Service attracts 90% of the market

Over 90% of Employers’ Liability (EL) insurers have voluntarily confirmed their membership of the Employer’s Liability tracing service.

According to ELTO, EL insurers will load of EL policy data onto the central database from early April. The service will be available to claimants and their representatives from the end of April and will provide access to a database of EL policies through an online enquiry facility.

The Employers’ Liability Database (ELD), the central database of EL policies, will contain all new and renewed Employers’ Liability (EL) insurance policies from April 2011, policies from before April 2011 that have new claims made against them and policies that have been and will continue to be identified through the tracing service.

Adrian Brown, Provisional Chair of ELTO and chief executive, UK, RSA Insurance Group, said: “This important initiative is not without its challenges and complexities but the industry has been proactive in grappling with the policy and technical implications of ELTO.

Of course, the real test of the value of ELTO will be that the vast majority of live EL policies will be on the database within the first few months, and that the search facility returns more consistent and faster responses to claimants over time as a result of the database. This makes it all the more important that the small number of insurance providers that have not yet signed up as members of ELTO, really do so now.”

A comprehensive programmed of engaging insurers, brokers, delegated authorities, software houses and claimant solicitors is well underway to establish support from all quarters and ensure the database is fit for purpose. The fields of information to be provided to the database from early-April will be published and known. Consistency across ELTO members is being encouraged.

Neil Drane, Head of Database Services at TSL said, “Insurers will be rigorously testing their systems to make sure the data loads onto the ELD as expected. They will also be preparing staff as well as brokers and software houses to make sure they are all familiar with the procedures to comply with the data supply requirements set out by ELTO.

“With fewer than 10 weeks to go before actual policy information has to begin appearing on the database for the first time, the countdown to go-live has begun.”

Once up and running, all ELTO members will be required to supply data on a monthly basis, including the full current book of all live EL policies.

Steve Foulsham, Technical Services Manager at BIBA said, “Brokers are already engaging in discussions with their insurers about the practical implications of ELTO coming into existence and this is a positive sign. It is part of our Manifesto in 2011 to support the introduction of a central database of EL policies and the new online tracing service. BIBA will be supporting its members with regular updates on technical requirements and guides.”

From April 2012, the FSA’s regulations will require ELTO members to supply all subsidiary names as well as the Employer Reference Number (ERN) for the policyholder and all subsidiaries for all new and renewed policies. In preparation for this, members will begin to collect this information from brokers and DAs from April 2011. Employers are being alerted through the HMRC and other industry bodies like the Confederation of British Industry, British Chambers of Commerce, and Federation of Small Business.

Nick Starling, Director of General Insurance and Health at the ABI said, “The industry is pulling together and playing its full part to make the roll-out of ELTO a success. We are expecting the FSA to publish regulations soon to compel all organizations with EL policies to publish their data in an accessible format, which will be satisfied if they join ELTO. In the meantime, the principle of supporting claimants in their search for EL insurers by establishing a central database must continue to be supported across the industry."