The use of electronic claims files (ECF) in the London company market is much more extensive than previously stated, an improved analysis by the International Underwriting Association has revealed.
New data shows that the percentage of new claims submitted each month electronically is now close to 90%, up from just over 70% at the start of 2012.
Meanwhile the proportion of all existing claims that are still being processed on paper has fallen dramatically and now stands at one third, compared to two thirds at the start of last year.
The statistics do not measure static claims where there has been no progress for more than two years, since in many cases a claims advice may be initially logged, but then never pursued by a broker or client.
Over the course of last year better reporting techniques have meant that a greater number of static claims could be properly identified giving a more accurate measurement of the overall ECF adoption trend.
The improvement in the proportion of new electronic claims files has been helped by a change to the company market's accounting system which asks brokers whether or not a claim is being processed electronically. Since most new claims are electronic this is now the default answer, minimising the number of cases being mistakenly categorised as paper-based.
John Hobbs, the IUA's Director of Operations, said: "Improvements in the way we measure electronic claims activity in the company market have given us a much sharper view of how far this modernisation project has come.
"And the picture that emerges is one of significant progress. Furthermore, even if we disregard the impact of this better analysis, it is clear that we are continuing to move in the right direction.
"Adoption rates for new technology often plateau after an initial burst of enthusiasm, but we are not finding this with electronic claims files in the London company market."
The ECF infrastructure will continue to be enhanced throughout 2013 with changes implemented as a result of user feedback. Decisions on system improvements are taken by an ECF User Group made up of representatives from IUA member companies, Lloyd's managing agents and the broking community.
Developments in electronic claims will also be considered as part of the London Market's Central Services Refresh programme to establish a comprehensive plan for future business process modernisation.
Stephen Riley, Chairman of the both the IUA and the London Market Group commented: "Claims is the one area of our processing that our clients truly care about and I am pleased to see the company market leading the way with its take up of new technology.
"But we do need to be thinking where the next leap forward comes from, so that further improvements can be made to existing performance and settlement times."