Electronic Accounting and Settlement arrives in the Bermuda Reinsurance Market: AON

Technology in the Bermudian reinsurance market has taken a leap forward with the announcement that Aspen Re has become the first underwriter on the island to successfully implement electronic accounting and settlement (A&S) together with two of the islands leading brokers – Aon and Benfield. A&S Messaging is rapidly becoming an industry wide standard and this implementation within Bermuda demonstrates the importance of A&S globally.

This is the first implementation of A&S in Bermuda with Aspen Re Bermuda now trading 100% of its accounting and settlement transactions electronically with the two brokers, which equates to approximately 300 submissions a month.

Traditionally, premium and claim transactions, settlement notices and account statements have been delivered by brokers via email, by fax or on paper � manual processes that are prone to error as well as being costly and time-consuming. A&S messaging enables brokers and underwriters to exchange data and documents over a secure internet connection, bringing the benefits of an efficient, standardised process for receipt and processing of messages, and allowing increased volumes of business to be processed without a corresponding increase in headcount.

A&S messaging also provides regulatory benefits such as improved compliance in the areas of audit and control, and improved data integrity between brokers and reinsurers. The project forms an important contribution towards the goal of �end-to-end� electronic trading between reinsurers and their broker partners throughout the full risk lifecycle.

Lisa Gibbard, Head of I.T. at Aspen Re, commented: “With the implementation of A&S technology, our Finance team have a single �portal� to monitor for incoming broker messages and documents. This replaces the often problematic process of tracking and chasing paper and email notifications and pushes forward with the �Market Reform� initiative which has seen recent success in the London Market.”

Aspen Re made use of Web Connectivity�s ACORD messaging Gateway “EnabledB2B”. The Gateway allows the exchange of data and documents using the internationally recognised ACORD standards that have also been adopted by Aon and Benfield in other (Re) Insurance markets. The use of the ACORD standards ensures that every accounting and settlement message has been pre-validated to adhere to a known structure and format providing exciting future possibilities such as automated cash-matching or integration with �workflow� solutions.

Paul Smith, Global Head of Customer Technical Services at Benfield, states: “At Benfield we have been successfully using electronic accounting and settlement with our customers in the UK and US for a number of years. The application of this technology to the Bermudian market extends the benefits of A&S even further and we look forward to achieving more implementations of this technology with other reinsurers in the Bermuda market.”

Ian Summers, Director of Change Strategy at Aon said: “Aon congratulates Aspen for their support and leadership in Bermuda with the move towards automation of the reinsurance accounting process. The use of messaging to support the reinsurance process introduces transparencies and efficiencies not achievable through the traditional distribution channels, Industry statistics refer to a 35% rework associated with the traditional processes � so the benefits are obvious.”

“It is vital that we provide real benefits to our clients and markets for such initiatives to be scalable, as such A&S messaging should be seen as one component in the end to end solution offered by Aon to its clients and markets.”

About Aon

Aon Corporation (NYSE: AOC), ranked by A.M. Best as the number one global insurance brokerage based on brokerage revenues and voted best insurance intermediary, best reinsurance intermediary and best employee benefits consulting firm by the readers of Business Insurance, is a leading provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, human capital and management consulting, and specialty insurance underwriting. There are 43,000 employees working in Aon’s 500 offices in more than 120 countries. Backed by broad resources, industry knowledge and technical expertise, Aon professionals help a wide range of clients develop effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. http://www.aon.com/.