New Year’s Resolutions, Download Myths, Implementation and Success

By: Carl Schlotman, CPCU, CIC, Past NetVU Chairman of the Board

New Year’s Resolutions are part of the start of a new year.  What did you wish for …? Lose weight, earn more money, not work so much, make your time count?    Carl Schlotman, President, CAI Insurance in Cincinnati, Ohio wished for all those things last year when his goal was to implement Commercial lines download with at least four of his companies by the end of the year. 

Armed with guidelines from ACORD, ACT, AUGIE, NetVU and Vertafore, Carl had a significant amount of data at his disposal that gave the who, what, when and how. Carl followed the suggestions and had a frontline team involved in implementation and decisions.  The critical decision he made was that commercial lines download was to be an “all in” effort embraced and supported by the entire office. Regular meetings and updates on how the download was progressing were mandatory. 

Carl found truth in the download myth that download is not created equal with all agencies. Data exchange between carriers and agencies offer the same benefits from one agency to another. The differences come from proper agency setup and implementation. Company setups in the agency management system directly affect the data flow to the agency.   Reviewing and interpreting download reports gives an agency the information needed to realize success or better understand limitations of data downloaded to the management system.   

To achieve success with download, your carrier MUST adhere to the ACORD download standards in place. These standards establish the proper protocol for the data a carrier sends to an agency and the data is received within the agency's management system. Vertafore, through the ACORD download certification process, confirms that each carrier adheres to the ACORD standards and provides a secondary level of certification requirements. During the certification process, any known limitations are documented and listed on the carrier download sheets available within the MyVertafore portal

Typically, an agency has defined guidelines that outline the amount of data and client detail that MUST be entered and retained to service an account. By implementing consistent workflows and procedures, an agency can establish data retention guidelines that meet legal requirements imposed by state regulations. This is another key to making download work most effectively. 

Carl found that implementing download was much like a scavenger hunt that uncovered surprises and challenges along the way. Thankfully, with the help of the commercial lines download implementation guidelines found at and his network of Vertafore users, Carl's challenge with processing, implementing and finding workflows that work for HIS agency, was simplified.  Many answers to download and other management system questions can be found on NetVU's NCOM, at Chapter meetings, during PowerUsers, and at NetVU Conference. 

The change in Carl's office culture to one that thinks about, and leverages, the value of policy data use and accessibility was an added benefit.  His office lost the weight associated with data entry processing when they realized they could trust the company data that was directly input, via download, into their system.   

Downloaded data also allowed CAI Insurance to achieve their other goals of working less and earning more money. Carl’s office staff has found that they can check a renewal policy, in AMS360, for changes in coverage, forms and premiums within minutes rather than it taking hours. His office staff has continued to work the same hours but the minutes saved by download add up to hours they use to provide value-added services to their agency customers.  

Join Carl, and many other successful agencies, and give Commercial Download another try today.  Here are a few resources to help you get started.

Register now for an upcoming Download Webinar 

AMS360 - Making Download Work for You - Part 1
Come away with the knowledge and tools to build your download plan for your agency. With this class, go beyond the tools and information to make download work to your advantage, and come away with the ability to build a written download plan for your agency regardless of whether you are NEW to download or REVISITING for a check-up.

Wednesday, January 15, 10:30 a.m. Central – Register Now 

Wednesday, April 16, 10:30 a.m. Central – Register Now 

Wednesday, July 16, 10:30 a.m. Central – Register Now 

Wednesday, September 17, 10:30 a.m. Central – Register Now 

Wednesday, November 12, 10:30 a.m. Central – Register Now 

AMS360 - Making Download Work for You - Part 2
Come back to Part 2 - where you'll learn how to include the information found in the download reports in your written plan, and ask any questions that have come up during your review of download in your agency and your implementation of your agency's written plan.

Wednesday, February 19, 10:30 a.m. – Register Now 

Wednesday, June 18, 10:30 a.m. Central – Register Now 

Wednesday, August 20, 10:30 a.m. Central – Register Now 

Wednesday, October 22, 10:30 a.m. Central – Register Now 

Wednesday, December 10, 10:30 a.m. Central – Register Now 

Please provide feedback if you are having challenges with CLDL…Please spend less than ten minutes each time you come across something to help us save you HOURS later!  Keep this link to use the next time you think of an opportunity. 

Check out the AUGIE Download Time Saving Calculator to see how much your agency can save by doing Commercial Download.  You can also obtain the AUGIE CL DL Agency Guide.  

Check the Vertafore Carrier Partner Lists to see if your carriers are certified on your management system.  

Real Time/Download Campaign - Broad segments of the industry have come together and have taken the unprecedented step of forming the Real-Time/Download Campaign to promote agents’ ease of doing business.  The participating agents, brokers, carriers, vendors, user groups, and associations have seen how Real Time and Download are benefiting agency workflows, customer service, and bottom lines, and they want to see more agencies gain these advantages.  You can find the latest articles and reports at