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October 11, 2009

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, LexisNexis Ink Partnership

To build an insurance exchange directed at improving the efficiency and transparency of the independent agent-based distribution system

By CBR Staff Writer

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (The Council), representing the commercial insurance brokers and agents in the US and abroad, and LexisNexis, a provider of content-enabled workflow solutions, are going to create an insurance exchange. The exchange is directed at improving the efficiency and transparency of the independent agent-based distribution system.

The new exchange is said to combine both technology and information at each of the key workflow steps of the insurance transaction process. It is intended to reduce redundant work and costs, as well as to enable agents and brokers to offer clients a broader choice of insurance products, said the Council.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions worked with The Council to develop the plan for the new web-based system that enables agents and brokers to submit insurance applications in a one-step, real-time process. The new exchange solution also allows brokers to see insurance product availability, pricing, and coverage differences from multiple insurance carriers.

Prior to this new exchange, intermediaries had to separately interface with the computer systems of insurance companies, causing a significant amount of redundant work. The exchange will also provide a single-entry gateway to wholesalers to broaden and provide more efficient access to additional markets, claims the Council.

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LexisNexis has developed a technology platform allowing insurance carriers and brokers to track recent trends in insurance product pricing and coverage, in turn helping the industry align itself more rapidly to customer needs. LexisNexis will also provide key risk-related data on a secure basis into the exchange workflows, which will improve underwriting and reduce broker data-entry time.

The insurance exchange will initially concentrate on commercial lines. All sizes and lines of property/casualty insurance will eventually be supported as will, potentially, other non-property/casualty implementations.

The insurance exchange will be supported by a broker-controlled and operated entity called The Insurance Exchange Trust (IET). The purpose of the IET will be to provide a vehicle for agents and brokers to ensure the exchange operates according to its founding principles of fairness, neutrality and protection of data. It also will serve as an advisory board to LexisNexis on exchange issues.

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