Development costs have been high, but the system is now paying off, claim AXA and MMA

Home electronic data interchange (EDI) transactions have more than doubled this year, according to information from insurers and software houses.

Figures released by AXA and MMA show that up to 67% of all new home insurance business is now traded electronically.

A spokeswoman for MMA said: "Home EDI development costs have been high, but we are now seeing real benefits from the investment, with volumes continuing to increase. We expect this to continue over the next few years."

MMA reported a jump in home EDI transactions from 27% in 2003 to 55% so far this year. Figures released by AXA were even higher, with a 37% increase in the number of electronic sales, from 30% in January this year to 67% in September. AXA said these figures were 12% above target.MMA marketing and underwriting director Derek Plummer believes the rapid increase in EDI sales is down to the introduction of full-cycle EDI trading capability and the launch of strategic partnerships with Misys Countrywide and SSP Key Choice.

Plummer said: "MMA's emphasis on electronic trading is part of our strategy to make transacting all classes of business more cost-effective and straightforward for intermediaries through the use of electronic methods.

"The development of home EDI is an important part of this, particularlyas this account is an area of growth for MMA."

The figures were backed up by SSP chief executive David Rasche, who reported nearly double the volume of EDI transactions over the last two months. He said his company was ahead of its 90,000 home EDI sales target for the year ending March 2005.

Misys also reported a 40% increase in home EDI transactions over the past 12 months.