With motor insurance now available from direct writers, brokers and even banks, The Research Department took established player Zurich and compared its motor policies to the rest of the market

Comprehensive motor policies
In December 2001 Zurich Insurance won seven of the annual Insurance Times Awards, including sharing the accolade of Motor Insurer of the Year with Fortis, and winning Personal Lines Insurer of the Year. This month we decided to compare Zurich's motor products to see just how well they stack up against its competitors.

Using data from The Research Department's Aequos database, we analysed comprehensive motor policies in the broker, direct and bank distribution channels against the Zurich broker product. We picked a dozen typical product features to include in our analysis.

Many people working in the motor insurance industry believe it is simply a price-driven product, with all cover the same. However, it is interesting to note the wide variety of cover, features and benefits on offer.

Broker market
Zurich's Car Solutions policy is a clear leader in the broker market, although there is little to separate it from the two nearest rivals - AXA Conwy and Royal & SunAlliance's R&SA Drive.

Key features of Zurich's policy include:

  • Provision of courtesy car for four days following a total loss
  • Unlimited cover for audio equipment (provided it was fitted by the manufacturer)
  • Foreign use is standard up to 60 days per trip
  • Lock replacement is covered up to £250 in the event of loss or theft of keys.

    Direct market
    In the direct market, selling under the Eagle Star brand, Zurich offers broad levels of cover.

    Key features of the Eagle Star product include:

  • Unlimited audio cover (if manufacturer fitted)
  • £10,000 of personal accident death benefit
  • Free foreign use for 90 days per visit
  • Courtesy car for five days in the event of a total loss claim.

    Banks
    Many customers might not think of their banks as the obvious place to buy motor insurance. However, from a cover point of view, some banks products are as good as, if not better than, those available direct or via brokers. Of the policies analysed in the banking sector Egg - the online bank - is one of the best in the market.

    Key features of Egg's policy include:

  • New car replacement if damage exceeds 50% of list price
  • A total loss courtesy car for seven days
  • Free foreign use (60 days per trip)
  • Lock replacement to £250
  • Medical expenses up to £500 per person.