Frequently Asked Questions
These questions are framed around insurance carriers interested in implementing SERFF. For state-specific questions, contact Courtney Mayorga, Product Implementation and Support Manager, at 816-783-8949 or CSMayorga@naic.org. Insurance carriers can contact the SERFF Marketing Team at 816-783-8787 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions not addressed below.
1. How can SERFF help?
SERFF streamlines and accelerates the rate and form filing process. SERFF identifies state filing Submission Requirements and through the use of checks and balances within the system, ensures greater accuracy and completeness during the filing process. SERFF's workflow features assist the states in their review process, allowing a quicker review process with fewer problems for companies to resolve. The result is speed-to-market for the insurers.
2. What are the benefits to the regulators?
- Electronic Storage and Retrieval - No more lost filings, reduced filing cabinet storage space and fingertip accessibility.
- Computer Aided Analysis - SERFF allows reviewers to compare old and new documents and review calculations in rate spreadsheets.
- Improved Workflow - Filing can be processed with no paper trail, reducing the potential to lose a filing in stacks of papers, improperly file d paperwork, etc. SERFF provides the capability to assign reviewers roles, allowing the filing to proceed through the review process based upon workflow rules and role assignments.
- Process Efficiencies - Updated and concise state Submission Requirements reduces the need to communicate with the filer, request amended filings, missing pieces of information, etc. Filing can be reviewed and a disposition determined more frequently upon the first review.
- Paper Filing Tracking - SERFF can be the sole repository for both paper and electronic filings. By using SERFF to track paper filings, both historical data and SERFF filings are stored in one place
- Filing Integrity Maintained - With e-mail there is no tracking facility for workflow. There is no way to keep components of a filing packaged together. SERFF allows for all correspondence to be contained within the filing.
- Improved Monitoring of Review Process - States can identify filings assigned to a specific reviewer and ensure reviews are completed in timely manner. Filings can be reassigned to manage the workload of reviewers, cover vacations, etc.
- Communication Oversight Elimination- Manager has access to all correspondence being sent and can monitor correspondence for consistency from reviewer to reviewer.
- Basis for greater uniformity and standardization.
3. What are the benefits to the industry?
- Step-by-step Filing Wizard that walks the filer through the process of creating a SERFF filing.
- Speed-to-Market Efficiencies - Updated and concise state Submission Requirements allows filer to submit a complete and accurate filing. Filing can be reviewed and a disposition determined more frequently upon the first review.
- Multi-State Filing Capability - Filer can create a multi-state filing in the same time it takes to create a single state filing.
- Reduced Filing Expenses - No more copying costs, postage expenses or long-distance phone calls and minimal storage costs.
- Basis for greater uniformity and standardization.
- Elimination of desk drawer rules.
- Filing Integrity Maintained - With e-mail there is no tracking facility for workflow. There is no way to keep components of a filing packaged together. All communication between state and industry is contained within the SERFF filing, protecting the overall integrity of the filing.
- Functionality allowing filer and manager to easily organize and track progress of filings.
4. What software must be purchased and installed to utilize SERFF?
Internet Explorer (minimum IE 5.5) and Adobe Acrobat or another PDF producer. No other software is required in order to use SERFF.
5. Can SERFF guarantee the security of filings?
Yes. As the filing travels through the SERFF system it is only available to the state in which the company has directed the filing. (State Freedom of Information Laws/Public Access laws will still provide statutory guidance regarding public access. SERFF can accommodate these needs.)
6. Will SERFF allow our company to run reports on our filings?
SERFF offers the ability for licensed companies to select a data hoster. There are two authorized data hosting companies available, RiskAnalytics or HP. A Data Hoster will allow the company to access the filing for reporting purposes as well as providing off-site storage and disaster recovery capabilities. This contract is independent and separate from the License Agreement with the NAIC. Terms and conditions are negotiated between the insurance carrier and the vendor.
SERFF Remote Hosting Authorized Business Partners
7. Is there a way I can make suggestions for SERFF enhancements?
SERFF is currently designed based upon specifications of the collective users. SERFF has a Product Steering Committee (PSC) through which SERFF enhancement suggestion/ prioritization is conducted. The PSC is open to industry and states.
8. Our state has statutes in place that guide rate, form and advertising requirements. How does SERFF accommodate these idiosyncrasies?
SERFF is built to facilitate and accommodate state specific filing requirements. In addition, SERFF accommodates all NAIC member endorsed Speed to Market/uniformity initiatives (Uniform Product Coding Matrices, etc.)
9. In some states the filing fees must accompany the filing itself. How is this resolved using SERFF?
All states that require payment of fees along with the filing are now accepting EFT (electronic funds transfer). To register to use EFT for payment of filing fees, please click here.
10. Will the NAIC be involved in the review of a rate and form filing?
No. All filings are routed directly to the state insurance department for review and disposition. SERFF functions as a centralized clearinghouse. All regulatory review responsibilities remain with the state insurance department.
11. When will all states/territories be participating in SERFF?
To date, 52 states/jurisdictions currently accept SERFF filings. Please visit here for an overview of lines of business accepted in each state.
12. What costs are associated with utilizing SERFF?
There are very few costs associated with SERFF. Outside of the optional services of a data hoster and hands-on SERFF training, the only required fee is the SERFF transaction fee. See the links below for more information:
13. How does SERFF work?
SERFF is a smart internet application designed to provide an efficient process for rate and form filing. Filings are created and submitted at a centralized database located at the NAIC. Filings are routed to the appropriate state business area depending on the product being filed. Users access to the SERFF system is via a secure web site that requires a user logon id and password.
14 . Is training necessary and available?
While training isn't required, it is strongly suggested that all new SERFF users be formally trained on how to use the system to submit or review filings. The NAIC Training Department offers a full training course to get you prepared to effectively use the SERFF system. Typically, training costs $475 per student. Courses are held online with a live instructor. It is assumed that users already have proficiency using the Internet browser.
15. How do we know what types of filings that states are accepting?
The available types of filings that a state is accepting under SERFF are available in the online system. A summary of filing lines of business or type(s) of insurance is available on the SERFF web site.
16. How current are the state's Submission Requirements?
Any filing built via SERFF will have the most recent version of the filing requirements as maintained by the states on the system. These requirements will automatically be built for the company filer as they select the Type and Sub-Type of insurance and Filing Type for the filing. Any changes states make to their Submission Requirements are immediate.
17. How can I zip or unzip a file?
To reduce upload times, the SERFF team strongly recommends users compress template files using a .zip archive before uploading to the SERFF system. A zip file is used to compress existing files into smaller sizes. Please click the link to review the instructions on zipping/unzipping files.
Look for the most current information about SERFF on our web site at www .serff.com .