The London Insurance Market is to move to a two way, one to many electronic trading platform to help it keep up with rival markets.
Atos Origin, who is piloting the system, said the technology was designed to enable the London Insurance Market to meet regulatory challenges and remain competitive against emerging insurance markets, such as Bermuda.
The 300-year-old London Insurance Market currently places around 400,000 large scale commercial insurance policies per year, generating total gross premiums of £22bn.
Today, all the steps in the placement process are carried out through a combination of fax, email and face-to-face exchanges.
While the essence of the London Insurance Market lies in the placing of complex bespoke insurance deals, which would be difficult to negotiate other than face-to-face, there are numerous processes in the chain that are low in value and simple to manage electronically, said Atos.
The Atos solution, known as Writeplace, will be capable of handling these exchanges, reducing processing costs and freeing up brokers’ and underwriters’ time.
Writeplace is based upon a secure electronic trading platform that enables brokers and underwriters to exchange Acord standard XML messages and related documents by connecting their systems via a message hub.
Writeplace enables messaging exchange between back-office systems, email, browsers, mobile phones and PDAs, covering the full range of required delivery options.
Atos said the browser-based design enables participants to maximise the returns on their existing investment in systems, expanding upon existing peer-to-peer implementations to allow connectivity with all market participants.
With minor customisation, the platform can also be used for global trading with other Insurance Markets.
Atos Origin will initially configure its existing message hub technology for London Market purposes and connect it with Sequel Business Solutions’ broking and underwriting applications.
This will demonstrate the one to many, two-way messaging process upon which the pilot will be established.
Atos said the pilot implementation will connect other broker and insurer applications as required, as well as use the browser interface, and will implement electronic endorsement and closing business processes, with other processes in the placing cycle coming on-line soon after.
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