An online claims handling system has been launched, which its makers say will slash the cost of claims processing.

Consort from Cambridge-based software developer Claimnet is an internet-based system aimed at all insurance sectors. Claims can be tracked on the system by interested parties 24 hours a day.

Claimnet's chairman, Brian Wesencraft, said the customer support area had been overlooked as companies focused on online quotation. “It's the one area that the insurance industry has ignored,” he said.

Wesencraft said he thought the recent introduction of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) code on claims handling would refocus people's minds.

He said there was a “healthy interest” in Consort, and Claimnet was in talks with a number of insurance companies and major brokers. It hopes to announce its first customer by the end of March.

The Department of Trade and Industry awarded the system a Smart Award for technical innovation.