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SSP set for showdown with insurance brokers over two-week Solihull datacentre meltdown

Senior leaders from insurance software provider will meet brokers next week to discuss the precautions it has taken to prevent a repeat of Solihull datacentre outage

SSP Worldwide will meet customers next week to discuss the fallout from its recent datacentre outage, which left insurance brokers around the country unable to trade for two weeks.

Members of the insurance software provider’s senior management team are set for a face-to-face showdown with brokers on Monday 10 October, overseen by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA).

An SSP spokesperson told Computer Weekly that the company intends to use the meeting to give details of the measures it has put in place to prevent a repeat of the Solihull datacentre outage.

“While we have been in direct contact with the affected customers over recent weeks, we hope the meeting will help to further address some of the concerns that have been raised following the recent problems at our datacentre in Solihull and resulting service outage,” the spokesperson said.

“Members of our senior leadership team will be attending to outline what we have learned from the issues experienced and the measures we have put in place to prevent them arising in future.”

A large number of UK brokers, which rely on SSP Worldwide’s Pure Broking software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to issue quotes and track renewals, were left struggling to trade for several weeks after a power outage knocked the Solihull datacentre offline on 26 August.

It took the company the best part of a fortnight to restore the service, and brokers continued to report service issues and lost functionality for several weeks after.

In response, SSP made a conciliatory offer to affected brokers to waive the cost of using its services during the period for as long as the platform remained inaccessible to them.

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A number of brokers, speaking to Computer Weekly on condition of anonymity, said the offer was scant compensation for the thousands of pounds in lost business and staff overtime costs they had incurred in attempting to clear the backlog of work caused by the outage.

SSP is understood to have turned down compensation requests from individual brokers seeking reimbursement for these extra costs by reminding customers of a clause in their contracts that absolves it from liability for any “consequential loss” incurred from using its software.

Computer Weekly asked SSP to confirm whether it would be taking this reported stance on compensation claims with all customers. The spokesperson said it would deal with such matters on a case-by-case basis.

“Our contractual terms and agreements vary from customers to customer depending on the service they require and type of support we provide,” the spokesperson added. “Our contracts are clear regarding service requirements.”

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