The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

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1 insurance services Sma Business Insurance a market opportunity being missed Einstein may not have known much about insurance, but if you appy his definition to the way existing brands are deveoping their SME insurance propositions, it s hard not to concude that the affinity channe is a bit bonkers. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different resuts With 5.4 biion of annua premium on offer¹, the question Abert Einstein must be asked: why are so many branded affinity schemes continuing to repeat the same mistakes over and over again? What s going wrong and what in particuar shoud brand partners be doing to rectify the situation and finay unock the fu potentia of this income stream to their business? Brands are great at persona insurance To put this into context, over the ast 20 years many UK brands have made substantia in-roads into the persona ines insurance market across home, motor, trave, pet and niche product areas. Yet, based on FirstAssist s extensive anaysis there is not a singe brand which has managed to produce anywhere near the same eve of success in the sma business insurance arena. 1

2 With over 4.8 miion SMEs in the UK today² it has ong been recognised that this market offers great potentia, however affinity brands have continuay strugged to make it work. To iustrate this, whist amost one-third of SMEs woud consider buying insurance from their bank or buiding society, this channe has just a 1% share of the UK commercia market¹. The ow hanging fruit is at the micro end and is ripe for picking with over 50% of micro SMEs comfortabe arranging their cover using remote channes, such as the teephone and internet.³ This is exacty the same set of buying habits that has been the aunch pad for many direct and affinity brand payers operating so successfuy in the persona ines sector. New entrants are queuing-up There is increasing interest in this market from firms operating in the Teecoms, Technoogy, Utiity, Merchanting and Business Suppy sectors. Mosty they are ooking to everage strong reationships with their SME customers to stretch into financia services, deepen their customer oyaty and deiver bottom ine growth. For them, business insurance is ceary attractive as an entry product. 2

3 For exampe, ast year O2 aunched into financia services foowed cosey by Everything Everywhere. It s ony a matter of time before arge brands ike these, with significant and oya SME customer bases, enter the business insurance market herading the arriva of a stream of new and strong chaengers to existing brand affinity payers. Aggregators have revoutionised the persona ines market but have historicay been weak at SME. That s now changing as they adopt more sophisticated distribution modes to better serve this sector. With buying behaviour and technoogy rapidy evoving and products being simpified, they wi undoubtedy threaten brand affinity payers as they have done in persona ines. brand affinity payers need to quicky evove their propositions So existing brand affinity payers need to quicky evove their propositions to stand any chance of everaging the fu potentia of their brand with their SME customers or risk osing market share. And new entrants need to act now and get it right from the start to avoid missing the boat. 3

4 So why is the existing brand affinity channe faiing to deiver? Our experience and market anaysis reveas a number of key issues facing the affinity channe: A faiure to differentiate between the different segments in the SME market. Micro businesses at one end and arge corporate cients at the other have very different product and servicing needs. The traditiona one size fits a mode doesn t work. A heavy reiance on reactive rather than proactive marketing and saes techniques. Our research showed that with just 15% of SMEs activey searching out the best deas, it s very cear that providing web inks aone simpy doesn t work. Brands must therefore work harder to reach out to their SME audience. Ineffective saes processes to generate and subsequenty convert eads. An inabiity by suppiers to design and deiver cohesive marketing and underwriting patforms that maximise the saes opportunities from affinity brands customer databases. A mode weighted too heaviy towards product coverage, price and commission rates offering a good range of products but which in many cases fais to achieve saes targets because there is too itte focus on effective deivery. In our opinion, much of this is down to existing insurers and other suppiers simpy faiing to deiver the specific soutions that brand partners need to succeed in this space. Unocking the revenue potentia Last year, FirstAssist decided to enter the business insurance market with a fuy-integrated saes, marketing and underwriting soution designed specificay to address these probems and offer a new soution for our brand partners. RSA is the primary provider of the underwriting capacity for the insurance offered by the FirstAssist proposition. It made a ot of sense for us to everage our proven seing and marketing skis across onine and teemarketing channes to deiver an improved mode buit specificay to enabe our partners to raise their performance in this space. 4

5 Key to this is a thorough understanding of how sma businesses purchase their cover. Our research showed that over 85% of SMEs are passive in their repetitive buying behaviour presenting a massive hidden opportunity. However, it does mean the design of the saes and marketing programme utiising a channes heaviy determines the revenue outcome. Instead, our approach is to appy our insight and knowedge to the profie of each partners customer base to design and deiver a specific soution which unocks the fu revenue potentia for affinity partners. Our five-step process heps us identify and taior a unique soution to meet your revenue objectives: Work with you to fuy understand the profie of your sma business customers and the affinity with your brand Buid you a proposition to meet the specific needs of a your SME customers Understand your business s saes and marketing mode and buid a muti channe soution that integrates with these processes Focus on how to enhance your customer database to optimise the targeting Buid and impement a series of bottom up marketing and saes pans for each of your key customer segments We re confident that our saes-ed approach wi finay aow you to achieve your fu revenue potentia with a financiay sound antidote to the insanity of the current market. ¹ Datamonitor Commercia Insurance Report (2009) ² Department for Business Innovation and Skis (2010) ³ Datamonitor SME Survey, Q To find out more contact Lee Rawings, Business Deveopment Manager, on or visit 5

6 About FirstAssist Insurance Services For over two decades, FirstAssist Insurance Services has been a sient partner in our markets working behind many of the UK s argest brands. We deiver speciaist and bespoke white-abe insurance soutions which generate many miions of pounds of additiona income for our cients each year whist extending their customer propositions. In that time, we have buit an enviabe reputation as the UK's eading provider of white-abe soutions across our core areas of insurance expertise: trave, protection, budget heath, ega protection and sma business. Driven as a focused business by an entrepreneuria, commercia management team, we provide a unique range of products and marketing soutions for Banks, Insurers, Affinity Organisations, Corporates, Intermediaries and SME s. We provide award-winning eves of customer service to neary three miion customers, whist handing around 100,000 caims a year. With over 160 individuay taiored schemes through major UK brands, we know one size does not fit a. From the commercia arrangements to the reguatory reationship, from a fu service stand-aone product proposition to whoesae risk provision, we wi custom-design the perfect soution to meet your brief. insurance services FirstAssist Insurance Services Limited, Marsha s Court, Marsha s Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 4DU Registered in Engand & Waes No Authorised and Reguated by the Financia Services Authority

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