It's becoming common for carriers to use the Web as an electronic conduit to organizations ranging from government agencies to auto repair shops. But carriers are branching off in a different e-business direction, interacting with risk management corporations and reinsurers in a secure Web-based environment where the object is to buy and sell risk."Bidding for treaty reinsurance is a fertile field," says Richard Roby, director of insurance research for TowerGroup, a Newton, Mass.-based financial service consulting firm specializing in technology.

"If a North American insurer is looking to take on some risk in Hong Kong, the company could participate in an exchange to identify a Hong Kong-based reinsurer that's eager to offload its exposure in Hong Kong."

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