Mike Wall has just joined Markerstudy to lead a new drive on non-standard motor and home insurance, with a focus on telematics. At a time when the market has never been more challenging, Mike – who has more than 40 years’ experience in the insurance industry – looks at the context for the creation of a new non-standard division and why telematics makes sense.
It’s always great to get the chance to build something new, create a blueprint, and bring together a team to make it happen – especially when it also means being able to give customers with specific insurance needs and challenges more options.
So for me, this opportunity to deliver something different for Markerstudy and boost their presence in the non-standard market was just too good to miss.
The vision is to create a division for non-standard motor and non-standard home, with the first focus being on telematics.
Telematics has taken a long time to establish itself as a major component of the motor insurance offering. Customers have needed to get used to it and understand what it can do for them, and insurers have been developing its potential – but while it’s still underexploited, this is going to change fast as more and more people wake up to the benefits and the opportunities.
Telematics-based insurance adds tremendous value, and not just for the young driver group which has been the core market. Of course it’s the perfect solution for them as it makes insurance affordable, and for their parents the connectivity and ability to track and monitor gives peace of mind.
But the same is true at the other end of the age scale. For older drivers whose families are worried that they may be less able to cope with today’s driving environment, telematics means they can pick up on warning signs before an incident occurs. And for people with driving convictions – another group we’ll be looking at – the ability for insurers to monitor driving behaviours can make it possible for them to get insurance again.
So our vision is to build our telematics offering, under Markerstudy’s existing Smart Driver Club brand, for a much broader range of customers.
We’re developing this new division at a time when the impact of regulatory change on the market has caused turmoil. Insurers are still getting to grips with the new rules on price-walking, and if you look at the aggregator model, the focus on motor insurance is drifting away. It’s crucial to make the most of every distribution channel and opportunity.
Consolidation is not going to go away. Insurance companies are merging, and it’s really tough in the broking world because you have to have economies of scale to operate competitively. The whole business model of subnetting and going on lifetime values has had its day.
Against that backdrop new ventures and approaches will emerge and thrive – in my 42nd year in insurance, it’s great to be involved in one of them.