Business Irish

Sunday 21 January 2018

Laya considers move on car and home cover in market shake-up

Plan based on insurer's 'qualified staff'

Laya boss: Donal Clancy
Laya boss: Donal Clancy
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

LAYA Healthcare is mulling over an entry into the car and property insurance market, the company's management has indicated.

"It is something we could do – from an adjacency perspective it's not too far away from what we do – so with some partners, we could provide this to the market," said chief executive Donal Clancy in an interview with the Sunday Independent.

There is a clear demand among customers for Laya to provide these products, he said, and for "bundled" products that would provide different types of insurance, bundled, at a discount.

His comments add to growing evidence of a shake-up in the non-life insurance product that could pay off for consumers; he is not the first to show interest in offering bundled products.

FBD chief executive Andrew Langford recently indicated his company's interest in the health insurance market, while SuperValu owner Musgrave will soon launch a travel and pet insurance product through its network of grocers.

The insurer is at an advantage in terms of expanding into car and property insurance because many of its employees are qualified to handle this work, Mr Clancy added.

"We have a whole lot of people who are CPD'd [a professional qualification] on lots of different types of insurance, not just health insurance – we have a whole load of people who are qualified."

But he ruled out any action in the short term.

"It's not on our agenda right now, I don't see it happening this year . . . we want to bed down [in health insurance]."

It will roll out two more new plans before the end of this year.

Mr Clancy's immediate focus is a June meeting scheduled with the Department of Health, alongside the country's other health insurers, to explore the tentative commitment recently given by the department to incentivise younger people back to the health insurance market.

In a letter to insurers sent last month, Health Minister James Reilly said he was committed to a system that would include a controversial "loading" rule allowing private insurers to penalise people taking out health cover later in life.

Sunday Indo Business

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