The internet has changed the way that personal lines insurance is handled, but online distribution of the policies is still rated within the SME sector. Over the last few months renewed interest in this area may change the landscape of personal lines insurance.
OIM Underwriting first created an e-underwriting division of their company this past May offering many different commercial and home products via broking software houses. They did this by utilising an auto-rating model that would offer sale quotes for non-standard and standard risks that normally would be the job of an underwriter to decide.
UK managing director for the firm, Jason Anthony, believes that now is the right time to make a push for SMEs to head online. He explained that people are becoming more aware that it is beneficial for some businesses to trade online for costs and efficiency reasons. Therefore, it is no longer the best choice for a broker to put SMEs into the market via the traditional outlets.
Just a few weeks after the OIM launch, Simon Ball the Coverzones boss, entered the market with an online SME tool of his own called Quotall. This allows brokers to e-trade with their insuring panel and also allows brokers to offer a direct quote and buy system to their consumers. In addition, it offers a self-service proposition for those that are so inclined.
The system is offered on a franchise by franchise basis and interested brokers can sign up for their outcome if they can commit to bringing a reasonable amount of business to the website over the next few years. Ball explained that the SME market buys insurance is evolving quickly and brokers have to be there with it as it does.