Hastings Direct has been named as one of the first members of the Koukia Club, a new alliance between insurance providers and IT company Koukia to develop general insurance software.

The club was launched earlier this year by Mel Gosling (ex-Independent IT director) and Adrian Brooks, the brains behind Insure 90 and Polisy. The first members of the club were Independent Insurance and Wesfarmers, an Australian insurer.

Koukia managing director Mel Gosling said: "Quite simply, the industry needs a new line of business system. Everybody is using very old stuff. In the past a lot of insurers have tried to develop these kinds of systems on their own, but it is a complex and difficult thing to build. Insurance companies that try all fail. By forming this club we are getting input from across the industry."

Gosling added: "By getting involved early, Hastings will be able to shape the system and will also gain a detailed understanding of the product before using it, rather than buying a product developed for someone else that the company has not tested."

David Gundlach, managing director of Hastings Direct, said: "The insurance industry desperately needs an initiative like Koukia and we recognise the advantages of joining the Koukia Club at this stage in the product's development."