Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Lloyds Bank announces SME partnership with Gallagher

Lloyds Bank has announced a partnership with Arthur J Gallagher to provide business insurance solutions to its 1.1 million SME customers. The exclusive 5-year partnership (which actually commenced at the end of December 2013), covers a range of insurance covers and aims to increase the Bank's "underwriting footprint" by use of the broker's panel of specialist SME insurers.

The service will be available in-branch as well as over the phone and online and has been described as a "fully advised business insurance offering". The main casualty of the new partnership is Allianz which had held the Lloyds Bank business since November 2009. 

Allianz continues to partner with Barclays for its SME customers, AXA with HSBC and Santander, and UKI (NIG) works with RBS. 

The shift to a "broked" solution by Lloyds Bank and the growing appetite of many brokers for commercial partnerships, suggests that the other banks may also look beyond single insurer deals in future renewals.   

Monday, 10 February 2014

P&O Ferries selects Cigna as travel insurance partner

P&O Ferries has appointed Cigna Insurance Services as its travel insurance partner. The partnership offers single trip and annual covers and reportedly extends to elderly passengers and those with pre-existing medical conditions. 

P&O Ferries will act as an IAR (Introducer Appointed Representative) of Cigna, which is now established as a top 5 travel insurer within the UK. Cigna also provides affinity and white label travel insurance for a number of significant partners including Sainsbury's Bank, Saga, Barclays and Halifax. 

One slight surprise is that the partnership was launched in November 2013, but has only recently been reported in the trade press. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Junction claims 2 million affinity customers

This week saw the announcement by Junction, the partnerships and affinity business of BGL Group, that it was now responsible for the insurance of over 2 million customers; an increase of 1 million since 2007.  

The result is an impressive one and Junction now manages partnerships with a wide range of household brands including Marks & Spencer, Post Office, Lloyds Bank, HSBC and the RAC.

The recent press release mentioned a 2013 "affinity deal" that Junction had done with Zenith Insurance, which looks more like third party insurance administration than a partnership, but it does at least show the extensive capabilities within the group. 

It also begs an interesting question about which affinity insurance provider is now the largest in terms of premium income and policyholders. Junction is almost certainly one of the top 3, albeit as an intermediary, but it would be interesting to see how these numbers compare with Aviva and Ageas; both of which hold some of the largest UK affinity partnerships (even excluding the business they underwrite through Junction).