A major global broker and some of the largest insurers in the London Insurance Market have begun piloting a revolutionary electronic trading platform designed and implemented by Atos Origin.

The London Insurance Market currently places approximately 400,000 large-scale commercial insurance policies per year, generating total gross premiums of GBP22 billion. Today, all the steps in the placement process are carried out through a combination of fax, email and face to face exchanges.

Under the current processes, the annual cost of rework has been estimated to be between GBP150 and GBP200 million. While the essence of the London Insurance Market lies in the placing of complex bespoke insurance coverages, 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. Atos Origin’s WritePlace, will be capable of handling these exchanges, reducing processing costs and freeing up brokers’ and underwriters’ time.

WritePlace is based upon a highly 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.

The browser-based interface can be accessed from a desktop, laptop or mobile device. This design enables participants to maximize the returns on their existing investment in systems, expanding upon the existing peer to peer implementations to allow connectivity with all market participants. With minor customization, 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.

The pilot implementation will connect other broker and insurer applications as required, as well as utilize a browser interface, and will implement electronic endorsement and closing business processes, with other processes in the placing cycle coming online soon thereafter.