The insurance industry's belief that its products are too complicated to be sold online is making it reluctant to adopt e-business solutions, according to a new report.

But the company behind the survey is already working with brokers to try to convince them otherwise.

The study, compiled from research into the Lloyd's market, found that 55% of brokers, 66% of insurers and 75% of underwriting agencies felt that product complexity was a significant barrier to switching to the internet.

Martin Kett (pictured left), the insurance market development manager for report authors Silverstream, said the industry's fears were understandable but could be addressed. “While it is true that some processes behind the insurance industry may be complex and spread over a number of parties, the barriers are far from impossible to overcome,” he said.

He believed that the perception that products were too complex to be put on the internet was due in part to uneven adoption of web technology.

The study also found that only 16% of brokers, 25% of underwriting agencies and 53% of insurers said they had an interactive website.

In the London insurance market there was limited internet activity among key players, with only 8% of brokers reporting that they used the net a great deal.

Other barriers to the adoption of e-business were the lack of resources or people with appropriate skills, security and fraud worries, and a lack of commitment from senior management.

Kett said: “It is obvious from the research findings that the massive potential cost benefits and advantages of e-business have yet to be fully recognised by the London market.”