Aon, the Chicago-based insurance brokerage and risk consultancy, created a Web-based platform that leverages the more than $54 billion of commercial coverage that Aon places every year to provide insights on insurance market conditions for its customers, brokers and carriers.

The Global Risk Insight Platform (GRIP), which was rolled out last fall in the U.S. and U.K., currently reflects 85% of Aon's premium flow and will capture 100% by early next year, says Peggy Stewart, executive vice president and COO for broking excellence worldwide at Aon Risk Services. GRIP is essentially an electronic dashboard that provides details on the limits, deductibles, pricing and exposure of coverage arranged through Aon. Stewart notes that GRIP covers "the entire placement cycle, from Aon querying the carriers about what they would charge, to the carriers responding, to the customers deciding which carrier to go with." Aon gains a "better line of sight on the marketplace, what the market is pricing and its appetite for risk to present to clients," she says. "Our clients have a broader perspective than ever before on what carriers might have the appetite to place their business." And because the data is captured in real time, "it allows us to start forecasting pricing trends," Stewart notes. "We're not just looking at what has been bound, but we can look at three, four, five months out." The platform also captures the reasons insurers give for deciding not to bid on a customer's business and the reasons companies cite for declining to do business with a particular insurer. Aon has offices in more than 120 countries, and the data aggregated in GRIP is translated into local languages and local currencies. GRIP also uses the insurance terms prevalent in each country. Stewart says the platform's most important goal is to add value for Aon's clients. "It gives them the information they need to make risk-buying decisions in real time."

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