UK insurers unprepared for new policy rules

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NEW YORK - Only 20% of the UK’s largest insurance companies have moved to primarily electronic document storage, leaving the majority in a precarious position ahead of the new Contract Certainty rules.

Those are the findings of a survey commissioned by Skywire Software into the state of preparedness among the UK insurance community under the new rules mandated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Contract Certainty is designed to speed the process of policy generation by business risk underwriters, and requires brokers and insurers to provide clear, comprehensive and fully-agreed documents for 85% of all policies before policy inception.

Automation around the design, production, management and delivery of policy-related correspondence is a key element in this process, since electronic formats allow sophisticated new policy documents to be generated quickly and accurately.

Eight out of 10 participants in the survey claim they are yet to move toward electronic solutions. This comes despite the fact that in January, the FSA claimed 88% of UK insurance providers were already in compliance by the end of 2006.

"Some companies may be taking a wait-and-see approach before fully evolving their IT infrastructure, but this is risky. The FSA is happy to support industry self-regulation in these early days, but has said it will mandate its own set of rules if full compliance is not achieved across the board," said Tracey Robinson, managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Skywire Software.

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