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The situation in Europe : ideas to apply here

by

Alain Castonguay

7 May 2018 07:00

Bernard Laporte | Photo : Réjean Meloche

It is well known that the major trends in insurance distribution often come to Europe.

Bernard Laporte, CEO ofIntergroup Insurance, has worked for a long time. Returned to Quebec 14 years ago, he notes that the French insurance has changed a lot.

“There are things to do in the brokerage, there are ideas to take in Europe. Regardless of the changes to the laws, it’s no problem, let’s be positive. Of any danger, he is born of opportunities, ” he said.

Not an ideal model

According to him, there is not one ideal model distribution in Europe, each country has developed its own practice in the light of its own context. In the netherlands, Spain and Germany, the distribution is ensured by the exclusive agents. In Belgium, the brokers still hold more than half of the market.

In France, there is powerful mutual without any intermediary, which occupy almost 40 % of the market for property and casualty insurance. There are also very large general insurers and brokers that distribute all the products, as much, damage insurance and insurance of persons.

Market share stable

The market shares of the various distribution networks are fairly stable in France since several years. We can distinguish clearly two terms, the given client to a broker, and the insurer gave to an agent. The differentiation is very clear.

Many players emerging, such as LesFurets.com or LeLynx.fruse the Internet to compare products in home or auto insurance and promote the online subscription. These firms are supported by large financial groups in the uk. After five years of effort, they hold 1.4% of market share in this segment, according to figures obtained by Mr. Laporte.

In auto insurance, direct insurers occupy the major part of the market and the brokers cannot sell more than 19 % of policies in this area. Brokers still dominate the market of the insurance companies.

Manage the products and the claims

We saw the development in France of large brokerage firms that handle life insurance products and administer claims, seeking risk takers. “This is a good way to develop business. We started to do at Intergroup, ” he said.

According to Mr. Laporte, the brokers do not have the choice to follow the trend. “It is the customer who is king and who decides with whom it wants to do business. “

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