Industry drive and marketing committee aim to increase take-up in 2006

Insurers are offering brokers extra commissions to transact policies via Imarket as part of an industry-wide push to increase volumes in 2006.

Groupama confirmed that brokers who transact its Tradesman product using the portal would receive 25% commission - 7.5% above the standard 17.5% for a manual transaction.

And AXA has said it is likely to introduce some form of commission incentive for external electronic trading, while Royal & SunAlliance is seriously considering the move.

Insurers, brokers, software houses and Imarket creator Polaris have also joined to establish a dedicated 'Imarket marketing committee', which will meet for the first time next week.

Kathy Bruce, spokeswoman for Groupama, said: "Insurers will have their own in-house strategies for making brokers aware of the benefits of Imarket, but the marketing group is about formulating a collective strategy."

The committee, which will meet once a month, has been set up to encourage dialogue between insurers, brokers and service providers who have traditionally found it difficult to reach consensus on the best way forward for the platform.

AXA, which recently went live with its tradesman's product through Acturis, said it had also recruited 12 designated consultants to train brokers on how to make best use of the Imarket platform.

Colin Calder, AXA's head of broker development, said: "If Imarket is to succeed it needs to be driven by the brokers. Once they see how easy and efficient it is, there will be a snowball effect where brokers demand compatibility from insurers and their software house."