Brokers have finally embraced the internet revolution after three-quarters of Biba members said they have either developed a website or are in the process of doing so.
This includes two thirds of brokerages with fewer than 15 staff, finds a survey by the broker trade body.
However, many brokers have yet to create fully interactive websites. More than half the developing websites were described as "customer-interactive", and more than a quarter were being developed to provide online quotes. The latest websites were usually designed by a web design company, but nearly a quarter were using inhouse design.
Most of the 970 brokers surveyed expect to turn to their software house for new ecommerce facilities. The vast majority, 80%, of brokers were concerned about ecommerce, with a quarter of respondents saying they had major concerns.
Cost was the biggest worry followed by knowledge.
The largest brokers had reservations about the security of payments.
A third of the brokers used email extensively or moderately to communicate with clients and/or insurers.
Software houses Misys, CSC and Policymaster still dominate the market. Just over a quarter of brokers said that their software house offered Polaris productwriter products, while a third did not know.
Most, 80%, said that Biba should offer guidance and education to brokers in developing ecommerce. Nearly 40% felt Biba should set up online trading for brokers and should lobby software houses.
"A lot of work has to be done to bring forward brokers' ecommerce development, but Biba is exploring ways we can help," said chief executive Mike Williams.