E-trade offering will deliver back office integration, an extranet and an e-trade underwriting team

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Sterling is to make its commercial products available on e-trade platforms from 1 April.

It will be the first time Sterling has launched its commercial products on e-trade. Currently, the insurer manually underwrites all commercial products.

Brokers will be able to access shop, property owners and office products in Sterling’s extranet and through the insurer’s Acturis platform.

On more complex risks, brokers will be able to trade Sterling’s full range of commercial products using Acturis’s u-trade facility.

A team of underwriters will also sit within the e-trade business to take on referrals from brokers.

The e-trade offering will have one rating engine that sits behind all the distribution channels.

The commercial book makes up nearly a third of Sterling’s business.

‎Property and casualty underwriting manager Nic Hartley, who is leading the E-trade Your Way project, said the move had been driven by a desire to meet the changing demands of brokers and to keep up with the evolving SME market.

He said: “We have achieved very good growth, but we can only go so far.

“We needed to be a digital insurer, or risk being left behind in our chosen SME market place. It [was] clear that we [needed] to come up with a digital solution for the smaller end of our business.”

Sterling’s pitch to brokers is that its commercial e-trade offering will deliver back office integration, a clean simple-to-use extranet and an e-trade underwriting team. Brokers will still have the option of trading manually.

Hartley said that by offering brokers a wide range of options on how to trade it meant they had greater choice to e-trade how they wanted.

E-trade underwriters

Hartley said the e-trade underwriting team was integral to the trading process because it meant that brokers could get instance access to decision makers and it lessened the risk of referrals being lost.

He said: “The referral process is where we feel as an industry we may have let ourselves down. We bring out these some fantastic e-trade offerings, but the service doesn’t back up what is being put into the technology.”

The underwriting team, who will take on new referrals and renewals, will aim to answer every referral within 30 minutes.

On the personal lines side Sterling continues to offer mid and high-net-worth household products on SSP.

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