Jeff Ward, a director of London Market reform technology specialists TriSystems, and his colleagues have been busy lately. They’ve been working on the latest version of an electronic communications service for London’s brokers.
With the official launch planned for Fenruary 1 there’s no time to lose. TriSystems promises that the service, Lime-St.com, “will be the broker’s friendliest and most cost-effective e-business platform.” There’s already a web site at: www.Lime-St.com.
Developing a reliable, user-friendly means of communication between the brokers and underwriters who are the heart and soul of the Lloyd’s market has been a long term goal for more than a decade.
It came a lot closer to realization last year. In November 2009, Willis, Marsh and Aon jointly announced that they would be undertaking endorsements electronically over the Lloyd’s Exchange during 2010. Lloyd’s put out a call in December to underwriters to join the Exchange and accept these endorsements.
What TriSystems has developed could obviate the centuries old practice of brokers waiting patiently in lines, or queues, as their known in London, to get endorsements from underwriters. The Company says the platform will be the “easiest way for brokers to get to the Lloyd’s Exchange,” and asks the rhetorical question: “Why walk and wait in queues for endorsements when you can log on to Lime-St.com?”
As noted, the big brokers are already using electronic endorsements. But they aren’t the only players in the Lloyd’s market, and Lloyd’s aims to keep it that way. Therefore it’s been seeking a system to make sure that electronic placement is eventually available to all. “We cannot risk the creation of a two-speed market where those that can afford the new technology reap the benefits, and those that cannot are stuck with the old inefficiencies forever,” said Ward.
“Until now, the technology has been prohibitively expensive for SME broking firms,” he explained. “We will create a level playing field with a commodity price for them without imposing divisive transaction charges on the underwriters.” For a more complete analysis of the technology involved and the requirements go to the IJ web site at: http://www.insurancejournal.com/topics/original/2009/05/08/100313.htm.
The platform aims to be economical, with a base price of £500 ($800) per-user for an annual license per year per seat. In addition it aims to be simple, straightforward and compatible with the software most firms already use, as well as employing ACORD standards. TriSystems describes it “like Email, only easier.”
Source: e-mail interview and Tri Systems – www.trisystems.co.uk