A new online trading exchange aimed at small brokers has been launched by Redbox Systems.

Called Covermaker, it offers a secure trading environment for brokers to make submissions to insurance companies via the internet.

Covermaker handles new business, mid-term adjustments and renewals. A claims module is due later this year.

The system offers online documentation and a full audit trail.

After being tested by members of The Broker Network, 12 of its 85 brokers are using the system.

Redbox also expects brokers from outside the network to join soon.

The only insurer on the system so far is Axa, but Independent Insurance has been signed up and Covermaker is in talks with Allianz Cornhill, Fortis, NFU and Avon.

Liz Latter, managing director of Redbox, said Covermaker was aimed at “small provincial brokers – those who haven't got the IT budget to do their own thing”.

Data capture is carried out online, so brokers will need to get unlimited access to the internet to cut costs. Latter said Covermaker's research had shown that this worked out cheaper than having a stand-alone system for inputting data.

Latter said she thought the system as it currently stands would be able to knock about 2% to 3% off the costs of processing commercial insurance policies.

Enhanced versions of the product are due to be released every three months, with the next release planned for the end of June.

Latter claimed that newer versions would be able to make further savings.

Grant Ellis of The Broker Network said: “Traditional insurers have got to do something to bring their costs down and we think this is an ideal vehicle.”

Redbox gets a percentage of the premium cost from the insurance companies using the system.