Trade credit insurer Euler Hermes and broker BPL Global have launched a new approach for proposing and receiving credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) requests, described by the pair as a “digital first” for the sector.

Last month, the two firms successfully completed a proof of concept whereby they integrated their internal broking and underwriting systems through an application programming interface (API) provided by digital insurance platform Whitespace.

The API allowed BPL Global to place a cover request and for the Euler Hermes system to receive it without either having to use a third-party platform.

Thomas Laporte-Many, head of development and innovation on the Euler Hermes transactional cover unit, says neither firm had to log in and use the Whitespace platform’s website or app-based user interface, because the API allowed data to be transferred directly.

“The idea that market firms could build their own proprietary systems and trade through Whitespace was always a key part of our strategy… I have no doubt that our wider client base will want to realise the same benefits that BPL Global and Euler Hermes have seen,” says Whitespace founder Jonathan Clarke.

BPL Global and Euler Hermes have heralded the integration as a “step forward” from recent efforts to digitise the presentation, negotiation, binding and management of credit insurance contracts through specialist electronic placement platforms.

When asked about the potential benefits above and beyond using a third-party platform, Laporte-Many tells GTR that API-based integration allows real-time data exchange between two systems. “This brings many benefits, including exchange of reliable and formatted data, operational efficiency thanks to automated data feed, and faster request submission and response times.”

“This an exciting breakthrough moment for both Euler Hermes and BPL Global, and an important milestone towards achieving our shared vision of CPRI market-wide digital efficiency,” says Sian Aspinall, managing director at BPL Global.

Efforts have been gathering pace to digitise the CPRI market and electronic placement platforms have emerged with the aim of streamlining the often cumbersome back and forth process for brokers and underwriters buying and selling CPRI policies.

Last week, Dialogue, an independent platform for global complex risks, facilitated its first live deal after completing a beta phase. Re/insurance broker Miller is one major backer and was the first entity to complete a transaction on the platform.

Initially launched in December 2019, Dialogue provides a central platform for brokers to structure and create enquiries, and build their own templates that are specific to their clients. They can then send those enquiries to all of the underwriters on the platform, with each underwriter able to respond and negotiate.

But the latest API integration highlights how firms are considering alternative options for digitising the broker-underwriter relationship, based on a more bilateral exchange of data.

“Euler Hermes is transforming its IT stacks into cloud-native and API-centric services in many of its operations. Our vision was that API integration could also make sense in the CPRI market, given the emergence of electronic placement platforms and the increased digitisation of the market,” says Laporte.

Having concluded the recent proof of concept, Euler Hermes now plans to expand the approach’s use case in the coming months, with Laporte-Many saying that the insurer will seek to implement it with more brokers.