Electronic account settlement is beginning to take off

The insurance industry is moving into the electronic age when it comes to the account reconciliation.

It wasn’t that long ago that the industry was languishing in the dark ages when it came to the settlement of accounts between brokers and insurer, with the whole process being done manually (and slowly).

But in recent years that has begun to change, with online systems beginning to take off, speeding up the otherwise laborious and time-consuming reconciliation process.

This week’s news that an electronic reconciliation system, run on Imarket and backed by Norwich Union and Allianz Insurance, is to be rolled out to the broker community could pave the way to widespread adoption of online account settlement.

The company which hosts the system, CGI, is looking to sign up other insurers and brokers and hopes to have more on board soon.

But the backing of two major insurers is likely to lead to a significant broker take-up of the system.

Currently 50 brokers have signed up, following a pilot involving 21 brokers.

But the Imarket-based system is not the only e-settlement initiative on the market.

Recent years have seen AXA roll-out an online account reconciliation system for its brokers, while Fortis has developed an email-based approach.

With increasing pressure on insurers and brokers to improve efficiency, it is almost inevitable that electronic account settlement will soon be common-place.