Markel UK launches the first phase of a multi-distribution operation model with launch of Markel Direct
Markel UK, the retail division of specialist insurer Markel International, has successfully delivered the first phase of a multi-distribution operating model with the launch of Markel Direct. The service will be targeted at low-premium clients, many of which share the characteristics of personal lines business and so are unattractive to some brokers. In parallel, Markel is developing enhanced capability for its established on-line broker e-trading system to improve its offer to the broking community.
Steve Carroll, Managing Director of Markel UK said: “Over the course of the last couple of years buying patterns, particularly in relation to small business, have resulted in a number of brokers arranging solus agreements with selected insurers in an understandable effort to contain expenses and maximise their earnings. At the low premium end of the market it is perhaps a tougher challenge for brokers to play the added value card as there are fewer opportunities for them to demonstrate their technical expertise. With a growing number of cost conscious small clients turning to the internet for insurance solutions, it is becoming increasingly difficult for traditional brokers to compete in this sector”.
Carroll continues, “Small businesses behave much like individuals, with many electing to arrange their business insurance the same way they purchase their household or motor policies. While this can make them unattractive to many brokers it is important to us, as a specialist insurer, to maintain our position in each of our core markets’’.
Subsequent phases of development include enhancements to the successful Markel online broker e-trading system, additional products and the ability to transact ‘white label’ schemes and facilities. “We are talking in terms of months for these important broker developments” said Carroll. “These will improve the whole broker online trading experience and free up our front line underwriters. We can then develop additional mutual business opportunities to further add value to transactions for the customer benefit.”