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Direct Insurance : the determinants of success
Großbritannien; Deutschland; Niederlande; Schweiz; Versicherungsmarkt; Absatzweg; Diffusion (Wirtschaft); Direktversicherung
DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification)
Wirtschaft - 330
Freie Stichwörter (deutsch)
Freie Stichwörter (englisch)
Insurance; direct insurance; distribution; direct channel; innovation diffusion
This piece of work examines the determinants of the diffusion of direct insurance in a country which is an innovation that has been implemented so far in many European markets. The acceptance of direct insurance has proven to be very problematic because it became very successful in two markets only, the UK and the Netherlands. In all the other markets, its acceptance ranges from very low to mediocre.
To examine the determinants of the success of direct insurance, the successful insurance markets were compared with the unsuccessful ones on three different levels: the macroeconomic, the industry and the company level. On the third level, the strategies of the leading direct insurance companies were firstly compared with the strategies of the less successful direct insurance companies in their own markets and secondly with the strategies of the leading direct insurance companies from the other markets. That means that the scope of this research was extended to a micro level as well and to the strategies that help direct insurance companies to become successful.
The fact that this research covers the macro, the intermediate and the micro level makes it comprehensive research on the direct insurance concept.
The first level of research (macroeconomic) revealed that the countries where direct insurance innovation has succeeded have in general a more innovative culture compared to the less successful ones.
On the second level (industry), which is probably the most deterministic one, it was found that the dominant channel of insurance distribution in a country and the strictness of insurance regulation strongly affect the diffusion of direct distribution in that market. In the markets where direct insurance is successful, the dominant channel of insurance distribution was found to be the brokers. Furthermore, the market regulation was found to facilitate the customers who wished to break away from their previous insurer with the aim of buying from a direct insurer (short contract duration, non-automatic policy renewal, easy termination of insurance policies prematurely). In the unsuccessful markets on the other hand, the agency channel was found to be dominant. The conflict that has developed between the agents and the direct channel is much greater than that between the direct channel and the brokers respectively and sets a great obstacle in the development of direct insurance. Furthermore, the regulatory environment in the unsuccessful markets was very restrictive and customers could not cancel their multi-year insurance policies with the aim of buying from a direct insurance company.
The third level (companies) revealed that insurance companies alone, through their strategies, cannot determine the diffusion of direct distribution within a country. Their success, however, was found to be directly affected by the level of conflict with other channels of distribution within their groups. The absence of channel conflict is of major importance for the sound development of a direct insurance company.
All the leading direct insurers examined in this level were the first to move in their markets, the ones with the strongest brands by far and the ones that had invested the most in their IT systems.
Ackermann, Walter (Prof. Dr.)
Fleisch, Elgar (Prof. Dr.)
Erweitertes Diss. Komitee
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