Posted on Jul 16, 2012 by Sergio Ulloa
Price Reduction With Insurance Competition
As a direct result of competition and strategic partnerships, prices for insurance in multiple areas are decreasing throughout the world. Originating out of public outcry for lower prices, or companies aiming to provide better services to their clients, insurance seekers are experiencing lower prices and are contributing to increased profits for companies.
In New Zealand, two insurance companies have engaged into a partnership which will lower insurance costs in the building trade industries. The companies under discussion are HazardCo, a provider of health and safety insurance in the construction industry, and Plus4 Insurance Solutions (Plus4), an insurance brokerage and financial advisory group, who are working together to lower the costs of accidental insurance and to provide protection of income for self-employed workers in the building trade.
HazardCo has been in operation since 2006 and operates out of New Zealand and it boasts over 7,500 construction business clients. Plus4 has been established since 2008 and now operates out from 10 different locations and has over 25 advisors. Both have expanded significantly over the recent years, bringing innovation to the industry, such as HazardCo's online training system, Learner Management System.
Utilizing the expertise of both of these companies, building trade workers are able to reduce the average cost of their premiums. Premiums in this industry are required under regulation and can be a significant cost to workers.
Due to Plus4's knowledge in financial advisory, this agreement allows the insured to have direct access to Plus4's financial advisors to review compensations and insurance coverage levels. As a result, insurees have experienced substantial savings and increased coverage. Workers in the building trade are required to have insurance, protecting workers from illness or when accidents strike.
Some workers are eligible for a 10% discount on their ACC Work Place Cover Levy with HazardCo, which represents significant costs savings. Under the partnership with Plus4, HazardCo's clients are able to restructure their insurance coverage, tailoring it to their specific needs which suit their current situation and requirements.
HazardCo's Mark Potter states that "The partnership with Plus4 has meant that many of our clients have made substantial savings on the cost of their ACC and, as a result, now have in place more comprehensive and appropriate insurance cover."
In a separate case of lower insurance costs, competition is the main driver of lowering car insurance for residents of the United Kingdom, with price reductions in almost £100 (US$100) on average.
Utilizing the Confused.com and Towers Watson car insurance index, it is shown that prices are decreasing as a result of competition within the industry. A reduction of 7.1% is reflected within the index between Q2 of 2011 and Q2 of 2012.
The car insurance index receives a substantial amount of quotes, allowing for an accurate depiction of the market's current condition. The index is comprised of over four million quotes, making it one of the most comprehensive indicies in the world for car insurance.
Due to historical statistics, car insurance companies have been offering asymmetries in insurance premiums. However, the European Union have decided that this type of price discrimination is not desirable and have decided to ban this practice. This order is to be enacted later this year and will see that women pay more for their premiums and men will see their premiums reduced.
Despite the EU gender directive soon to be enacted, United Kingdom is still seeing a disparity between price quotes, with men paying on average £110 (US$171) more than women.
Part of the outcry from the gender discriminatory prices had contributed to lower prices. However, sites like Confused.com have also contributed significantly to the lowering of insurance premiums. These sites amalgamate prices from various insurers, allowing competition to force prices lower. Customers have access to various providers, causing no one provider to have a domineering selling power.
In addition to lower prices, online insurance comparison sites have witnessed increase in profits due to higher competition. With higher prices, consumers look elsewhere to find alternatives that suit their budgetary needs, and they find their solutions online. As a result, online comparison sites such as GoCompare have seen double digit profit increases because of their wide array of offerings from various companies. This level of competition has allowed both companies and consumers to benefit, as well as allowed the insurers to service consumers they would have lost without pricing changes.
Both GoCompare and Confused.com offer quotes and showcase insurance policies to consumers from various insurance providers. Like many comparison sites, GoCompare and Confused.com are able to offer lower, on average, insurance premiums because of direct competition that is clearly visible to the seeker.
Consumers will experience progressively lower prices as competition continues to emphasize the need for companies lower their prices as a response.
Insurance Companies Mentioned
HazardCo provides health and safety resources, in addition to systems and support to the New Zealand residential construction trade. HazardCo has expanded significantly since it's creation in 2006, with over 7,500 construction business clients. Many of HazardCo's clients are top performing housing companies. HazardCo also provides online training for heath, safety and compliance related subjects.
Plus4 Insurance Solutions operates on a national level in New Zealand as an insurance brokerage and a financial advisory group. Since 2008, Plus4 have grown to 10 locations throughout New Zealand and has over 25 professionals servicing top clients. Plus4 offers an unbiased consultation to small and medium sized enterprises, as well as individual and small business clients.