Fledgling software house insurE-com suffered a major blow this week when Polaris managing director, Martin McLachlan, moved to distance himself from the company.

InsurE-com is a new insurance software house that provides two systems: one for insurers to create products, one for brokers to download.

Polaris is an industry-wide initiative that lets insurers define products, and third-party companies access them, using Run Time Environment. Until now, insurE-com has been promoting itself as a Polaris-compatible system.

On its website, insurE-com claims its products are future-proof because they are Polaris-compatible, that they protect any investment in Polaris, and achieve all the initial objectives in Polaris.

But in a letter to Polaris' 40 licencees, McLachlan wrote: "The insurE-com products do not share Polaris dictionaries or file formats and so cannot be compatible with ProductWriter or the RTE or protect any investment in our software."

McLachlan went on to say that insurE-com is, in fact, a direct competitor to Polaris, and said it would be against the concept of a single standard for product rating if members did use the system.

Earlier this month, insurE-com revealed that 600 brokers had registered to use the service. However, at the time of going to press, no brokers have started to use the system. InsurE-com marketing director Ian Carter claimed insurE-com would be seeking to work with Polaris in the future. He said: "On our web site we say our systems will future-proof Polaris investments because we will seek to work with Polaris."