Global Risk Exchange to Launch Internet Site for Complex Insurance Transactions

April 21, 2000

Global Risk Exchange (GRX) has announced the launch of a new Internet site designed to give “large corporations direct access to top-tier insurance markets.” The program aims to give insurance buyers “complete control over their insurance programs, realize immediate cost savings through the competitive bidding process and free-up time with automated administration tools.”

The site will offer corporate officers and risk managers direct access to insurance coverage “through an independent unbiased trading platform, which is specifically designed to handle complex corporate risk transactions.”

GRE stated in the announcement that the program was in response to a survey it had conducted of 91 corporate insurance buyers. According to GRE, “nearly half said they would use an online insurance market in the next 12 months, if it were available.” Among the advantages sited by potential users were, “centralized and secure data access, simple renewal and remarketing processes, more direct communication with insurers and reduced commissions.”

The new site will offer two components to users: “(1) an online market for competitve bidding and direct access to top-tier insurance companies and (2) The RiskAssistant, an online risk management application that simplifies and streamlines the administration of insurance programs.”

The survey carried good news and bad news for brokers and agents. While 78 percent of those responding said they would continue to look to their broker for advice, 69 percent stated that they would prefer to pay a set fee for services, rather than commissions. GRE called this a plus for agents and brokers, stating that they “can assure their clients of complete independence and objectivity and open the door to significant new consulting revenues.”

In the announcement Andrew Berry, GRE CEO, stated,”It’s a $140 billion market with a 37 cent problem.” He went on to explain that 37 cents out of each premium dollar goes to administrative and distribution expense. As convergence in financial markets becomes a reality, insurers and other risk markets will be turning to hyper-efficient distribution and management channels to maintain competitveness,” Berry continued.

The official launch will be at the RIMS Convention in San Francisco next week, after which several months of site testing will begin in May. Further information can be obtained from the GRE website.

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