U.K. Auto Market Going to the Internet

March 1, 2006

A new study from the Dublin-based consultants Research and Markets notes that the U.K.’s automobile (motor) owners are increasingly using the Internet when it comes to insuring their cars. “Buying insurance over the Internet has increased from 2 to 13 percent,” the report said.

“In the face of increasing competitive pressures, the U.K. motor insurance market is currently in a soft cycle phase,” said the R&M press bulletin. “This report examines the markets performance in terms of GWP [gross written premiums], profitability, competitor performance and strategy. It also provides forecasts for GWP and underwriting results to 2010, making it essential reading for anyone with an interest in the UK motor insurance market.”

R&M said the “Scope of this title” includes the following:
— Extensive coverage of GWP, underwriting result and claims is provided for comprehensive, non-comprehensive, motorcycle, fleet and commercial vehicle
— Consumer data provides insight into motor insurance purchasing habits and competitor data reveals key players performances and strategies
— Analysis of the major competitive issues, supported by interviews with senior industry executives and data from a range of secondary sources
— GWP and underwriting result forecasts to 2010, based on Our in-house expertise and proprietary models

Highlights included in the study were listed as follows:
— Increased competition and falling premium rates caused GWP to decline in both the commercial and private motor markets in 2004. The private motor sector was particularly competitive with new entrants and established players both competing on price to grow or retain market share.
— The motor markets recent underwriting losses have increased due to the poor performance of the private sector. However, the underwriting cycle is becoming less volatile, mainly due to the more consolidated competitive structure of the motor insurance market.
— The Internet as a platform for buying motor insurance has grown from 2 per cent in 2001 to 13 per cent in 2005. Online consumers display relatively lower levels of loyalty and are more price sensitive. Insurers who focus on Internet distribution may therefore find it harder to retain the customers they acquire through this platform.

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c33651; or contact Laura Wood Senior Manager Research and Markets press@researchandmarkets.com; Fax: +353 1 4100 980.

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