Use of electronic claims files increases.

Lloyd’s has made “very good progress” in delivering electronic claims processes to the London market, said Richard Ward, the market’s chief executive, this week.

Speaking at a question time on electronic reform, Ward said Lloyd’s had made extensive progress in a limited period of time.

He added that in the future, insurers, brokers and insureds would be able to view claims files, bringing transparency to the marketplace.

Ward said £10m a year was being spent to improve infrastructure, which would help make the London market more efficient and speed up the processing of claims.

Kent Chaplin, head of claims at Lloyd’s, said the move to electronic claims files (ECF) had enabled greater manipulation of management information data.

He added that monthly reports had been sent to Lloyd’s managing agents in the past six months, monitoring aspects such as the speed of claims being turned around.

Electronic data also made it possible to locate where blockages in the system existed, something not possible with a paper-based system.

Last week, the electronic processing of accounting and claims in London got a boost as a new service contract came into force. The agreement for the Insurers’ Market Repository came into effect on 1 October and now governs company, managing agency and broker users of the system.

The repository handles 2.9 million web requests a week, with 1,500 electronic claims files added every day.

Meanwhile, a survey of market practitioners on ECF, conducted by law firm CMS Cameron McKenna and Lloyd’s underwriter Markel International and aimed at gauging sentiment to ECF in the London market, suggested further investment was required.

Of those surveyed, 41% of respondents said this was necessary to instil greater confidence in the system.

The research also found the insurance market has lost sight of who is intended to be the main beneficiary of ECF, and that brokers are not yet convinced of the benefits of ECF.