Speculation that Stelios will launch an insurance carrier has been quashed.
EasyMoney, the financial services business set up by flamboyant entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is exiting the insurance market.
It emerged this week that EasyMoney, part of the Easy Group that includes the well known EasyJet brand, has decided to no longer offer personal lines products.
The company had previously sold a no-frills online private motor policy underwritten by Zurich. The tie-up ended earlier this year after a three-year contract with the insurer was not renewed.
There was speculation this week that Easy Group could be setting up its own insurance company in order to create a fully-fledged financial service division.
It had been rumoured that the group had approached a former senior insurance executive to head up the business.
Market sources suggested that Mark Winlow, the former head of personal lines at Zurich who negotiated the EasyMoney deal, was a potential candidate after he resigned as a director of consultancy firm LECG this week. But it is understood that he will not be linking up with Easy Group
Meanwhile, EasyMoney has not replaced Zurich with an alternative insurance carrier. The company’s website says it is no longer offering new business quotes.
The source said that the deal with Zurich had ended by “mutual consent” and that Easy Group was not looking for a new insurer partner.
A spokesman for Zurich said that the tie-up, which ended in February, had not performed badly. The spokesman said: “We were more than satisfied with the way it was performing. Both parties decided to go elsewhere.”
Zurich signed the deal with EasyMoney in February 2005, launching the first product, an online motor product, in May that year. At the time the possibility of launching home and travel products later in the year was mooted.
The Zurich spokesman said the decision not to renew the arrangement did not indicate a change in strategy for the insurer’s affinity business. “A lot changes in three years. We are still moving forward in affinity, with deals with motor manufacturers VW and Honda.” A spokesman for EasyMoney declined to comment.