Momentum has been driven by desire by insurers to trade manufacturing policies more efficiently – Acturis

Insurers are increasing their appetite for manufacturing-related products to be traded online, software house Acturis has said.

In the past five years the number of insurers offering manufacturing policies via Acturis’s panel have increased to six – with three joining this year alone.

The panel now includes Allianz, AXA, e-Underwriting, NIG, QBE and RSA.

The volume of e-traded premiums are also increasing year-on-year by 29%.

Acturis insurance development manager Thomas Stuart said the change had been driven by a desire by insurers to trade manufacturing policies online more efficiently, although the products often require more questions.

“There has been a lot of focus on tradesmen, small shops and offices. But on the manufacturing side it has taking a bit more time to pick up momentum, and that is happening now,” Stuart added.

“From a broker point of view, because it is being done from a comparative panel basis, you are testing the market at the drop of a hat. So you are giving your customer not only advice, but you are able to do it very efficiently.”

The manufacturing customers that sit within this bracket tend to sit at the higher end of the SME ladder with turnovers of up to £4m, but they are less complex than larger corporations or manufacturers, Stuart added.

They range from builders’ merchants, wholesalers and furniture manufacturers, while types of cover include employers’ liability, product and public liability and business interruption.

Stuart said insurers have always understood manufacturing risks, but dealt with them only on a case by case basis.

“It is harder to have a good electronic form to describe that case. They are more complex than your average plumber, but they are also not a major corporate that needs all the kind of support a corporate would need,” he added.

“Brokers, insurers and customers have been a bit more reluctant to embrace manufacturing via e-trading because its sits further out of their comfort zone, whereas now there is a desire to trade that business more efficiently. Only where there is something a bit unusual about the case does an underwriter get involved.”