Insurers are being warned not to put off moves towards developing a single e-commerce trading platform because of the recent collapse in technology companies' share prices.

Internet expert Dr Robert Davies of the Imhotep Consultancy told delegates at the E-commerce Expo Conference in Birmingham this week that e-commerce required insurers to fundamentally review their businesses.

He said e-commerce was not just a technology issue but related to how insurers restructured to adjust to the changes presented by new technology.

He said these changes were: “Transparency in costs and pricing and, critically, potentially massive expense reductions.”

Davies said his research at City University Business School in London showed 73% of traditional insurance companies' expenses could be axed, largely by the elimination of process duplication with distribution partners.