for agency technology, cybersecurity and marketing information


​​The Agents Council for Technology (ACT)​ Security Issues Work Group has collected several resources all on one place to help you protect your agency against tomorrow's threats. Review their Security Issues Guide to understand risks, discover solutions and check out the wealth of resources available. 

Summary pocket version​ also available for download.​

View full version webpage​ (outline below)


1.  Prevention

  • Mitigate Cyber Risk
  • Protect Passwords
  • Monitor Equipment in Real Time
  • Use Application Service Provider (ASP) systems for security

 
2. Knowledge

  • Stay on the right side of the law
  • Mobile devices increase security exposures
  • Educate & train staff
  • Electronic communication laws & best practices

3. Document Retention
  • Should it stay or should it go?
  • Go paperless
  • Protect confidential information
  • Document destruction

4. Security
  • Database encryption
  • Secure VoIP
  • Secure remote access of agency systems


BY RON BERG AND ERIC LIPTON

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990, it was long before the internet became an engrained part of everyday life. While early litigation focused on physical access, such as access to places of public accommodation such as stores and offices), claims today often take issue with online access barriers such as websites that are incompatible with screen-reading software.

In October 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Domino's appeal of a lower court ruling on an ADA website accessibility claim against the pizza company. With the Supreme Court and Congress failing to establish limitations on these types of claims to date, there has been a surge in ADA website accessibility litigation.

Given the circumstances, it is more important than ever to make sure your agency's website is sufficiently accessible to persons with disabilities. Although neither Congress nor the Department of Justice have yet established clear rules or regulations on what is required, many jurisdictions have looked to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 or 2.1, published by W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/), as the industry standard. 

Some plaintiffs even use automated tools to search for websites that fail to meet these standards!


Abstract Illustration adding an "ACCESSIBILITY" button to a computer keyboard.

With COVID-19 increasing online traffic, it’s more important than ever to ensure your website is accessibility-compliant with the Americans with Disability Act. Use these resources to be proactive about compliance.

This digital document provides a wealth of tools for compliance and protection in today's world of data breach and cybercrime. The intention is for it to be one comprehensive resource for all cybersecurity regulations in order to help agencies stay in compliance and avoid penalties.  


HOW TO SECURE YOUR AGENCY


  • Regulations and descriptions
  • Costs and penalties
  • 12-step compliance roadmap
  • Real-world breaches
  • Cybersecurity provider guide


RESOURCES


  • NAIC Cybersecurity Recommendations
  • Written Security Policy Template
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Privacy Law for Producers
  • NYDFS NYCRR 500


FROM IIABA GENERAL Counsel

  • “Privacy Provisions of The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and Their Impact on Insurance Agents & Brokers”

View Agency CyberGuide 3.0​

ACT-CyberGuide3-logo.jpgHandling sensitive information is now one of the most critical responsibilities faced by the modern insurance agency.


View ACT's 


Phone Carriers New Requirements for Business Texting

National phone carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon are starting to implement new requirements for business texting to counteract telemarketing spam. The requirements primarily focus on businesses using application-to-person (A2P) text messages sent via 10-digit long code (00310DLC) phone numbers, which are phone numbers that include a local area code and support high volume texting.

Most major phone carriers will start requiring businesses to register their texting campaigns and follow various protocols with their texts, such as obtaining consent. Businesses may be subject to large fines and penalties for non-compliance. 

The 10DLC requirements are different in certain respects for each carrier and are at varying stages of application and development. Most agents and brokers who use 10DLC texting will likely be able to work on compliance with any requirements in coordination with their third-party texting vendor.

What steps should agents take next?

  • We recommend that agencies stay current with developments from their cellular carrier as well as those their customers may be using.

  • We recommend that agents renew consent by obtaining a new opt-in form annually, such as when the agency meets with the client to review coverages prior to renewal. An opt-in template is available for all Big “I" member agencies (scroll down for more info).

  • For more information on these developments, visit the following links:



MUST GET CLIENTS TO OPT-IN TO RECEIVE TEXT MESSAGING

DeathtoStock_texting.jpgFCC regulations say that an established prior business relationship does not exempt you from needing prior express written consent before sending commercial text messages. Even when they're one-on-one. Even when the client texts you first!  Get your copy of sample text messaging opt-in form and terms & conditions from ACT.   You must login


Text messaging gives independent agents a quick and simple way to communicate with clients, on an individual or aggregate basis, regarding policy reminders, new product offerings, and risk management tips. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has broadly interpreted the TCPA to regulate nearly all text messaging.  The FCC’s interpretation of the TCPA appears to cover all commercial text messages even if they are sent to one person rather than multiple recipients. 

Additionally, unlike the rules for some other commercial communications, the FCC has ordered that an existing business relationship does not provide an exemption to the TCPA requirements of obtaining prior express written consent before sending commercial text messages.

Therefore, agents should ask clients to opt in to text messaging and provide messaging terms and conditions, even if the agency communicates via text only with existing or prospective clients or when texts are initiated by the client or prospective client.  Agents also need to understand the capabilities of their agency management system for text messaging.