Rival trade bodies Biba and the IIB have gone head-to-head on ecommerce ventures aimed at getting every broker in the country online.
The IIB has launched its much-heralded Insureright but Biba has rushed out details of its planned ecommerce launch, not due until the Biba conference in April, as a spoiling tactic.
Brokers will be bombarded with literature from the rival bodies but the choices will be very different. The IIB option is for full internet trading, allowing consumers to get quotes and buy insurance on the net, with options to pay by credit and to amend policy details at any time during the contract.
The Biba version is a more basic suite of tools aimed to get brokers on the net for the first time. The trade body promises to roll out more sophisticated ecommerce solutions later but is starting with a simple package including emails and websites.
The difference is that IIB's more sophisticated option will cost brokers several thousands of pounds but the Biba option is free. Andrew Paddick says brokers choosing the full capability Insureright package will pay less than the cost of employing a junior member of staff (specifically, less than the £7,500 minimum wage) for the privilege of trading 24 hours a day.
Insureright will be sold to any intermediary who wants to sign up but, as a sweetener, Paddick is offering share options in the company for IIB brokers who sign up before 25 April.