December 20, 2018

Disruption is all the rage these days. Trump does it. Putin does it. We’re even dipping a hesitant toe in it ourselves here in Blighty, with this Brexit thingy we’re supposed to be doing at some point.

Not to be left out, big yellow insurance firm Uvavu is planning to disrupt the insurance market. Its chosen methodology is the offering of ‘subscription-style’ insurance products.

Uvavu claims its disruptive new insurance product UvavuPlus anticipates the forthcoming crack-down on so-called duel pricing (see separate story) with some kind of promise not to put the price up when you renew your subscription.

It also banishes other soon-to-be-stamped out shenanigans like charging people shedloads to cancel or amend their policy. Miraculously, UvavuPlus is also reportedly immune from Insane Punishment Tax (IPT). It can even jumble up your home and motor insurance in one convenient parcel.

But if you, like Bankstone News, were thinking something like ‘Golly, that sounds great. I think I’ll pop along and ask my friendly insurance broker about hooking me up with some UvavuPlus!’, I’m afraid there’s bad news.

You see, UvavuPlus is what’s known as a ‘direct’ product (the kind pioneered by legendary disruptor of yore Pete Wood). That means it’s great for people who don’t like buying annual insurance policies or being ripped off in any of the ways noted above. Rather less so for insurance brokers, who for some reason have always seemed to quite like being involved in the buying and selling of such annual insurance policies.

With the best will in the world, Uvavu man Phil Boils admits reluctantly, it’s going to be awfully hard to find a way of involving his friends in the broking community in the sale of UvavuPlus. Obviously, they’re happy to give it a go and everything. But, the thing is, what with it being a bit complicated and, you know, having to work with software houses and everything, it’s hard to see how middlemen, or brokers as we prefer to call them, wouldn’t just get in the way.

And, let’s be honest, finding some way of cutting brokers in on the deal is one challenge UvavuPlus can probably do without. Seeing as Uvavu are planning to sell it to new and old customers at the same price (whilst still, presumably, competing with products more inclined to the old loss-leading-in-year-one approach) and seeing also as they won’t be making money every time this intentionally flexible policy gets updated or unsubscribed from, it’s hard to see how they’ll make any money at all.

Or maybe they’re aiming for market share.

In any case, as far as Bankstone News is concerned, you can simply never have too much disruption.

Because, let’s face it, things have been the same way basically for ever. Nobody likes the old way. Old ways are bad ways! We want a new and better way. And, if it turns out there are problems with the new way, then at least the old ways have been well and truly cleared away and there’s plenty of room for more new ways, one of which is bound, eventually, to be better than the old one. It can hardly be worse, really, can it!

Things… can only get better, as that weird little grinning chap with the sweaty ears used to say.


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