Lloyd's insurance broker Maestro Tasker has begun using a web-based collaboration tool that lets it communicate concurrently with both client and underwriter and share business applications in a secure environment.
Collaborative Workspaces was developed by Webb Technologies and has received the backing of the British Insurance Brokers Association.
Maestro Tasker is using Collaborative Workspaces to help orchestrate the creation of insurance contracts. It enables simultaneous contact with both parties to enable full transparency while the final document is being drafted and finalised.
Last year, the Financial Services Authority challenged the commercial insurance market to achieve certainty on contracts within 30 days of their being signed. It gave insurers until December 2006 to meet this target or else face the prospect of regulation.
That challenge has led brokers to increasingly look for electronic solutions to speed up negotiations and finalise policy documentation. Paul Tasker, managing director of Maestro Tasker, said "tactical solutions" were crucial to achieving more effective communication with key parties.
"That way we ensure we are not a bottleneck in the process of getting policies to customers."
He said Collaborative Workspaces offered a variety of tools to let different parties share project information in real time, including a web log facility, a customer relationship management tool, a diary facility, a database and a contacts list - all of which can be accessed via any web browser.
The software also has revision control built into it, which means there is a full audit trail covering amendments to a contract document available to all parties.
All the content is hosted by Webb Technologies and is protected by 128-bit encryption.
Tasker said security was a priority and having the data hosted off-site gave the broker the benefit of Webb's security and back-up facilities, which were more sophisticated than their own.