08 May 2001
By Richard Wheeler
As with everything about the internet revolution, new systems continue to hit the market, and one called Acturis is the latest to vie for brokers' attention. The name may not be as snappy as 24/7 Broking and the launch presentation, professional though it was, may have been a little low key compared with R&R's Icelandic expedition, but Acturis is very much in the same league. It's been under wraps for a while, and originated from a project named Riskline. Some brokers may have seen it at BIBA's Belfast conference.
Acturis is a web-based ASP offering which aims to provide a total solution for the 21st century insurance broker, including a core back office system with interconnected modules to avoid re-keying and featuring improved broker-insurer interaction. It's billed as GISC approved. The underlying technology is based on systems developed for a major insurance player in the banking sector and has received over £10 million of investment. It has substantial emphasis on commercial lines insurance.
Backers of the system, of which more in a moment, identify the urgent need for industry restructuring of commercial lines, a call that is increasingly heard. A good deal of the Acturis presentation drove home the message that the market is characterised by extremely inefficient paper based processes, poor customer service, and high costs. According to Acturis, inefficiencies absorb 34% of all premiums and result in £1billion wasted each year. Another point sharpening minds is that GISC regulation is expected to have further dramatic effect on the broker market already characterised by consolidation and networks. This is fuelling concern about the need for smaller and in particular mid-seized brokers to prosper in the newly emerging market - new technology solutions are required for the newer forms of organisation, hence Acturis.
The company is making a big thing about the "team" behind the system, which includes experienced "heavyweights" from McKinsey insurance and e-commerce practices, plus ex-Lloyd's/TSB chairman Sir Brian Pitman at the helm. He brought a corporate dimension to the proceedings when he said that the cost savings potential was becoming too great for customers and shareholders to ignore.
Insurance Brokers' Monthly
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