PwC boss says the personal lines market will be driven by brands

In his first interview since becoming PricewaterhouseCoopers' new head of insurance, Andrew Kail said branding is likely to be a major focus in the personal lines market over the next few years.

Kail, who took on the role in January, said insurers and brokers – as well as supermarkets, banks and other service providers – will be fighting for control of the customer over the coming years, with the winner likely to be the one owning the strongest brand.

Kail added that direct insurance will become more prominent in the personal lines sector as a result of this and the growing use of the internet to buy insurance.

However, he said that brokers would likely retain their control of distribution in the commercial lines market.

He said: “It’s all about who owns the customer. Insurers can be nervous about the broker owning the customer, and so they look to own them themselves.”

He also pointed to the resurgence in bancassurance products and the drive by big brands such as Tesco to offer insurance products as evidence for heavy competition between brands in the coming years. He continued: “I think the direct relationship with the brand is very important. Wherever you can commoditise insurance, you will see more of the direct model.”