AXA has stepped up plans to make its commercial lines e-commerce portal, business-risk.com, more widely available to the broking community. The insurer has agreed a deal with broker system provider Acturis to integrate its portal with the Acturis system.
This follows a similar AXA deal with another systems provider, Sirius, last week. AXA commercial lines and intermediary channel director Mark Cliff likened the initiative to full-cycle EDI for commercial lines.
"In reality, this is a system for full-cycle EDI in a commercial world," he said. "There are [personal lines] insurers operating at expense ratios of below 10% and there's no reason why we can't achieve that in commercial lines".
The move will allow broking houses that use the Acturis system to process business straight on to business-risk.com, from their systems, thus automating the quote request and policy issue process, and avoiding re-keying.
It will also mean a simplification of the reconciliation process for both parties, because all accounting entries will be automatically updated as information and adjustments are electronically accepted.
The two companies have targeted the fourth quarter for the first live transaction. Initially, there will be four products available. Cliff added that AXA planned to have 90% of its commercial lines product range online by the end of 2002.
He said the investment in e-commerce was part of the company's announced drive to cut costs and boost its return on equity. The Acturis system, which is targeted at larger, commercial lines brokers, is currently being piloted at four major brokers:
Bland Bankart, The Beckett Group, Layton Blackham and Smart & Cook. Bland Bankart is due to be the first broker to go live on the system in July.