Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) is to achieve end-to-end connectivity with brokers via imarket by October.

Simon Cooter, small business and e-business director at the insurer, said R&SA would "go live within months - by October, if not earlier".

He said the first product would be for shops, followed by an office policy.

"They will link directly to Enterprise [R&SA's small business platform] providing a seamless connection for brokers."

Cooter said package policies were being considered first, but that "a lot of work is being done in relation to combined policies".

He said R&SA will have its first combined policy on imarket "within months" of the insurer going live on the platform. But he added that it would not be fully automated, unlike the simpler package policies.

He commented: "The next 12 to 18 months [as the industry goes live on imarket] will be a good opportunity to enable e-trading and give better service. The challenge is to be super slick for simple business.

"The quality of insurers' back office systems - such as turning around quotes - will be the differentiating factor."