A colleague joked with me the other day about my constant ramblings on the LexisNexis Insurance Exchange. I laughed to myself, realizing that I do, in fact, yammer incessantly month after month on this topic.

“Rants,” I told him. “That’s what we like to call them around the office.”

I rant because I see a solution to an industry issue—like countersignature, surplus lines reform, and management training. And I rant because I believe the LexisNexis Insurance Exchange is the solution commercial insurance brokers have long been searching for to become more efficient for themselves and for their clients.

We’ve seen attempt after attempt, year after year. Vendors, carriers and others working to get an insurance exchange right—trying to pin the tail on that elusive donkey. But despite the efforts of many, creating an exchange for policy placements has never been successful because of one primary reason.

Until now, none of the various efforts have been pioneered by a company that doesn’t have their bread and butter come from the insurance industry. This is what separates the LexisNexis Insurance Exchange from the competition. LexisNexis is as neutral as it’s going to get, and that is critical to the success of a true commercial insurance exchange. The main components that will determine the success of this initiative—fairness, neutrality and the protection of data—are what LexisNexis used to build the foundation of the Insurance Exchange.

In other words, the LexisNexis Insurance Exchange is different because it’s trying to leverage the marketplace, not corner it. The interoperability we are trying so hard to achieve isn’t possible if there is a singular company within the insurance industry trying to develop a submissions platform for everyone else. Why would X broker submit an application to Y carrier if Z insurance broker or carrier or back-office administrator or AMS vendor owns the submission platform? It doesn’t work.

LexisNexis is a neutral player operating a simple and secure platform that is open to all industry participants. This is a collective industry effort that makes sense for all of us—brokers, carriers and wholesalers alike. And this time around, the technology is intuitive and works well.

When LexisNexis first set out to develop this exchange, its main goal was to simplify the major steps of the insurance transaction process and enable access to key market information and analytics for better decision making. The Council, playing a supporting role, worked hard with LexisNexis to ensure that openness, objectivity and protection of data were the cornerstones of the exchange. We believe we have developed a system that accomplishes those goals.

LexisNexis offers a level of world-class data protection this industry has never seen before. Privacy and data security are built into the business model. Using the most up-to-date industry standard, you don’t have to worry about proprietary data formats. Instead, you can concentrate on driving business results.

It goes without saying that the proper vision, sufficient and patient funding, a good business plan, and skilled execution of these elements are of critical importance. However, the support of all industry participants for this effort is of the greatest importance. Without your commitment to use this platform, the best vision, planning, funding and execution would ultimately fail. The industry needs this to remain competitive. Distribution is critical.

So, yes, I rant. I rant because I believe in this, and I want you to believe in it, too.