The insurance industry should create a service company to collect premiums and risk data, according to Zurich London chief executive Martin South.

Speaking at Marsh's State of the Market address, South said that a single industry-wide company would reduce costs and improve efficiency.

"The industry needs to look at what it does and decide what really adds value. Premium collection is a 'no-brainer' - it could be done by an industry utility company."

South also said that employers' liability (EL) insurers should be subject to specific regulation to protect the rest of the industry.

"An insurer can write EL at below the technical price, then go bust, and the rest of the industry pays through levies.

"We want specific regulation for these insurers as they have to be around long enough to pay claims. They should have to meet certain criteria to qualify."

Reinsurers also came under attack from South .

"Reinsurers have been taking a view that relationships don't matter. They have treated primary insurers disgracefully. They need to be part of a more grown-up dialogue with insurers and brokers."