Financial services push sees Amazon enter UK insurance market, with challenge to four established price comparison websites
Amazon has made a surprising entry into a UK market sector, as part of its expansion of its financial services push.
The e-commerce giant announced it has entered the UK insurance market with the Amazon Insurance Store, which will allow customers to shop for home insurance products – but only from three providers initially (Ageas UK, Co-op, and LV= General Insurance).
Amazon said the comparison website and mobile app will start rolling out this week, and will be available to all UK customers by the end of the year.
So what exactly is Amazon going to be offering here?
Well essentially it is seeking to set up a rival price comparison service for home insurance to the likes well established players such as Moneysupermarket, Go Compare, Comparethemarket and Confused.com (all of who have more than 100 insurers signed up).
The store offers an improved shopping experience for home insurance with like-for-like quote comparisons that customers can trust, a streamlined and simple quote questionnaire, and a checkout experience integrated with amazon.co.uk, said the firm.
“Shopping online for home insurance is a well-established experience, and our goal is to exceed customers’ expectations when it comes to the Amazon Insurance Store,” said Jonathan Feifs, general manager of Amazon’s European Payment Products.
“This initial launch is just the beginning – we’ll continue to innovate and make refinements, all with the aim of delighting customers and providing the most convenient shopping experience possible,” said Feifs.
Amazon said that in developing the Amazon Insurance Store, it worked with participating insurers to streamline one of the most burdensome aspects of the home insurance buying process: the quote questionnaire.
Customers are only asked the essential questions required by insurers in order to receive a quote, simplifying the process.
The Amazon Insurance Store also provides a more transparent way to shop for home insurance. As more customers purchase policies, the store will populate customer reviews, star ratings, and claims acceptance rates so customers can make more informed purchasing decisions.
“Finding the right home insurance policy can be a time-consuming and confusing task, with quotes that often leave out essential coverage in order to lead with the lowest price,” Feifs said. “When we set out to create the Amazon Insurance Store, we wanted to improve the experience for customers shopping for home insurance so they could easily compare options and make an informed, objective decision – just like shopping on Amazon.”
To purchase a home insurance policy through the Amazon Insurance Store, customers first log into their Amazon UK account and fill out a short questionnaire.
After that, customers can compare quotes and further personalise their policy in the areas that matter most to them.
If a customer chooses to add to their policy, quotes are updated in real-time to see how an insurer’s policy compares to others. Once a policy is selected, customers can checkout using their preferred payment method on Amazon.
Post-purchase, customers can easily view their policies, change their payment method, and view renewal information through amazon.co.uk or the Amazon UK mobile app.
It should be remembered that Amazon already offers a range of financial products – from credit and gift cards to Amazon Pay and a “buy now, pay later” service via Barclays UK.
However Google has already tried (and failed) to break into this market via its Google Compare tool.