Howden Launches End-to-End Digital Trading Platform for Cargo Risks

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Howden, the London-based international insurance broker, announced the launch of xTrade Cargo, the first end-to-end digital trading platform dedicated to the oldest specialty class in the London market.

This new initiative launched as a proof of concept in 2019 for cargo SME business and today provides 20 leading cargo carriers with access to the largest and most complex cargo risks in the sector.

Cargo re/insurance has been written in the London market since 1686, but it has been much slower than other classes of business to adopt to technological change, Howden explained.

xTrade Cargo builds on this urgent, market-wide need for line-specific digital solutions by providing a simple to use digital architecture and settlement system while enabling insurer participants to collect, share and integrate standardized risk data into their own pricing and modeling systems, the broker added.

As a result, carriers are able to undertake a faster and more in-depth analysis and quoting of risk, leading to a more accurately priced and efficient trade, whose cost benefits can be passed onto the end client. Howden is able to capture this richer and more consistently laid out data-set to have more informed discussions with carriers in the pursuit of the best solution for clients.

Howden currently transacts $160 million in gross written premiums, or approximately 10% of the total cargo market in London, with an aim to grow to $200 million GWP by the end of 2022.

The platform, which is recognized by Lloyd’s for e-placement and will conform to the CDR (Core Data Record) data standard, is expected to be rolled out across all specialty lines.

“xTrade Cargo is a defining moment in the history of London’s oldest specialty class. In a market that has historically struggled to effectively adapt to the technology revolution, we have identified a line-specific digital trading platform where we can exchange data with carriers to help them bind complex open market business seamlessly,” commented Jonathan Eaton, head of Cargo and Stock Throughput at Howden Specialty.

“We’re delighted that a large group of leading capacity providers have been attracted by the significant pricing, speed and efficiency opportunities, the benefits of which can be passed on to their end clients,” he added.

Paul Hillier, managing director of Howden’s xTrade platform, said: “As a group, we have made significant investment into our digital capabilities to create data-driven solutions for our clients. We are working with a growing number of insurers to achieve this and xTrade Cargo is the next step in our strategy to roll out digital trading across all specialty classes. By delivering structured risk data to insurers in a format they want, our ambition is to become the broker of choice in the emerging digital marketplace.”

About Howden Broking

Established in 1994, Howden today is a leading independent re/insurance broker, employing more than 9,000 people worldwide. It comprises owned businesses in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Together with network partners, Howden operates in more than 90 territories.

Source: Howden Broking

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