Software house Policy Master delivered a blow to the industry initiative Polaris this week by launching its own insurance product definition system.

Polaris is a pan-industry attempt to create common standards for product definition. One of Polaris' core systems is ProductWriter, a product creation tool.

Until now, Policy Master has backed the Polaris initiative fully, using ProductWriter to develop new products.

But as part of its deal to provide technological support for broker giant Marsh's solicitors' professional indemnity website (Insurance Times, August 10), Policy Master has created its own product definition tool: ProductBuilder.

Policy Master said the move was necessary because the ProductWriter data-dictionary did not extend to solicitors' professional indemnity wordings.

Technical director Mark Hobart said: “There was not a Polaris dictionary for professional indemnity and there would have been significant costs in having that done with Polaris.

“There are a number of classes of business which are not supported by Polaris.”

Hobart said Policy Master would continue to use the Polaris packages for standard classes of business.

Marsh's new service, Efinpro, will offer PI cover both online and via traditional broking methods.

Policy Master claims solicitors will be able to seek, find and buy professional indemnity cover “in minutes”.

Policy Master is deploying three of its products on the Marsh site: ProductBuilder, Gemini Net and Sirius.

Gemini Net is an electronic rating engine that lets brokers and intermediaries offer comparative quotes on the web or via other electronic systems.

Sirius is Policy Master's back office system, supporting administration and accounting facilities.

Polaris was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.