Credit hire specialist Accident Exchange is aiming to sign insurers up to a back-office claims handling platform that it says could save the insurance industry as much £250m within five years.

Accident Exchange chief executive Steve Evans told Insurance Times that the company hoped to sign up the top eight insurers within two years.

The move came as the company announced its preliminary results for the year ended 30 April 2005 and a share placement to raise £7.7m.

Evans said that some of the money raised by the placement would fund the platform's development.

The platform incorporates a clearing system whereby payments between insurers are made by BACS transfer rather than individual cheques.

There is also a claims settlement facility that allows the parties to the claims supply chain access information on a claim and "speeding up settlement", said Evans.

Evans said: "It costs insurers each time they send a cheque and insurers will send each other cheques for each element of a claim."

He estimated that insurers pay about £50m a year to send cheques. "It could cut £18m of costs from cheque clearing."

Evans predicted that the platform could save the industry £250,000 to £500,000 annually.