...and Benfield signs up its Big Fish back-office system

Insurance software specialist Sirius will announce two major deals with regional brokers in the coming weeks.

Chief executive UK Systems Mike Dodd said he could not confirm the company's involved yet due to confidentiality agreements, but the deals would be sealed soon.

"Since we signed with the Beckett Group late last year things have been hotting up. Our Sirius for Broking system is being trailed by a number of large brokers at present," he said.

This came in the week Sirius announced a deal with Benfield Premium Finance to add its BigFish product to Sirius' personal lines users' back-office systems.

Brokers can transact premium finance deals via the BigFish product which offers EDI and point-of-sale capabilities. It targets businesses with a minimum gross written premium of £5m per annum.

Last week Insurance Times highlighted the growing attractiveness of premium finance deals for brokers to comply with the FSA's prudential requirements.

Sirius UK Systems business development director Andrew Wiseman said: "Through the use of premium finance EDI products, our customer base will experience improved efficiency in the placement of business and with further customer take-up of premium finance.

"It will also result in the reduction of acquisition costs for the finance provider."

Benfield Premium Finance sales director Ian Woodley said the system would allow Sirius customers to quote rates and repayments quickly and with confidence. "Brokers will experience further benefits at renewal stage when the EDI process becomes even more efficient," he said.

It is understood that a number of insurers are looking to sign major premium finance facilities to help their brokers, including AXA, Norwich Union and Zurich.

Woodley said the company was in "serious talks with three insurers" but would not confirm which companies due to confidentiality agreements.