If you’re trying to merge a few brands in the motor/motorcycle insurance market then it can be a bumpy road. But it’s good news today for Atlanta who have secured a deal to buy Marmalade, subject to regulatory approval. Here’s the word from Atlanta;
Atlanta Group, the UK’s leading digital multi-brand personal insurance broker, today announces that it has acquired Marmalade.
Marmalade specialises in policies for drivers aged under 34. Since the business was founded 15 years ago it has continued to look for innovative solutions to make the journey easier for parents looking to get their young driver on the road both before and after they pass their test. Marmalade writes around 12,500 short term and annual policies a month. It is the market leader in learner driver insurance and launched the first annual and pay-asyou-go insurance policies which allow young drivers to share a parent’s or grandparent’s car – as an alternative to being added as a named driver. It is also BIBA’s official scheme provider for young drivers.
Marmalade will join Atlanta’s Swinton, Autonet and Carole Nash motor brands, broadening Atlanta’s reach to young drivers and bringing telematics expertise into the Group.
Nick Moger, majority shareholder and outgoing Chairman at Marmalade said: “Over the last 15 years I have watched with ever increasing pride the company that my wife Helen, my son Crispin and I founded grow from just us and a few staff based in farm buildings near Peterborough to become what it is today. I now feel that it is time for me to retire and I am very happy to hand over the ownership to the Atlanta group
who I know will take it on to the next level.”
Crispin Moger, CEO of Marmalade said: “Here at Marmalade we’re delighted to become part of the Atlanta Group, and excited for the future. There’s a rising demand for telematics and flexible policies, and we plan to be there to meet it. With Atlanta’s systems, resources and expertise we can move further and faster – and offer more young drivers simple and affordable ways to get behind the wheel.”
Atlanta CEO Ian Donaldson added: “Our strength as a broker is in being able to offer customers different options and different wordings to suit their circumstances. There’s no doubt that the under 34s have taken a hard financial hit over the last year. With Marmalade we’ll be able to help reward careful driving, keep them moving, and get them on the road to the rest of their lives.
“Crispin and his team in Peterborough are a perfect fit for Atlanta. We share the same family firm values and passion for both our people and our customers. The acquisition of Marmalade shows our ongoing commitment to offering those customers good value and good service, and strengthens our position as the UK’s leading digital broker.”
The mergers and deals will hot up in the motor market over the next few years as Councils and UK governments seek to limit car use, and car ownership itself. The notion that leasing your entire lifestyle, rather than owning stuff, is something politicians love so it’s bound to lead to more on-demand urban mobility options, mainly subsidised by the taxpayer.
That reduced motor insurance cake means the battle for policyholders – especially those with incomes high enough to actually buy electric cars – will get very tasty indeed. As PAYG replaces Fully Comp as the preferred policy option, every brand in this space will have to get smarter to win any consumer loyalty. If insurance really is going to be a utility, as Zego noted a few years ago, then there’s nothing stopping a consumer cancelling next month’s payment and downloading a rival app.
The other big factor at play here is AI and automated, data-driven pricing, which as driver data becomes more readily shared by younger consumers in particular, will lead to more personalised quotes. Motor insurers will migrate to the same platforms as regards credit checks, claims history, telematics/smartphone driver behaviour and more. That multi-layer data stack will price initial quotes, and renewals, more fairly, which will make the FCA happier. It will also leave a significant minority of higher risk drivers paying higher rates, and unable to use the old comparison site switcheroo every year.
Interesting times ahead. And Ping An hasn’t even flexed its muscles yet.