Gerling at Lloyd's has launched its first ecommerce initiative,, an internet trading system for oil cargo insurance.

Oilsure's main feature is a rating engine that automatically takes all the factors of an individual shipment into consideration.

Voyage area, vessel tonnage, type and age, type of oil and loading and discharge methods are all assessed, leading to more than one trillion combinations of rating factors.

Oilsure offers online application, quotation, policy documentation and electronic billing. Legally binding documents can be created at source.

A seven day “testing zone” is available for users to try out the system. During this time an unlimited number of possible voyages can be entered.

The system was developed by Gerling with Wildnet New Media Group.

Claims handling will be dealt with by Lloyd's Claims Office, international Lloyd's agents and Minton, Treharne & Davies.

Max Taylor, chairman of Lloyd's welcomed the venture and said Lloyd's was a natural “clicks and mortar” opportunity. “Technology gives us the opportunity to expand globally,” he said.

Ian McAllister, senior manager in Gerling's mobility department at Lloyd's said Oilsure would allow Gerling to increase its worldwide presence. “We can benefit from local usage while retaining central control,” he said.

Gerling said the annual global premium income for oil cargo was around £140m and that in 1999 more than 11 billion barrels of crude oil were shipped. is 100% underwritten by Lloyd's syndicate 1206. The 2000 capacity for the syndicate is £70m, which will increase to £85m in 2001.