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Interface Q4 2007


  • pg 1
									Q41Issue 2007 - UK

This Issue:
Towergate Partnership
Acquires Open
- Page 4

All You Need
To Know About
- Page 18

Insurance Masters
- Page 26

Focus on: Open Trader
                                      s               dy ons
                                                   Stu oluti             ent
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                                                                 en g 27
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                     Co                      om Pg 1
  Features                  P
    Interface                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Interface
    Foreword From Phillip Bell
                                                                      Open GI and Countrywi d e Set to Revolutionise
                                                                                  Commerci a l Trading
                                                                 Open GI and Countrywide are in the process of introducing electronically                                   Open GI brokers outside of Countrywide and PowerPlace are also expected to be able
                                                                 traded products, with a commercial bias, to the market under the brand                                     to access the system over the coming two to three years. Uptake will, according to
                                                                                                                                                                            Phillip Bell, “be driven by supply and demand; brokers will take it up as they see fit.”
                                                                 PowerPlace.                                                                                                He is however expecting the concept to be an ‘easy sell’, as brokers have been crying
                                                                                                                                                                            out for this type of solution.
                                                                 The new technology that enables brokers to access these products is Open Trader – a web-based
                                                                 trading platform. The multi carrier system is set to increase the number of commercial products            The cost for Countrywide brokers wishing to access PowerPlace products via Open
                                                                 traded electronically in the market and is initially, exclusively available to Countrywide members.        Trader is just a £1 licence fee. In addition, to gain all of the benefits, brokers require
                                                                                                                                                                            the following:
                                                                 Traditionally commercial lines trading has been a paper-based process, costing brokers both time
                                                                 and money. Phillip Bell, CEO, Open International, said: “There is at least £17bn in commercial lines       •       Countrywide membership – brokers must hold agencies with at least two of the
    What next? Well what is next? While the journey of           gross written premium that is not electronically traded. Insurers have been tentative when it comes
    Open International has thus far been short, it has also                                                                                                                         network’s strategic insurer partners
                                                                 to electronic trading of commercial lines, we aim to change this mind set.”                                •       The latest version of the Open GI back-office system
    certainly been anything but uneventful!
                                                                                                                                                                            •       A PC network with Broadband internet connection
    Again the business has new ownership, but again              Open Trader has been designed to encourage insurers to develop electronically traded products              •       Open GI APM software
                                                                 with the Countrywide network. But more importantly it streamlines the quotation to sale process                                                                                                              The screen above shows how the risk is refered to an
    little in practical terms has changed or will change.                                                                                                                   •       Countrywide Terms of Business Agreement
    Towergate’s interests are entirely aligned with our          for brokers by offering intuitive question sets. This enables the user to retrieve quicker quotes                                                                                                                 Insurer if it cannot be automatically quoted
                                                                                                                                                                            •       Activated Enhanced Security
    own: The profitable development of this business,            and complete the sales process without double keying, whilst still providing attractive commission
    and its continuing success in the market place.              levels.
    Consequently it is in no-ones interest to undertake any
    activity that could jeopardise existing relationships.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Some brokers have questioned how Open Trader fits with the imarket offering and
                                                                 The process for brokers wishing to access PowerPlace products is simple once the set up process                                                                                            whether it will be in direct competition.
    Hence we have made it clear that Towergate and
    Open GI remain separate entities. Once again we re-
                                                                 is complete – see requirements on opposite page. The user accesses the Open Trader system using                Broker Benefits:
    iterate our message. Business as usual!                      APM software and completes simple data capture for their selected product, for example Property                                                                                            “Our aim has always been to give brokers a choice. They can trade on our platform
                                                                 Owners, Shop or Liability - some of the first products to be available.                                        •      Autorated immediate quotes                                           via imarket (with integrated business lines) and will soon be able to trade point
    And what do we mean by “Business As Usual”? Well
                                                                                                                                                                                •      Multiple product lines, multiple carriers                            to point with a panel of insurers via Open Trader. We are still committed to the
    for us continued investment in developing powerful           The business is autorated and an immediate quote is generated. As soon as the broker elects to                                                                                             development of imarket and continue to integrate commercial product lines with
    broking software, and with Towergate, improved               proceed, the system issues full Point of Sale documents and the data is saved back to the Open GI
                                                                                                                                                                                •      Simple question sets – fast and efficient
    investment in the distribution opportunities for                                                                                                                            •      Attractive commissions                                               the imarket portal.”
                                                                 system, as with all full cycle trading. Unlike other methods of trading electronically, the system gives
    Countrywide and further enhancements to the product                                                                                                                         •      Exclusive access to commercial products
                                                                 the ability to refer to an underwriter if it the risk falls outside rating criteria / accessibility.                                                                                       At present there are eight PowerPlace products currently available via Open Trader,
    and service benefits for Countrywide members.
                                                                                                                                                                                •      Full integration with the Open GI system – no re-key
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            these are: Property Owners, Shop, Per Capita Liability, Wage Roll Liability, Travel,
    For the future, well, we are extremely well                  Open Trader is currently in pilot with a number of selected Countrywide brokers, and the feedback              •      Point of Sale Documents                                              Motor Trade, Personal Accident and Boat. Further products are planned for early
    placed to drive what I see as the next revolution            has been extremely positive. Over 60 members are already in a good position to proceed once the                                                                                            2008. Each product will initially have a lead insurer, evolving to a panel in 2008.
    in electronic trading – effectively implementing             pilot process is complete, with full roll out to all members in 2008/9.
    electronic commercial lines business. Our business
    is uniquely placed having the resources, experience
    and technologies to now make this next step-change
    reality. In line with our underlying philosophy, we
    intend to challenge the current limited commercial                                                                                                                      Access to PowerPlace and Open Trader is yet another benefit of Countrywide
    trading platforms. Innovate our own cost effective                                                                                                                      membership. Products have been exclusively negotiated for members to feature
    solutions that deliver total interoperability in                                                                                                                        attractive rates and commissions. The technology within Open Trader will also enable
    electronic commercial trading. Ultimately deliver the                                                                                                                   brokers to take advantage of major improvements in work flow.
    benefits of those solutions to empower our brokers
    so that they achieve greater effectiveness through
                                                                                                                                                                            Countrywide Members wishing to register their interest in PowerPlace should email:
    technology and improved business profitability.

                                                                                                                                                                            Countrywide Membership
                                                                                                                                                                            Non-Countrywide brokers who are interested in PowerPlace should contact the
                                                                                                                                                                            network on 01905 754455 to discuss membership. Membership is available from as
                                                                                                                                                                            little as £800 a year with a £1,000 joining fee.

                                                                                                                                                                            PowerPlace products are initially available through AXA, Fortis, Groupama, MMA,
    Phillip Bell, CEO, Open GI                                                                                                                                              Towergate and Zurich.
                                                              Intuitive question sets - the screen on the left shows the quotation process when no amends are made                                                                                                              Once you have completed the quote process click on
                                                                    To the policy, the screen on the right shows the options when you amend the standard cover                                                                                                                          View for a summary of the policy

    Interface                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Interface

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Open GI Broker Charter
                                                                                                                                                                       A six-point undertaking by Open GI addressed to all brokers and intermediaries following the acquisition by
                                                                                                                                                                       Towergate Partnership
                                                                                                                                                                       1. Security of client data is paramount
                                                                                                                                                                       Open GI has always understood that complete client confidentiality is the essence of our business relationships. This guarantee is fundamental
                                                                                                                                                                       to everything we do and it goes without saying that we will continue with our robust data protection protocols and never pass on client-specific

    Towergate Acquires
                                                                                                                                                                       There will also always be clear water between Open GI’s day-to-day operations and those of Towergate to avoid any potential conflicts.

                                                                                                                                                                       2. Management continuity and independence
                                                                                                                                                                       Phillip Bell and his senior management team will continue to lead the company and develop the brand as a separate business within the Towergate

    Open International
                                                                                                                                                                       Partnership. They are committed to leading the company into the next chapter of its growth – building the business and the management team.
                                                                                                                                                                       The strength of the management team is a decisive factor in the acquisition of the company by Towergate who have a long track record of giving
                                                                                                                                                                       the specialist companies they acquire the space and the tools required to develop and flourish independently.

                                                                                                                                                                       3. Accelerated investment in software and insurance products
                                                                                                                                                                       The acquisition will enable Open GI to continue to build on its reputation for offering stable, reliable software by implementing creative
                                                                                                                                                                       development plans to establish us as the software house of choice with the most comprehensive range of modern trading solutions for
    On Monday 24th September 2007 the Towergate Partnership, Europe’s largest independently owned insurance intermediary,
    announced the largest deal in its 10 year history with the acquisition of Open International Limited.
                                                                                                                                                                       Our main focus will be on enhancing our existing platform, particularly through the electronic trading of commercial lines, as well as pushing
    The deal worth £276m covers all Open International Group companies, including Open GI, the Countrywide Network, and London Market technology Provider,
                                                                                                                                                                       through a healthy pipeline of new, highly competitive insurance products.
    MI Ltd.

    Open GI is the largest supplier of broking and underwriting systems to Towergate who have over 1,000 users. The transaction will serve to secure and enhance       4. Streamlined processes to manage existing and new business
    their IT platform and future systems development.
                                                                                                                                                                       Our users’ primary concern is the functionality, reliability and range of services our system provides them. With increased investment and the
    The deal represents a major opportunity for Open GI Ltd to continue its impressive track record of investment in systems development and delivery for the          impetus brought by an intermediary-focused owner, we undertake to offer our customers preferred access to more products and value-added
    mutual benefit of both businesses. Open GI and Towergate have a very strong relationship, and now have investors who have the best possible understanding of       services to enable them to manage their businesses more cost effectively in the face of growing competition.
    insurance product distribution. The backing of an intermediary centric organisation like Towergate gives the firmest possible foundation from which to expand
    Open GI’s services and offerings to intermediaries and thus enhance the Open GI trading platform.                                                                  Towergate’s well-established commitment to reducing transactional friction between underwriters and brokers is shared by Open GI, and will
                                                                                                                                                                       further benefit our brokers.
    Towergate’s Chairman, Peter Cullum, (pictured above right) said: “This is a great deal all round, and it seems fitting that this comes at a time when we are
    celebrating Towergate’s tenth anniversary. Open International has great potential and helps future-proof our largest strategic IT platform. They have an           5. Stronger insurer relationships
    extremely strong market position and reputation, and are run by a highly accomplished management team.
                                                                                                                                                                       Open GI is committed to growing and managing even stronger and more productive relationships with insurers, who, in turn, will see opportunities
    “The key to Towergate’s strategy and success has always been distribution, and Open International are leaders in the UK at helping brokers access an               for additional revenue from our wider user base.
    exceptionally wide range of products.”
                                                                                                                                                                       In addition, investment will be made to improve the flow of information between brokers and insurers, thereby improving efficiency and
    Phillip Bell, Chief Executive of Open International (pictured above left) added: “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with Towergate. The opportunity   potentially lowering operating costs.
    to agree a deal with the UK’s largest and most influential intermediary made sound business sense as it benefits all of our stakeholders. Open International has
    worked closely with Towergate for many years and we share a commitment to the broker market, product distribution and more importantly, an understanding           6. Delivery of relevant non-insurance products
    of the wider market.
                                                                                                                                                                       We are committed to making life easier for brokers by giving them more tools to win business in increasingly competitive markets. We plan to
    “We look forward to drawing on our combined experience and shared values to continue to expand our presence and further develop our product offering. We           extend our offering to include: premium finance, customer help-lines and loss recovery support as part of a streamlined package to strengthen the
    are confident that the transaction will have a positive impact on all of our customers and staff.”
                                                                                                                                                                       position of brokers with their SME clients.

          Partner Broker
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Build Your Business With                                                                           It’s A Fact – It’s Now Easier To

                       Partner Broker Commercial - Increasing Profits for Brokers                                                                                                                     Ecclesiastical                                                                                     Write New Package Business With
          Countrywide’s latest initiative Partner Broker Commercial has been a great success with 10 brokers already signed up since its launch
          in September 2007 and another 15 in the final stages of completion.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Want to spend less time chasing your insurance providers and
                                                                                                                                                                                                      more time building your business? Just look what brokers are
                                                                                                                                                                                                      saying about Ecclesiastical …                                                                      Fortis Commercial are now able to write the majority of new
          Partner Broker Commercial is available to all Countrywide members who commit to a minimum support requirement of £250k GWP growth in commercial business.                                                                                                                                      business using a Statement of Fact and will not, therefore, require
          This enables them to benefit from preferential status and a range of advantages from a panel of strategic insurers* including: increased commission levels, guaranteed                      “It’s great that the staff don’t change and I have been able to build up a rapport with
          service standards and dedicated underwriting contacts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         a proposal form to be completed for Shopkeepers, Office & Surgery
                                                                                                                                                                                                      members of the team.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         and Property Owners, in most cases.
          Classes of business covered by Partner Broker Commercial include: Commercial Motor, Property Owners (residential and commercial), Shopkeepers, Commercial                                   “The Helpdesk is very helpful. Excellent service provided. Great team!”
          Combined and Office and Surgery.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               It couldn’t be easier to write new package business with Fortis. Once you are ready
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         to go on cover let them know, confirm the answers to a few simple declaration
                                                                                                                                                                                                      “I really like the helpdesk - when you ring them, they know what they’re talking
          Ragarfield Ltd, an Insurance and Mortgage Brokers based in Kent, have been Countrywide members since 1995. They were the second broker to sign up to Partner                                                                                                                                   questions and the policy will be with you within 24 hours. No more form filling or
          Broker Commercial in October 2007 and have so far placed £40k of business through the panel of insurers. Manu Gill, Commercial Manager, tells us why Partner Broker                                                                                                                            chasing proposal forms, just a simple phone call and we’ll take care of the rest.
          Commercial works for them.                                                                                                                                                                  “EDI with Ecclesiastical always runs smoothly.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Answer Back Statement
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     …are you one of them?
          “At Ragarfield about half of the business we place is Commercial and with an achievable GWP target of £250k it made sense for us to join Partner Broker to benefit from
          all the advantages that it provides.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           To ensure that material information is accurately recorded, and to maintain
                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you already use Ecclesiastical for your EDI requirements, you’ll be well aware of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         certainty while still providing you with increased efficiency, Fortis will provide you
                                                                                                                                                                                                      their exceptional UK-based EDI helpdesk and claims service. You’ll know that they
          “Partner Broker not only offers advantaged levels of commission across a wide range of products, we gain access to Countrywide Business Consultants who give free of                                                                                                                           with an answer back statement. This will detail the key information provided to
                                                                                                                                                                                                      have extensive systems expertise and comprehensive product knowledge. And
          charge on site consultancy. They make sure we are getting the best quotes from the system and offer advice on cross selling and renewals – increasing our profits!”                                                                                                                            produce the quotation, together with a policy schedule. This is a similar system to
                                                                                                                                                                                                      you’ll appreciate their dedication to building strong and professional relationships
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         that used successfully in the Quick Quote team which has a proven track record of
                                                                                                                                                                                                      that ensure they understand your needs and expectations – then surpass them.
          Partner Broker has achieved great success in less than a year since its launch and has increased profits for a number of Countrywide members. To build on this success                                                                                                                         efficiency coupled with security for all parties.
          Partner Broker Motor is planned for launch in Spring 2008.                                                                                                                                  If you’ve yet to use Ecclesiastical, you’re missing a great opportunity to work with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Fortis believe the system that they will operate is the most efficient possible, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                      a provider that prides itself on going that extra mile. Willing to consider those risks
                                                                                  Join Partner Broker Today!                                                                                                                                                                                             will still retain a strong element of certainty of information. This will make dealing
                                                                                                                                                                                                      that don’t fit the norm (although they can’t promise to accept everything!), they
                                                        All that is needed is a minimum support commitment of £250k GWP growth.                                                                                                                                                                          with Fortis easier for you. For even greater peace of mind Fortis record all calls.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      offer a product and service proposition that makes working with Ecclesiastical a
                                       To find our more contact Tim Rogers at Countrywide on 01905 754455 or email partnerbroker@cwideins.co.uk.                                                                                                                                                         Not only does this give a complete record of everything, it also allows them to
                                                                                                                                                                                                      pleasurable experience.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         improve training to their underwriters. Fortis still have proposal forms available
                                                                                   *Countrywide strategic partners included in Partner Broker Commercial are AXA, Fortis, Groupama, MMA and Zurich.                                                                                                      for those few cases where a Statement of Fact would be not be appropriate but
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ecclesiastical would be delighted to meet with you to discuss taking your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         research suggests that these will be few and far between.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      relationship forward, so call them on 01452 334820 to arrange a convenient date.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Contact Fortis
          A High Performing, Innovative Fleet Offering For The                                                                                                                                        Alternatively, visit their website, www.ecclesiastical.com/edi,
                                                                                                                                                                                                      email: edi_department@eigmail.com or access them through the following
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         For more information on Fortis Commercial Insurance products contact Broker
          Corporate Motor Market                                                                                                                                                                      product codes on your Open GI system:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Support on: 0845 120 0516, e-mail Fortis at: talkback@fortis.com or visit their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         website: www.fortisinsurance.co.uk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 CWIDE EIG BLUE EDI 17.5 CCE
          An important aspect of the fleet market is supporting your clients’                       Countrywide enhanced benefits:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                CWIDE EIG BLUE EDI 22.5 CC2E
          profitability. Your clients’ vehicles are important business assets,
                                                                                                    •     2.5% commission uplift on standard account
          and having them off the road for any period can cause interruptions
                                                                                                    •     3% Direct Debit facility (5% advantage)                                                                                                                                01452 334820
          of day-to-day operations and have serious implications for                                •     Dedicated team with guaranteed service levels
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Email edi_department@eigmail.com
                                                                                                    PLEASE NOTE: these advantages are only applicable when business is placed
          As well as this brokers want access to expertise and an excellent claims service in
          order to be able to place motor fleet business and get quality cover at a sustainable
                                                                                                    through the Countrywide Fleet Team.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       New Business Consultants Increase Offering To Brokers
          price for their customers.                                                                Contact the Countrywide team on Tel: 01905 754455, email: mail@cwideins.co.uk
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Countrywide have expanded their current                                                                                      a wealth of insurance knowledge and will be an asset
                                                                                                    or fax: 01905 857180.                                                                                                                                              Aloma Arndt (Pictured left) previously worked for              to the network as it continues to expand.
          One of our partners, Zurich, has recently responded to brokers’ comments and                                                                                                                   team to improve the offering to its
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Smart and Cook in their Personal Lines and SME
          further enhanced their fleet offering. Their Motor Fleet policy includes additional       Win M&S vouchers and more in Zurich’s                                                                members.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       divisions. Her career includes four years as an                Countrywide’s Business Consultancy service has
          benefits that can help your clients keep their vehicles running, operate a safer fleet    current promotion                                                                                                                                                  Insurance Advisor at Swintons and experience at                been running for two years. Demand from brokers
          and get damaged vehicles back on the road as fast as possible. They can provide                                                                                                                As a result of increasing demand from brokers for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Health Lambert.                                                continues to increase for visits, hence the appointment
          cover for fleets from 15 vehicles upwards with features such as no standard excess        Until 31 December 2007 Zurich are thanking                                                           support with new electronic commercial facilities and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      of three new Business Consultants.
          for vehicle type or windscreen cover and inclusion of ULR and motor prosecution           brokers for all new fleet business enquiries                                                         Open GI technology, three new Business Consultants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Kemi Abiola (pictured below) is a Law graduate who
          defence.                                                                                  with the opportunity to win M&S vouchers.                                                            have been appointed to help brokers develop their use
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       previously worked at Ashley Page Insurance Brokers             The Countrywide network has also appointed Lisa
                                                                                                    There’s also a top prize to be won, of an                                                            of new facilities and Open GI technology.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       and spent four years at Budget Insurance as a personal         Evans (pictured below right) as an Insurer Relations
          As well as a quality product, Zurich also offers a consistent and sustainable pricing     exciting F1 driving day. So why not take a                                                                                                                         lines broker.                                                  Executive dealing with both brokers and insurers.
          approach. And they include a range of value-added services to help your clients           closer look at what Zurich’s Motor Fleet                                                             Seán Jones (Pictured far left) joins Countrywide
          keep their businesses on the move.                                                        insurance has to offer?                                                                              from Broker Network where he was an IT Training
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   In their new roles as Business     Lisa joined Countrywide from Secure
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Consultant.    Other
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Consultants, Seán, Aloma and       Direct, an Insurance Brokers based in
          Trouble-free claims support to match                                                                                                                                                                                        responsibilities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Kemi are responsible for giving    Tamworth. Lisa was with the company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      during    his    ten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   free of charge on-site training    for four years most recently running
          Zurich’s product is supported by a fast and responsive claims service delivered                                                                                                                                             year career at the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   and consultancy to members         their call centre.
          by a single telephone number first response team who direct the claim straight                                                                                                                                              company     included
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   who have implemented new
          through to an expert to handle the claim.                                                                                                                                                                                   web     development
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Countrywide facilities. All have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and marketing.

                                 THE AXA
“Of course i’m sure                                                                                                                                  Countrywide Groupama Household Now                                                              ‘Let’ Out
                                                                                                                                                     In the last ten years there has been a significant increase in the number a people owning a property that they let out and professional
                                                                                                                                                     insurance intermediaries need to offer products that meet the changing needs of their clients. Recognising this Groupama is now
                                                                                                                                                     pleased to offer Open GI users a variation of the ‘Home’ policy that now provides cover for ‘let’ properties.
                                                                                                                                                     Cover for ‘let’ properties                                                       Contents
                                                                                                                                                     From 1 December 2007 cover can be offered for properties owned by your clients

     I turned
                                                                                                                                                     (the insured) who let them, under a tenancy agreement, to a third party.         •    Minimum Sums Insured £17,500 Maximum £80,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      •    Money/Credit Cards in the Home up to £500
                                                                                                                                                     The cover will be provided on the Open GI system under either;                   •    Office equipment in the home up to £5,000

                                                                                                                                                     •    Groupama Home FC EDI (CHFE), or                                             Additional conditions apply – please refer to the policy wordings.
                                                                                                                                                     •    Countrywide Groupama Home FC EDI (CWFE) policies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            QUOTES ARE SIMPLE TO OBTAIN
                                                                                                                                                     Highlights of this product
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Getting a quote for ‘let’ properties with Groupama is simple, All you need to do is

   the iron off”
                                                                                                                                                     Buildings                                                                        enter the details through Homewriter on your Open GI system making sure that you
                                                                                                                                                     •    Minimum Sums Insured £45,000 Maximum £400,000                               enter the ‘let’ property details in the occupancy section.
                                                                                                                                                     •    £2m Public Liability
                                                                                                                                                     •    Trace and Access up to £5,000                                               Any queries please contact Countrywide Broker Relations on 01905 754455
                                                                                                                                                     •    £1,000 replacement locks if keys are lost or stolen

                                             PLAN.                                                                                                                                                                                            Fortis Moves Forward
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fortis Insurance Ltd completed its move into a new 60,000 sq ft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      purpose built office on the Gloucester Business Park (see picture
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      below) in September 2007. Previously based in London Road,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gloucester, Fortis Insurance employs 440 staff in the city, but
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      this number is expected to increase by up to 250 over the next 18
AXA Household Range                                                                                                                                  Allianz Act On Broker Feedback                                                   months following a period of consistent and impressive growth.

Home Insurance solutions                                                                                                                                  With Call Centre Move                                                       The building will house all of the functions presently in Gloucester, including
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      customer services, policy services, commercial department, motor, household and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      commercial claims, as well as support functions such as HR and facilities.

Now you can be sure that there’s an AXA household product                 All of these household products listed are available via Full Cycle EDI.   Brokers were given a key role within Allianz’s latest                            Fortis will expand its pool of resource in order to continue to meet business needs
available via Full Cycle EDI1 to suit your individual customers’          Just make sure they are activated on your quotation system and that                                                                                         by recruiting across a range of skills including claims handling, call centre roles
needs.                                                                    you’ve included them on your select list and you can transact
                                                                                                                                                     initiative to measure customer service performance. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and commercial underwriting.
AXA ABC, a sum-insured rated product is our mass market home              business electronically straight away. There’s nothing more for you to     result, a UK based Service Centre handling all inbound
product which gives you the flexibility to automatically include Family   do!                                                                        calls from November 2007.                                                        The main customer services and One Call numbers (that Fortis have recently
Legal Protection and Home Assistance if required.                         If you need help with switching on to AXA EDI products, please email                                                                                        changed to 0845) will not change again. This is part of an ongoing strategy to
AXA Extra, a bedroom rated product is the next step up, giving you        our dedicated team on: electronic.trading@axa insurance.co.uk              Any changes come with little disruption as the service will be updated           exceed customer requirements by providing an efficient service in the most
the opportunity to recommend a product with more cover features,          If you would like any further information on the AXA household range,      automatically and the contact telephone numbers currently in use will            cost effective way and the completion of the new building is another successful
which includes cover for home business equipment, valuables up to         please email: Household.INS@axa-insurance.co.uk.                                                                                                            stepping stone in ambitious growth plans for the future.
                                                                                                                                                     remain unchanged.
£20k and a single article limit of £10,000.                               Please refer to the individual policy wordings for full terms and
AXA Exclusive, a sum-insured rated product is aimed specifically at       conditions.
the ever-growing mid-net worth sector and offers 'all risks' cover.                                                                                  The research is part of a wider initiative focused on strengthening
                                                                              For users of CDL, Open GI & SSP
                                                                                                                                                     customer service performance across the whole Allianz Group. The
                                                                                                                                                     customer focus programme aims to ensure a consistent level of
                                                                                                                                                     service whilst bolstering Allianz’s already enhanced UK capability.

                        INSURANCE                INVESTMENTS                    PENSIONS                HEALTHCARE

                                AXA Insurance UK is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
                                                                                                                                                                                  Which red letter day experience
                                                                                                                                                                                         will you choose?

                                                                                                                                                                                 Log onto www.mma-insurance.com and
                                    Home Insurance Solutions From AXA                                                                                                            request a Master Tradesman Plus quote via

                                                                                                                                                                                 Broker Online during November and December
                                  AXA have developed and expanded their three core Household Insurance products, ABC,                                                            and you could win one of three red letter days
                                  Extra, and Exclusive. All three are now available via Full Cycle EDI and a 10% rate discount                                                   worth up to £300 – like a weekend break for
                                  is offered to Countrywide Members. This gives you a great range of cover to recommend,                                                         two at a four star hotel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             for a
                                  with a policy to suit your individual customer needs.
                                                                                                                                                                                 Even if you don’t win, you’ll still gain some free
                                                                            ABC                                                                                                  time to chill out, because Broker Online is so
                                                                     A sum-insured rated product, ABC is AXA’s mass market home product which gives you
                                                                     flexibility to include Family Legal Protection and Home Assistance if required by the customer.
                                                                     It also includes access to a 24 hr legal and domestic helpline.
                                                                     •      Contents sum insured up to £75,000                    •    Building sum insured up to £1,000,000
                                                                                                                                                                                 efficient, it gives instant cover and guaranteed
                                                                                                                                                                                 premiums with minimum paperwork.
                                                                                                                                                                                 If you haven’t yet requested a quote via our
                                                                     •      Total valuables up to one third sum                   •    Free 24 hour Legal and Domestic
                                                                                                                                                                                 Broker Online service, log on now to see how
                                                                            insured                                                    Helpline                                  easy it is. And it could be you living the life of
                                                                     •      Single article limit up to 5% of sum                  •    Family Legal Protection and Home          luxury.
                                                                            insured per item                                           Assistance
                                                                     •      Festivity cover up to 10% of extra

                                                                            Extra                                                                                                                                                     making life easy
                                                                      A bedroom rated product, Extra is the next step up, giving you the opportunity to recommend
                                                                     a product with more cover features, which includes cover for home business equipment,
                                                                     valuables up to £20k and a single article limit of £10k, providing the opportunity to sell a product
                                                                     with more premium features to an ever expanding market.                                                     MMA Master Tradesman Plus offers you:
                                                                     •      Automatic contents cover worth                        •    Business Equipment cover up to the             •    liability insurance cover for small businesses and the self employed
                                                                            £50,000                                                    value of £5k
                                                                     •      Optional £350k of buildings cover                     •    Optional Family Legal Protection and           •    cover for up to six employees
                                                                     •      Total valuables limit up to £20,000                        home Assistance                                •    public and product liability - choice of indemnity limits of £1m, £2m, £5m
                                                                     •      Single article limit up to £10,000
                                                                                                                                                                                      •    employers liability to £10m
                                                                                                                                                                                      •    option to include tools cover and goods in transit
                                                                     A sum-insured rated product, Exclusive is aimed specifically at the ever growing mid-net worth
                                                                     sector and offers ‘all risks’ cover worldwide. Features also include automatic inclusion of
                                                                                                                                                                                 Product benefits include:
                                                                     identity theft cover and buildings cover upgraded to include accidental damage. Exclusive is a
                                                                     sum insured rated product.                                                                                       •    free business legal and taxation helplines
                                                                     •      Contents cover up to £300,000 is                      •    Alternative accommodation for family           •    automatic temporary employees extension for up to 50 working days
                                                                            available                                                  including pets up to 25% of sum insured        •    under two years’ trade experience accepted
                                                                     •      Identity theft cover with up to £50,000
                                                                            legal expenses
                                                                                                                                  •    Business equipment cover up to the
                                                                                                                                       value of £15k
                                                                                                                                                                                      •    cover for bona fide subcontractors
                                                                     •      Building cover up to £1.5m is available               •    Garden funrniture automatically covered        •    indemnity to principal
                                                                     •      Single article limit £10,000 for valuables
                                                                            and Personal Effects plus total valuables             •
                                                                                                                                       up to the contents sum insured
                                                                                                                                       Plants and trees in the garden covered
                                                                                                                                                                                      •    compensation and legal costs
                                                                            are covered up to 50% of the contents                      up to £1,000                                   •    court attendance costs
                                                                            sum insured                                                                                               •    no claims discount available on Broker Online earning up to 15% for 3 or more claims free years
                                                                                                                                                                                      •    Countrywide members commission of 22.5%
                                                               Make sure AXA ABC, Extra and Exclusive are activated on your quotation system and in your select list.
                                                                         For more information about the AXA products or to activate them on your select list contact:
                                                                                              Countrywide Broker Relations on 01905 754455.
                                                                                                                                                                                 We’re here to help:
                                                                                                                                                                                 For underwriting advice and queries, please call our commercial team on:
For full terms and conditions, please refer to the individual policy wordings. To view a copy, please visit www.axa.co.uk/household.

                                                                                                                                                                                 0844 902 1000                  select option 3 and 1
                             Increase Your Income With AXA’s Two New Small                                                                                                              Fortis Improve Their
                               Business Products – Launched November 2007
                                                                                                                                                                                        Commercial Guard Product Range
         Get ready to boost your sales, with AXA’s two brand new tailor-made insurance products for Tradesmen and Professionals
         launched on 26 November 2007.                                                                                                                                                  Following feedback from you and your customers, the Fortis Commercial Guard product
                                                                                                                                                                                        range has been reviewed. This has led to 9 of their 10 products being re-launched with many
         What makes these two products so competitive?                                                                                                                                  improvements.
         Take a look at the key features and benefits of each product – you’ll soon realise why you should take the launch of these two innovative products seriously.                  These improvements range from major changes that will ensure the Fortis product range meets your customer’s
                                                                                                                                                                                        needs in a changing world to small changes which simply clarify cover. Some of the major enhancements are:

                                    Tradesmen                                                                                    Professionals                                          •
                                                                                                                                                                                             Machinery and Computer Equipment Breakdown cover added as standard to 9 products*
                                                                                                                                                                                             Legal Expenses insurance now included as standard for 8 of the Commercial Guard products
     Standard cover - providing core cover that is                                                   Standard cover - providing core cover that is                                      •    Fidelity Guarantee is now available as optional cover on either a specified or unspecified employee basis.
     tailor-made to customers needs:                                                                 tailor-made to customers needs:
                                                                                                                                                                                        All of the changes go live with effect from 19 November 2007 for renewals and new business starting on or after
                                                                                                                                                                                        that date. You should have received detailed Notice to Policyholder documents for all products, plus a Notice to
     •   Insures up to 8 persons (including Principals,                                              •    Insures up to 8 persons (including Principals,
                                                                                                                                                                                        Advisers document, which provided an overview of the impact of these changes for your existing customers, as
         Partners and Directors) and temporary staff for up                                               Partners and Directors) and temporary staff for
                                                                                                                                                                                        well as the great potential for new customers.
         to 50 man days                                                                                   up to 50 man days
     •   Variable PL limits. The standard is £1 million, but                                         •    Variable PL limits. The standard is £1 million,                               All of the Commercial Underwriting team are looking forward to discussing the cover enhancements with you and
         you can insure up to £5 million                                                                  but you can insure up to £5 million                                           highlighting the benefits to your customers of the new and improved cover that is available. The Contact Pages
     •   Personal accident cover as standard for Principals,                                         •    Personal accident cover as standard for                                       in the Commercial Business Focus that you will find at www.fortisinsurance.co.uk/agents contains details of all
         Partners and Directors for occupational injury but                                               Principals, Partners and Directors for                                        Fortis’ Underwriters.
         with the option of upgrading to weekly benefits                                                  occupational injury but with the option of
         cover                                                                                            upgrading to weekly benefits cover                                            Alternatively, if you would like to meet with someone face to face to discuss the Commercial products in more
     •   Competitive premiums due to a sophisticated                                                 •    Competitive premiums due to a sophisticated                                   detail please contact your regional Fortis Business Account Executive or call the Fortis Broker Support team
         pricing structure that covers over 185 trades                                                    pricing structure that covers over 270 trades                                 on 0845 120 0516.

     Optional extras for Tradesmen:                                                                  Optional extras for Professionals:                                                 For more information on Fortis Commercial Guard products contact Fortis Broker Support on: 0845 120 0516,
                                                                                                                                                                                        e-mail Fortis at: talkback@fortis.com or visit their website: www.fortisinsurance.co.uk
     •   Employers liability                                                                         •    Professional indemnity cover with variable
                                                                                                          limits up to £1 million (for certain trades)                                  * This does not include cover for manufacturing production or process equipment, but Fortis can provide quotes to include this within the policy.
     •   Hired in plant extension
     •   Comprehensive Contract works cover, with a                                                  •    Employers liability
         variable limit of up to £500,000                                                            •    Business equipment cover insuring equipment
     •   Own plant, tools and equipment with a variable                                                   including laptops and PDA’s. A single limit of
         limit of up to £25,000                                                                           £2,500 and up to £10,000 for any one period of
                                                                                                                                                                                            More Van For Your Money - Fortis Re-launch Van Guard
         AXA have made the entire quotation and purchase process simple and straightforward for you to use. You’ll be able to tailor quotes and buy via ABR or imarket. Plus, if
                                                                                                                                                                                            Following the successful launch of Van Guard in 2005, Fortis                                replacement locks cover to £500. Claims made on the policy under this
                                                                                                                                                                                            are delighted to announce it’s re-launch with effect from 1                                 section will no longer affect NCD.
         you need assistance or advice you can contact AXA’s product experts at the new Commercial Partner Centre on 0845 6001837, which is open 9.00am – 5.00pm,                                                                                                                  •    Improved cancellation refunds. Fortis will now allow a pro rata refund,
         Monday to Friday.                                                                                                                                                                  January 2008.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        less an administration charge of £10, for all cancellations, including those
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        made in the cooling-off period (certain restrictions apply if a claim has
         Please note - from 26 November 2007, you’ll no longer be able to sell the current Solo Plus Gold product – however, any existing clients with Solo Plus Gold cover,                The popularity of this product among the SME market has steadily increased
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        been made).
         will be able to renew their cover, should they wish.                                                                                                                               and Fortis have seen a fantastic growth rate for a product still in its infancy.
                                                                                                                                                                                            However, they are not resting on their laurels! In order to continue to meet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Please refer to the policy document for full details.
                                                                                                                                                                                            your customers’ needs and remain competitive within the intermediary channel,
                           An excess of £100 is offered exclusively to all Countrywide members! (for the majority of trades)                                                                Fortis have added a range of features and product enhancements, as detailed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Fortis believe that the Fortis Van Guard product is one of the strongest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   propositions for the small commercial vehicle on the market at present and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   you can be assured that, in selling a product from an award winning provider1,
              Celebrate The Launch Of These Exciting New Products In Style                                                                                                                  •    Removal of the mileage endorsement. It is important that the estimated
                                                                                                                                                                                                 annual mileage of the policyholder is still accurately recorded on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   you and your customers will receive the best of service at all times.
                          Win a luxury trip to Monte Carlo!                                        To find out more about AXA’s exciting launch competition as well as having a sneak       •    Enhanced audio cover now also encompasses entertainment equipment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   You will have already received a mailing pack with details of the enhancements
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   and sample Literature, so take this opportunity to highlight the features to all of
         AXA is offering all brokers the chance to win a luxurious weekend in Monte Carlo. One     preview of how these two products can benefit your business, go to:                           that is permanently fitted to the vehicle.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   your existing Commercial customers.
         lucky winner will be celebrating in style by spending a luxury weekend for two in Monte                                                                                            •    Personal accident age limits have been removed as part of their continuing
         Carlo, one of the most glamorous places in Europe. The winner and their guest will                   www.axa.co.uk/tailormade                                                      •
                                                                                                                                                                                                 process to improve the cover offered to customers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Extended TPPD cover ensuring the requirements of the EU Fifth Motor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   For more information on Fortis Van Guard or any other Fortis Insurance
         be flown to Nice and transferred in style by helicopter to the fabulous 4 star Columbus                                                                                                                                                                                   products contact Fortis Broker Support on: 0845 120 0516, e-mail:
         Hotel.                                                                                                                                                                                  Insurance Directive are met.
                                                                                                   and complete the few details requested.                                                                                                                                         talkback@fortis.com or visit their website: www.fortisinsurance.co.uk
                                                                                                                                                                                            •    Enhanced NCD protection. NCD now remains protected provided that no
                       Plus…TEN fantastic runner up prizes                                                                                                                                       more than two claims are made in any three-year period.                                                                                    1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              BIA General Insurer of the Year 2007
                                                                                                         Hurry, the closing date for entries is 17th January 2008.                          •    Increased cover for replacement locks. The policy limit has increased for                                              Insurance Times Commercial Lines Insurer of the Year 2006
         Ten lucky runners up will enjoy one of twenty four unforgettable experiences…from                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Insurance Times Award Winner 2005 – Claims Award
         learning how to fly a Plane…to enjoying a thrilling drive in a Ferrari Supercar…to a      Please see www.axa.co.uk/tailormade for full Terms & Conditions.
         relaxing day out at a leading Health Spa. The choice will be yours!
12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   1
     Case Study                                                                                                                                                                                               Case Study
     Web Integration Service
                                                                                                                               The new service from Open GI:
                                              Company Name: MCE
                                              GWP:             £30m                                                            Open GI offers a fully hosted interactive e-commerce solution for brokers wishing to trade online. This incorporates web
                                              Web address:     www.mceinsurance.com                                            design (e-Starter), online comparative quote functionality (e-Broker) secure web hosting and back-office integration.
                                              Number of Staff: 110                                                             Additional features include online credit card payment and postcode validation.
                                              Policyholders:   over 100,000
                                              Company Contact: Julian Edwards, Director                                        The service can be tailored to suit brokers’ needs from developing a simple brochure website to integrating with
                                              Business Focus: One of the UK’s leading providers of car, bike and home          aggregators. Open GI’s in house web development team manages the entire process and brokers can be trading online
                                                               insurance                                                       within as little as five days. MCE opted for the complete service and launched a fully hosted quote and buy website -
                                              Location:        Wellingborough, Northamptonshire                                www.mceinsurance.com – during spring 2007.
                                              Date Founded:    1975
                                                                                                                               How MCE’s website was developed using the service:
     The issue:                                                                                                                The website was developed in close partnership between both companies. MCE set out what they wanted to achieve
     To develop a fully integrated e-commerce website with quote & buy functionality                                           with Open GI and a detailed project schedule was created using tailored web templates.

     MCE and Open GI:                                                                                                          The initial step was to design the look and feel of the site in conjunction with the web development team. In order to build
                                                                                                                               the technical structure, Open GI took time to understand the MCE brand and their vision of the consumer experience and
     Years with Open GI: Over 20 years                                                                                         delivered against their requirements in a short time frame.
     Open GI Solutions: e-Commerce / web integration solutions - web design (e-Starter), comparative quote functionality
     (e-Broker) and secure web hosting. Includes e-Quotes engines. Back-office / document production solutions - Open GI       In terms of data capture, pre-quote terms and conditions and question sets were established for each product line.
     Linux platform, OpenWord, OpenConnect, Open-R, Regulation Module, InfoCentre.                                             These were tailored for non-standard vehicles such as pizza delivery vehicles, scooters and modified cars. Postcode
                                                                                                                               look up was implemented at this stage.

                                                                                                                               For quote retrieval / display, the site was integrated with e-Quotes engines for car and bike, providing access to
     MCE Objectives:                                               “As a major personal lines broker competing with some
                                                                                                                               products from over 20 insurance providers. Quotes are displayed immediately to the customer, at which time the details
                                                                   of the biggest names in the market, we need to make
                                                                                                                               are sent to MCE’s back-office over a secure internet connection. Quote & Buy functionality was implemented, once MCE
     MCE is a highly ambitious call centre business with a sure that our web presence is as dominant as possible               had gained insurer agreement.
     loyal and ever expanding customer base. To further their via successful marketing, but more importantly that the
     presence in the personal lines market, they were keen to technology underpinning the site makes the user experience       In terms of prospect storage, quote data is available to MCE staff in seconds using Open GI’s IN-Stream software.
     redevelop their website using Open GI’s complete web seamless.                                                            ‘No-quotes’ are also imported so that the customer can be contacted as soon as possible and converted to a sale
     integration service.                                                                                                      (outbounding). The site has full email functionality and can send branded messages to the customer including a web
                                                                   He said: “We benchmarked the easyJet website for car and
                                                                                                                               reference and links back to the ‘Retrieve a Quote’ functionality.
     The company’s existing site was attracting a good level of motorcycle insurance i.e. a quick to use, easy to navigate
     new business but there was room for improvement in terms site with good facilities for incepting and amending             A range of online payment options are available to the broker. MCE set up an account with an online credit card
     of overall user experience. Data capture could be simplified policies. When we heard that Open GI was offering a          merchant and once agreements were in place they sent the details to Open GI to implement payment processing.
     and integration with the Open GI back-office would make complete solution we were keen to talk to them about what
     processing converted business faster. What MCE wanted they could do for us. We were previously working with a             Web hosting is also an option for brokers that don’t have the infrastructure to host in-house. MCE has opted for this.
     was a fully interactive online quote and payment facility for separate web integrator but were not satisfied with the     Open GI coordinates the web hosting agreements and tests the broker’s site before it goes live. Information pages are
     a wide range of standard and non-standard car and bike results. The advantage of Open GI is that they could offer         also amended / updated by the web development team.
     insurance, with linkage to aggregators.                       a one-stop-shop for all of our web design and integration
     According to Director, Julian Edwards, the web is a
     key part of MCE’s future distribution strategy. He said:                                                                                                                                                                                       Cont..

14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1
     Case Study                                                                                                                                                        Case Study

                                                                                          Results / impact of the service

                                                                                          The results have been impressive for MCE:

                                                                                          •   The site has had an immediate impact on new business – generating a 44% increase in the first month of going live,
                                                                                              and over 15% in the following three months with no additional marketing spend. MCE acquisition costs have reduced
                                                                                          •   Web new business now equates to 23% of MCE’s overall new business. With the Open GI service, this is forecast to
                                                                                              increase to 40% in 2008.
                                                                                          •   MCE has created a market leading quote and buy website with Open GI without having to take on any new in house
                                                                                              IT people.

                                                                                          According to Julian Edwards, the site is now much slicker and easier to navigate and integration with Open GI’s e-
                                                                                          Quotes engines means quotes are available 24/7 from over 20 providers. HTML messages can be sent to customers in
                                                                                          real time, following quote and policy inception, and the site is built on XML technology and web services to handle large
                                                                                          quote volumes.

                                                                                          Future MCE web development

                                                                                          The next phase of MCE’s development with Open GI will see:

                                                                                          •   Online renewals (end 2007)
                                                                                          •   Multi-vehicle quotes
                                                                                          •   A white label solution for affiliate partners
                                                                                          •   A facility to capture referrers

                                                                                          Why Open GI developed the service

                                                                                          Open GI has been monitoring e-commerce very closely. More and more brokers are trading online, recognising that the
     “Working in partnership with Open GI has allowed us to achieve what is a             internet offers a key distribution channel. As a primary service provider to over 2,000 firms it is important to be able
                                                                                          to offer a one-stop-shop e-commerce solution to complement the Open GI core broking proposition and provide an
     robust and fully interactive e-commerce solution for our customers. We have          additional trading method to call centre and face to face sales.
     been particularly impressed with the input and dedication of Open GI’s web
                                                                                          Open GI has an in-depth knowledge of the complexities of insurance having developed broker solutions for over 28 years
     development team. The fact that the site has the ability to link to aggregators      and understands what works best in terms of web design and integration.
     and is fully hosted by Open GI is extremely important for MCE.”
                                                                                          MCE is the first broker to go live with Open GI’s complete web integration service with many other firms under contract
                                                               Julian Edwards, Director   and soon to launch.

1                                                                                                                                                                                                                    17
     Interface                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Interface
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Insurance Aggregators
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           So what do brokers think of Aggregation services like those offered by
                                                                                                                                                                                 Financial service products, including insurance, are now being increasingly sold          Gocompare?
                                                                                                                                                                                 via these electronic aggregators. These Insurance Aggregators offer a one-stop
                                                                                                                                                                                 shop for the consumer keen to get the best insurance deal available on the market.        The insurance broker’s viewpoint – Insure Your Motor
                                                                                                                                                                                 Love them or loathe them Insurance Aggregators have increased in importance as
                                                                                                                                                                                 a distinct business channel for insurance brokers.                                        David Harlow is the managing director of Insure Your Motor and offers an insight
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           into how brokers perceive the Aggregation market.
                                                                                                                                                                                 So how do these Insurance Aggregators work and do they offer a valuable sales
                                                                                                                                                                                 channel for insurance brokers?                                                            “We make use of insurance Aggregators as a sales channel. By making our products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           competitive in terms of price, we are then ranked well in the personal comparison
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           sites and as a result we get increased enquiries and sales”, explained Harlow.

                                                                               Insurance Aggregators:
                                                                                                                                                                                        The Insurance Aggregator – Gocompare.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The main benefit to Harlow of using these services is that there are “no marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                 We interviewed Hayley Parsons managing director of Gocompare.com, to gain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           costs for generating enquiries and hopefully sales, as by getting the pricing right
                                                                                                                                                                                 an insight into this business. Hayley has over twelve years of experience in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           it guarantees traffic”.

                                                                               Friend or Foe?
                                                                                                                                                                                 insurance business and launched Gocompare in November 2006. The core team
                                                                                                                                                                                 came out of confused.com, a rival Aggregator that offers price comparison services
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Despite gocompare.com stating that “it’s not just about the lowest price but also
                                                                                                                                                                                 for insurance, finance and utility services.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           about the product”, Harlow believes that the number one reason why a consumer
                                                                                                                                                    By Alan Goode                With the experience gained at confused.com, Parsons wanted to change the way
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           will use a price comparison site is to get the lowest price, “you only get a lead
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           if you are number one in terms of price”. He firmly believes that Aggregation
                                                                                                                                                                                 that price comparison sites functioned by offering a search facility based “not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           services have led to “price erosion” as to get a good ranking “you have to have a
                                                                                                                                                                                 just on price but also on product comparison”. This is an interesting example of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           competitive price”.
                                                                                                                                                                                 how the Aggregator market is evolving. One of the reasons Gocompare chose this
                                                                                                                                                                                 strategy is that the insurance companies were altering their products to generate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Harlow also believes that Aggregators in the insurance market are not only leading
                                                                                                                                                                                 favourable ratings in the price comparison market. You can see why insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           to price erosion but also having a knock-on affect on renewal rates. He explains, “It
                                                                                                                                                                                 companies would `tweak’ their products in this way, as a higher rating means
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           is common for the price comparison sites to email the consumer at renewal time
                                                                                                                                                                                 more enquiries and potentially greater sales. However, Parsons believes that this
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           requesting that they re-submit their request”.
                                                                                                                                                                                 could result in consumers buying unsuitable insurance products; “the cheapest
                                                                                                                                                                                 rather than the best”. So, they have developed a service that compares insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The negative impacts from Insurance Aggregators are important facts but the
                                                                                                                                                                                 products not just on price but on their “suitability to an insurance buyer’s individual
     By 2016, an estimated 82% of insurance products are expected to be purchased online, according to the online                                                                requirements, thus offering transparency and choice for the consumer”.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           overall message from Harlow is upbeat. They offer value for money; “it works out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           on average to a cost of £40 per sale without any advertising or marketing costs
     usability consultancy Foolproof’s 2006 Insurance Online Shopping Survey. A sizeable percentage of this estimated                                                                                                                                                      from us”. They also generate sizeable traffic; “we are seeing 1200 sales per month
     82% will be traffic generated through insurance and financial services electronic aggregator websites – online                                                              Since the launch one year ago, Gocompare have been busy developing the brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           coming through this channel, this equates to fifty per cent of our total sales and a
                                                                                                                                                                                 and this has paid dividends as they are now ranked third in the most visited price
     price comparison services.                                                                                                                                                  comparison site rankings and have become the “insurance experts”. Initially, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           much higher conversion rate in comparison to other channels”.
                                                                                                                                                                                 service was launched by just offering car insurance, a product that Open GI’s
     Aggregator sites like Gocompare.com, confused.com and moneysupermarket.com, allow consumers to quickly compare a range of insurance quotes and Foolproof                                                                                                              To support these traffic volumes Harlow had to move his technology platform to
                                                                                                                                                                                 Simon Hughes, sales and marketing director, says has “reached saturation point”.
     reckon that 66% of all online insurance customers used them in 2006. An indication of the strength of the insurance online aggregator market is the arrival of the retail                                                                                             those provided by Open GI, “as our existing platform could not handle the high
                                                                                                                                                                                 They now cover motor bike, home and vehicle breakdown.
     supermarket giant Tesco, who have recently launched their tescocompare.com service. The aggregator sites offer consumers a one-stop online storefront to find the                                                                                                     volumes of traffic being generated from the Aggregator websites. The hardware
     right insurance product to fit their requirements.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    we had simply could not cope with the high volumes of enquires that we were
                                                                                                                                                                                 They have established a relationship with Open GI, and discussions are well
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           receiving”. Since moving to Open GI however, Harlow has been able to take
                                                                                                                                                                                 advanced in deploying new specialised technologies for creating a link between
     But are insurance aggregator websites a benefit to insurance brokers, offering a significant opportunity for increased enquiries and sales or, as some would argue, are                                                                                               advantage of the increasing volume of enquiries; “The Open GI eCommerce solution
                                                                                                                                                                                 gocompare.com and insurance brokers through Open GI’s eAggregator product.
     they simply driving down prices to unsustainable levels?                                                                                                                                                                                                              handles the high-volume and, through its flexible XML interface, establishes the
                                                                                                                                                                                 The Open GI eAggregator product is an XML-based interface that handles the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           vital link between the Aggregators and us”.
                                                                                                                                                                                 connection between Gocompare.com and the brokers. Parsons praised the product
                                                                      What do Aggregators do?                                                                                    by stating that “Open GI have sat back and analysed the insurance price comparison
                                                                                                                                                                                 industry and than developed a product that manages the technology between the                                                Summary
     Electronic aggregation online can be found in many guises, One of the most successful examples is the electronic mega-store run by Amazon. Amazon was founded               Aggregator and the broker. We are certainly impressed with the new offering”.
     in 1997 and has become one of the most iconic e-commerce companies in the world. As well as directly selling products such as books, Amazon acts as an aggregator                                                                                                     Aggregator services have played an important part in enabling suppliers to sell to
     for companies such as Borders, Virgin Megastores, CDNOW, Sears UK, Marks & Spencer and Mothercare. One of Amazon’s strengths is to give buyers the ability to               eAggregator is an extension of the hosted tool set available from Open GI. You can        consumers via the Internet who are eager to purchase at the best available price.
     review and rate products that they themselves have purchased. The “Five-Star” rating system has been incredibly popular with consumers and has been copied by many          elect which aggregator sites a broker wants to provide quotations to. eAggregator
     e-commerce websites.                                                                                                                                                        then links a broker’s online quotation facilities through to the aggregator sites.        Early service providers, such as Amazon, have provided a valuable lesson to later
                                                                                                                                                                                 When the aggregator captures prospect data, a broker can than return a quote to           service providers in how to take advantage of this increasingly important route to
     But by far the most important characteristic of Aggregators, is price comparison.                                                                                           the consumer.                                                                             market.

                                                                                                                                                                                 Gocompare.com operates a cost-per-sale model whereby they charge brokers a                The insurance sector has been slow to adopt the types of tools and services that
     Price comparison is a great tool for helping consumers find the best deal. There are many websites that provide real-time price comparisons for consumers shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                 small fee for each sale that is made via the site. Parsons explains, “We do not           Bill Gates described as being “friction-free capitalism” back in 1995. However,
     for goods such as DVDs, electronic goods, travel, plane tickets and now increasingly insurance.
                                                                                                                                                                                 charge for click-throughs and we do not charge an advertising fee to appear on            there is evidence that the insurance sector, through service providers such as
                                                                                                                                                                                 the Gocompare.com website”. And the advantages to brokers for a service such              gocompare.com and technology partners such as Open GI, is starting to embrace
     In the UK, kelkoo.com and pricerunner.com are two popular general price comparison services. These services list products offered by retailers but do not themselves
                                                                                                                                                                                 as Gocompare.com? Parsons states that while “direct insurance companies and               e-commerce services, Aggregation being one of them, and realising the benefits
     sell any of the products. If a consumer decides to purchase a product that has been listed as a result of a price comparison search then the retailer will pay the price
                                                                                                                                                                                 ‘super brokers’ have embraced the internet and price comparisons for some time,           that this channel can provide.
     comparison service a transaction fee.
                                                                                                                                                                                 the smaller companies have found it hard to compete as they need a website
                                                                                                                                                                                 and significant investment in IT. With the Open GI service it makes it easier for         For more information on how Open GI’s eCommerce offering can link your business
     Price comparison services have been hugely popular for consumers searching for the cheapest TV or fridge but are also beginning to have an impact on the financial
                                                                                                                                                                                 them to take advantage of the services of price comparison websites. Once the             to insurance Aggregators then contact your Account Manager on 01905 754455.
     services industry, including insurance.
                                                                                                                                                                                 technology hurdles have been overcome they are quickly seeing the benefits of
                                                                                                                                                                                 price comparison. It is a significant sales channel for them and is far cheaper than
                                                                                                                                                                                 other marketing and advertising options”.

18                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 1
     Interface                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Interface
        Aggressive Expansion Backed By Enhanced Support Services                                                                                              Money From
     Academy Insurance Services is driving sales forward and spending more time on recent acquisitions thanks to a new
     support contract with Open GI.
                                                                                                                                                              Lost Leads
                                                                                                                                                              Brokers are able to reap the rewards of losing out
     The optimisation of Academy’s operation has come about as a result of outsourcing their IT support and the management of their internet systems to
     Open GI via Enhanced Support Services. Dedicated staff carry out all necessary day-to-day remote system support from the Worcester Headquarters.         to competitive pricing from larger counterparts
                                                                                                                                                              by offering price comparison services to potential
     This enables brokers to achieve optimum performance and stability and ultimately a greater return on investment from the Open GI system without having   customers.
     to recruit additional IT staff.
                                                                                                                                                              The new Pricewatch service, developed by web services
     Dave Bard, Chairman, Academy Insurances, said: “With over 110 users across 12 branches we had outgrown our existing IT infrastructure. The new           company Quote Exchange, allows the broker to act as an
     contract with Open GI means they look after everything for us so we can get on with selling insurance and making further acquisitions.”                  aggregator. This helps widen the broker’s product offering without
                                                                                                                                                              spending vast amounts of money on internet marketing. It is seen as a
     Enhanced Support Service is aimed at brokers of all sizes, particulary those with aspirations of rapid expansion, whether through organic growth or      cost effective means of customer retention by providing an increased level of
     acquisition.                                                                                                                                             service.

     For more information contact your Account Manager on 01905 754455.                                                                                       Pricewatch is ideal for smaller brokers looking to drive traffic to their website and gain
                                                                                                                                                              an immediate return on investment. They can ultimately increase their web presence, gather
                                                                                                                                                              competitor knowledge and profile their customer base through a single system.

                                                                                                                                                              With more customers using the internet as a means of “shopping around” for the best deal, price comparison
                                                                                                                                                              services such as Pricewatch have an even greater role to play. Many markets, including insurance broking, have
                                                                                                                                                              begun to realise the prominence of such tools and recognise the benefits that can be achieved.

                                                                                                                                                              To find out more about pricewatch contact your Account Manager on 01905 754455.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          eBroker & eStarter-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Integral to 24/7 Online Trading
For Optimum                                                                                                                                                                                                                Increased web presence and core quote functionality can be easily achieved with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Open GI’s eStarter and eBroker solutions.

Stability & Performance                                                                                                                                                                                                            As the internet becomes the norm for publicising products and services, brokers should consider
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      developing at the very least a basic brochure website. eStarter is the ideal solution, providing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         project managed web design and a basic hosting facility, in conjunction with Open GI’s web

From Your Open GI system
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            development team.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              eBroker is a step on from eStarter and is the gateway to selling insurance online. This is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              achieved by integrating the broker’s website with Open GI’s quotation engines. With a full
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              range of web-enabled Motor, Home, Bike and Truck engines now available, customers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              can be offered a huge variety of products online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Express Insurance is just one of a number of brokers who have already benefited from
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Open GI’s eStarter and eBroker solutions. Express Insurance’s IT Director, Steve Potter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          said: “Redeveloping our website with Open GI is all about improving the online user
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         experience for Express customers and generating new business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            “The look and feel is not only attractive, it has also made
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the quote process as slick as possible. The use
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    of Java means the site is more predictive and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       integration with Open GI quote engines allows
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         us to provide competitive rates around the

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             To view Open GI’s website for Express
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Insurance, visit: www.expressinsurance.

20                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         21
                                                                                                                                                                                           2                                                                                                                               Interface
                                                                                                                                                                                               Lindenhouse Systems Deliver Space,
                                                                                                                                                                                               Time And Money-saving Benefits
                                                                                                                                                                                               For many years, back office policy management systems have been transforming the way that brokers work and easing the burdens of
                                                                                                                                                                                               administration giving them more time to work with clients. However, some brokers have yet to discover the significant benefits offered
                                                                                                                                                                                               by a good document management system. These benefits – saving of storage space, money and time; improvement in efficiency and
                                                                                                                                                                                               client servicing; enablement of remote working and the provision of disaster recovery contingency – are enhanced when the document
                                                                                                                                                                                               management system is integrated with the broker’s back office policy management system.

                                                                                                                                                                                               Established in 1998, Lindenhouse works extensively with insurance brokers, IFAs and mortgage brokers throughout the UK, providing a range of document management
                                                                                                                                                                                               systems to meet the needs of firms of all sizes, from one man bands to the very largest multi-branch businesses. Lindenhouse’s products include Invu, the leading
                                                                                                                                                                                               document management system in the UK (Lindenhouse is the world’s largest reseller of Invu and recently gained their first ever Centre of Excellence Award). Lindenhouse’s
                                                                                                                                                                                               integration with the Open GI back office system has led many brokers to take advantage of a document management system for the first time and to reap immediate

                                                                                                                                                                                               Craig Sherwood of TRS Milton Keynes is just one broker who is benefiting from working with Lindenhouse:“The implementation of Invu has enabled us to seamlessly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 migrate from a legacy system to a new trading platform with minimal disruption to the business. It has also made us more efficient
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         in our handling of incoming and outgoing correspondence thus enhancing the service that we provide to our customers and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ultimately resulting in cost savings in back office functions.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lindenhouse is now the chosen supplier of document
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   management systems to the Towergate Group. Kellie Gattrell,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Senior IT Project Manager at Towergate is responsible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      for integration with businesses within the group. She
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The implementation of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        explains: “Lindenhouse came highly recommended and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           we chose them following an extensive selection
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Invu has enabled us
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              process. So far, Lindenhouse have provided a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               document management solution for numerous
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        to seamlessly migrate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                businesses in the group. We have to make a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        from a legacy system to

                                                                                         Getting you there.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  business case before we undertake any
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     implementation, the benefits are so great
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      – just in terms of space and time saving,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      reduction in printing costs and filing time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      – that the decision to proceed is always a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      very straightforward one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     “Of all the suppliers we work with, I have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        a new trading platform
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        with minimal disruption
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        to the business.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Craig Sherwood,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    to say, Lindenhouse are undoubtedly one of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the best.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TRS Milton Keynes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Once installed, the solution Lindenhouse provides
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           can begin to improve broker efficiency within an hour. Mark Woolley of Lindenhouse explains: “It stores

        Fortis Van Guard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           scanned images and all other outbound information generated from the back office system centrally in a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           custom-built filing structure. Emails, MS-Office documents and other key items can all be captured. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        system dramatically reduces paper usage, increases productivity and strengthens archive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   security. We calculate a typical saving of four to six weeks in administration time per
        It’s our business to keep your customers’ business on the road.                                                                                                                                                                                                                person annually.

        We even give them a replacement vehicle!*                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       “The other great thing is that we have a range of document management
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         solutions to meet the needs of any business, whatever their size and wherever
        *Following accident, comprehensive policies only, terms and conditions apply. See policy document for full details.                                                                                                                                                               they are in the UK. We are also able to integrate with all other applications.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Our constant innovation programme has seen full integration with the recent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Open-i release.”
                                                                                                                   Provided by an award winning insurer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For more information about joining the insurance broker businesses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  already benefiting from Lindenhouse’s integrated solutions, contact
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mark Woolley on 01223 492266, email: info@lindenhouse.co.uk or visit

Insurance Personal Lines | Insurance Commercial Lines                                                   Fortis Insurance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
      R&SA Launch Vans and Business Car
      Products Via EDI
      The newly launched Vans and Business Car products will make life                      •    Personal Accident (up to £5,000)*
      a whole lot easier for brokers and those with Royal & SunAlliance                     •    Replacement Locks (up to £1,000)
      policies will now be able to convert them to EDI policies.                            •    Tools in Transit (up to £500)*
                                                                                            •    Legal Assistance Plan with Uninsured Loss Recovery up to £50,000 at no
      It will allow the broker to manage their motor business across the full policy life
      cycle, giving them greater control as well as a fast and efficient service.                extra cost (previously available as an optional extra)

                                                                                            *Comprehensive cover only
      The Broker’s clients will benefit from accurate documentation that is created
      quickly and with minimum fuss.
                                                                                            EDI Business Car includes - Replacement Locks (up to £1,000)
      Since R&SA Vans and Business Car products were rated number one by Defaqto*
      they have been enhanced to include:                                                   Help and Support

                                                                                            If you have any queries on Royal & SunAlliance EDI products please contact the
      •    Personal Effects (up to £150)*                                                   dedicated etrading team on 0845 300 4005 and select the EDI option. For any
      •    Medical Expenses (up to £200)*                                                   covers that cannot be arranged through EDI call Enterprise on 0845 300 4005.

                                                                                                                New Head Of Insurer
                                                                                                               Software Development
     It is definitely true to say that insurance brokers are embracing the technology
                   revolution. In today’s market, both customers and brokers alike                     Open GI has appointed Jes Westerman (pictured below) to
                        want access to buy products and manage services either                         the new role of Head of Insurer Software Development,
                            online or by using technology to save time and provide                     as part of plans to further expand the range of products
                              better control.                                                          available for brokers, particularly across commercial
                              Premium finance providers, like many other service providers to the
                             broker market, have been at the forefront of developing technological
                                                                                                       With a career in IT Development spanning over 12 years, Jes has held
                          solutions, the aim being to deliver more efficient and cost effective
                                                                                                       a number of different positions from Development Leader to Solutions
                                                                                                       Architect. He was previously employed as Technical Director at Sirius
                                                                                                       (now part of SSP), where he worked for six years, implementing global
                       Premium First can now provide a number of “delivery channels” to brokers,
                                                                                                       IT solutions.
                         providing choice and ensuring that each broker can transact their
                          premium finance business in a way that fits best with their business
                                                                                                       Jes’ prior experience includes developing production control systems
                           model and processes.
                                                                                                       for major manufacturing companies and IT project management in
                                                                                                       countries such as South Africa. He has a Degree in Physics and a
                               Many brokers have realised that one of the most efficient ways of
                                                                                                       Masters in Software Development and has also lectured in IT at Westhill
                                processing premium finance is through integrated EDI software
                                                                                                       College of Higher Education in Birmingham.
                                like that available on the Open GI system. The main advantage
                                to the broker is the time saving that this integration can provide
                                                                                                       In his new role at Open GI, Jes is
                               with the transfer of clients details passing straight to the finance
                                                                                                       responsible for the development of all
                             provider, without the need for re-keying. The system can also
                                                                                                       Open GI insurer products - both open
                             reconcile each client’s account, indicating that payment has been
                                                                                                       market and broker specific, and for the
                             made by the finance company.
                                                                                                       management of a team of 30 plus staff
                                                                                                       – a figure which is likely to expand.
                             In addition to this, Premium First will provide a web based Account
                                                                                                       There are now over 1,000 products on
                          Management system, providing enhanced customer service, by enabling
                                                                                                       the Open GI system, higher than any
                         brokers and their customers to view their accounts online with access to
                                                                                                       other software house.
                        Direct Debit history and other relevant information.
                                                                                                       Jes’ appointment is part of Open GI’s
                 Premium First has developed its schemes available on the Open GI system for
                                                                                                       continual investment in Research
                 both recourse and non-recourse - to provide peace of mind for brokers, and
                                                                                                       and Development and will support
                 the use of telesign-up paperless Direct Debit instructions has streamlined the
                                                                                                       the company as it moves into a new
                 process even further negating the need for completion of paper documents.                                                           Jes Westerman, Head
                                                                                                       phase of growth under the ownership
                                                                                                       of Towergate.                                  of Insurer Software
                 For more information on how Open GI and Premium First can support your                                                                   Development
                 business contact your Account Manager or Premium First on 028 90 269866.

     Events                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Events
                                                                                                                                                                              The Open GI Events Team were present at a whole host of industry conferences and
                                                                                                                                                                              exhibitions during the quarter, including our own broker clinics. Below are just a
     Could Insurance Brokers                                                                                                                                                  selection of the events we have attended.
     Make The Cut?                                                                                                                                                            The team are also busy preparing the events schedule for 2008, more details will be
     Incisive Media and Open GI put 40 brokers to the test
                                                                                                                                                                              published early next year.
     in September with a challenging day of golf at Hanbury
     Manor Hotel and Country Club.                                                                                                                                            Insurance                                                                         BIBA Regional Event - Leeds
     The launch of the long awaited Insurance Masters event was a great success,
                                                                                                                                                                              Age Expo -                                                                             3rd October 2007
     with special guest Pro Golfer Paul Way, on hand to help golfers better their
     game. After some complimentary coaching and a chance to challenge the two-
                                                                                                                                                                              1st November                                                              In the first event of its kind, the BIBA Regional Event in Leeds opened its
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        doors enthusiastic brokers.
     time Ryder Cup Player in a beat the pro session, participants took part in a full
     round of golf courtesy of Incisive Media and Open GI.
                                                                                                                                                                              2007                                                                      The event entitled ‘Insuring the Brokers Future’ was held at the Royal Armouries Museum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        where more than 50 companies exhibited and brokers from over 100 BIBA member firms
     The Stableford competition saw a team from Fresh Insurance Services and                                                                                                                                                                            attended.
                                                                                                                                                                              Open GI attended this year’s Insurance Age Broker Expo
     the Pavey Group become triumphant with prizes also given out for the best                                                                                                along with the industry’s leading players.                                Visitors to the Open GI and Countrywide stand were able pick up the latest e-commerce
     individual scores.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        information packs as well as viewing demonstrations of Open GI’s most recent products.
                                                                                                                                                                              The broker only event, held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, was a great
     The golfers were duly rewarded for their efforts with a complimentary players                                                                                            success attracting over 350 brokers.                                      The one day event provided brokers
     pack and a free invitation to the Desert Springs Resort in Spain for themselves                                                                                                                                                                    with the opportunity to gain specific
                                                                                                                                                                              Brokers who visited the Open GI stand had the opportunity to view the     information on industry topics. AXA,
     and three guests, worth at least £1,500 per person.                                                                                                                      latest system technology with our expert consultants and to discuss the   Allianz and Towergate were just some
                                                                                                                                                                              exclusive facilities on offer via the Countrywide network.                of the companies that presented to
     Ray Illingworth of Pavey Group was particularly impressed, “An excellent day’s                                                                                                                                                                     brokers.
     golf. The organisation was first class and the prizes were very generous.”                                                                                               The event was free to all UK general insurance brokers and provided a
                                                                                                                                                                              great opportunity to network, attend interactive workshops and arrange    BIBA Regional Events look set to
                                                                                                                                                                              business meetings, all in a single day.                                   continue in 2008 – watch this space for
     The day’s golf was capped off with an excellent display from Geoff Swain, World
     Trick-shot Champion (pictured immediate right) and a 3 course lunch, all within                                                                                                                                                                    more information or go to
                                                                                                                                                                              David Kelly, Sales Manager, Open GI, said: “The Insurance Age             www.biba.org.uk.
     the tranquil surroundings of the Country Club.                                                                                                                           Expo provides excellent opportunities for us to showcase our latest

     The event gained glowing reviews and after its success another event is being
     planned for next year.
                                                                                                                                                                              developments to the market place. The number of enquiries we received
                                                                                                                                                                              from firms looking into new and alternative systems exceeded our
                                                                                                                                                                              expectations and the Countrywide offering seemed ever more popular

                                                                                                                                                                              with brokers. We look forward to attending again in 2008.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ACORD Conference -
     Company was excellent, venue great, timing perfect.                                                                                                                                                                                                              17th - 18th October 2007
                             Nick Blunden, Alan Blunden.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        London market technology provider, MI Limited, showcased its MI Trader
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        solution at this year’s ACORD conference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ACORD is the leader in driving standards into the London market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The conference took place at Gibson Hall, Threadneedle Street, London and attracted over
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        600 delegates from the international insurance industry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MI was formed in 1999 and has grown to become
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        a leading supplier of electronic trading solutions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        for global broking and underwriting. Its principal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        product, MI Trader, is a web based platform that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        facilitates product distribution, administration,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        rating and negotiation across a huge variety of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        business lines and time zones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MI has a client base of over 30 market leaders
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        including Aon, Cooper Gay, HSBC, Lloyd’s of
                Pro Paul Way, Jason Wheelhoue and Simon Hughes (Open GI)                  Pro Paul Way (left), Simon Hughes (middle) and Giles Harris (far right) (Open GI)                                                                             London, Marsh, QBE, Towergate and Willis.
                         and John Barnes (Fresh Insurance Group)                         with runners up from: Equity, John Russell Insurance Services and Allen & Allen

2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 27
                        User Group AGM
                    - A Big Hit With Brokers                                                          Open GI’s ‘Lilywhites’
                The User group held its Annual General Meeting on Friday 2
                November. This year the get together included some opportunities                        Fail To Rekindle
                for free training, kindly provided by Open GI.

                We were also delighted to welcome Andy Homer, the CEO of
                                                                                                           Past Glory
                Towergate Partnership. He was happy to take questions from the                  After winning the plate in last years Insurance
                floor and answered them to everyone’s satisfaction.
                                                                                                Charities football tournament, the Open GI Team
                As the reasons behind the Towergate purchase become clearer,                    entered once again in 2007 with high hopes of
                the logic behind the deal becomes more and more obvious.                        success.
                Phillip Bell presented Open GI’s new web based Commercial                       The AXA sponsored 7-a-side Insurance Leadership Group
                trading platform. Using the technology purchased with MI Ltd                    competition, held in London in September, played host to 40
                the system is very impressive and combined with the facilities                  teams. Transatlantic Reinsurance Company took the prize of
                available within Towergate could represent a revolution in the                  cup winners after success in both group and knockout stages.
                placing of commercial risks. I think that 2008 could prove to be a
                very exciting year.                                                             The Open GI team got off to a faltering start in the group stages
                                                                                                meaning entry into the plate competition for the second year
                Talking of 2008, the User Group will present training sessions                  running.
                around the country, (including Ireland). These will be at a very
                basic cost, mainly to cover food and drink and will provide full
                                                                                                After an inspirational rallying cry from Steve Maslin the boys
                training with notes on subjects of your choice.
                                                                                                managed to pick themselves up for the knockout stages. Three
                If that isn’t a reason to join the User Group I don’t know one.                 nail biting penalty shootout victories later and they were in
                Contact our Office (01902 426363) now for an application form or                familiar territory, the plate final.
                ask your local Open GI representative for one.
                                                                                                Playing as night fell, the Open GI Team were looking strong until
                                                                                                an uncharacteristic error from goalkeeper Hirst, who somehow
                                                                                                managed to let one in at the near post. After failing to recover
                                                                                                from the mistake the team went down 1-0 and lost the plate to
                                                                                                brokers Bell and Clements.

                                                                                                The Open GI team regularly play brokers - to find out more or to
                                                                                                organise a game contact captain Jason Wheelhouse on 07786

                       User Group Chairman, John Regan (left) and Andy
                                Homer, CEO, Towergate (right)

                John F Regan
                National Chairman
                Open User Group

                                     user group

                                                               Published and produced by:                         Edited by:

                       Interface                               Open GI limited
                                                               Buckholt Drive, Warndon, Worcester, WR4 9SR
                                                                                                                  Anna Pass, Caroline Hardiman and Alex Cook.

                                                               T 01905 754455 F 01905 857182                      To contribute to Interface telephone Marketing on
                                                               W www.opengi.co.uk                                 01905 754455 or e-mail: marketing@opengi.co.uk

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