Direct Line Shakes Up Insurance Market Again

Having revolutionised the UK insurance
industry by offering fast, direct and relatively inexpensive
cover, Direct Line is
trying to do it again — online.

From its Web site, Direct Line will provide users with
access to immediate insurance cover, 24 hours a day throughout
the year, using the most powerful security available. Getting
insurance for the car or home will take around two minutes,
says the company.

“Direct Line’s new Web site will irreversibly alter the insurance
market in the same way as Direct Line shook up the traditional
players 15 years ago,” said Ian Chippendale, Direct Line’s
group chief executive.

“Buying insurance direct is the way the market is moving. By
2003 we expect at least 15 per cent of motor insurance to be bought
over the Internet, 70 per cent by phone and only 15 per cent at
branches, particularly with increasing demand for 24-hour service.”

To use the service, customers will need to complete very
few personal details to obtain a quote. Instant cover
is available, and, for added efficiency, the Web site
integrates with Direct Line’s call centres so that
customers can talk to telesales operators if necessary.

Ian Chippendale added that as on-line demand grows, all Direct
Line’s financial products could be sold on the Internet. This
would, he said, complete the transition from branch-based
financial services to “cost-efficient and accessible direct

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