Insurers back messaging system

Two of the largest insurance brokers in the City are backing electronic messaging system.

Two of the largest insurance brokers in the City have thrown their weight behind a fledgling electronic messaging system as part of a wider shake-up of technology in the insurance market.

The firms, Marsh and Willis, have agreed to put billions of pounds of property cover through Kinnect, an electronic messaging provider part owned by Lloyd's of London.

Marsh and Willis will use Kinnect to exchange and document information about property cover using Acord, an XML-based standard for exchanging data within the insurance industry.

"This is a real step forward as we are getting rival firms to work together," said Iain Saville, head of business process reforms at Lloyd's and executive chairman of Kinnect. "With a simplified and harmonised electronic transaction process, fewer things can go wrong."

Lloyd's has also recently embarked on two major IT projects to eliminate paper-based transactions and help it compete against international rivals.

The projects - an electronic system for processing back-office and accounting transactions, and a document repository to store new claims - will cost £11m to implement and save £50m a year in costs, Lloyd's has estimated.

The systems will eventually handle about £56bn in transactions each year and be used by thousands of brokers and IT staff worldwide. Lloyd's members will have to update their main underwriting and accounting systems to interface with the new accounting and settlement system.

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