There are various definitions for “Market”. Our definition of the Insurance Market is a place where the buyers and sellers gather or come together for commercial purposes. It may be a physical marketplace or a virtual market.
Apart from the buyers and sellers of insurance, there are other players who are directly or indirectly involved in the insurance market such as garages, agents, brokers, consultants, advisors, surveyors, loss adjusters, loss assessors, actuaries, regulators, educational institutions, risk managers, banks, reinsurers, etc. The main players of the insurance market are the buyers of insurance and the sellers of insurance. The buyers are called insured and the sellers are known as the insurance companies or brokers or agents etc.
In Motor insurance we focus on the insurance companies, insured, re-insurers, brokers, agents, consultants, advisors, and risk managers. They all play an important role in the process of the sale of an insurance policy. Whereas the reinsurers do not directly participate in the marketing process but as a supplier, they help and protect the insurance company by providing them with the necessary reinsurance coverage. Large customers will give importance to the backing of a good reinsurer.
The buyers are also known as the customers of insurance and are usually categorized into mainly two segments, personal lines, and commercial lines. The personal lines are composed of individuals who buy insurance for their own self-consumption. The commercial lines are composed of individuals, who run businesses and corporate bodies. There may be the further categorization of personal lines by identifying different segments like High-Net-worth Individuals (HNI) and Ultra High Net-worth Individuals (UHNI). These segments target the top rich people in the market. In commercial insurance also there may be the further classification of the customer based on the Ownership (private and public bodies etc.), size of the organization, region, etc.
Insurance Companies Classification
The sellers of insurance are the insurance companies. The insurance companies can be categorized into life insurance companies and general insurance companies:
- The life insurance companies deal with life insurance or also known as protection and savings insurance, whereas the general insurance companies deal with non-life products, some general insurance companies deal with life products also.
- The general insurance companies can also be further divided into the line of business they are doing like marine insurance company, health insurance company, motor insurance company. These are also known as specialist insurance companies as they deal only in one class of business. The companies which deal with more than one class of business are termed as a composite insurance company.
The insurance companies are also categorized into direct selling insurance companies and in-direct selling insurance companies.
- The direct selling insurance companies sell their policies directly to the customer. They can do it directly through their sales staff, having an arrangement with franchisees, and opening many points of sale offices. They also use information technology and internet to increase their sales. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company or Traders Insurance are only examples of these companies where you get a direct vehicle insurance policy.
- The indirect companies sell through intermediaries; the intermediaries can be the agent, broker, consultant, bank, or any other individual or juristic entity which will get the business for the insurance company for a fee or commission.
The commission is part of the premium that is paid to the agent or broker or any other service provider for their services. Some companies may be a mix of direct and indirect companies as they do business directly and also through intermediaries. Nowadays even intermediaries are using the internet to get customers.
What Does Marketing Mean?
Marketing is an important function of the insurance company. Philip Kotler, a well-known authority on marketing has defined marketing as “Satisfying needs and wants through an exchange process”.
Insured needs protection against financial loss and this need is being satisfied by the insurance company in the form of issuance of insurance policy which guarantees the insured against the financial loss against the insured perils, which is subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. Insurance is a promise to make good a financial loss for a consideration which is termed as premium. In insurance, the insurance company offers only a document, which promises to compensate the insured in case of admit-able loss under the policy. The document (policy) may be worth few dollars and the premium received by the insurance company may be in millions, whereas the claim may be astronomical high.
Insurance is not a tangible product; it is considered as a services product. Hence the marketing of motor insurance is like marketing of services: a major portion of marketing insurance products is selling. Selling is an integral part of the marketing process. If you need to get cheap auto insurance coverage fast an easy, you can request and compare several free quotes online.