Broker details new SME business model for Norwich Union clients

Alexander Forbes has revealed further details of its new business model aimed at the small commercial market.

Last month, Insurance Times reported that Norwich Union (NU) and Alexander Forbes Corporate Risk Solutions (AFCRS) were gearing up to make an aggressive push into the SME sector.

Project 4Tune is aimed at companies with less than £1m turnover paying less than £1,000 in brokerage.

Roger Brown, chief executive of AFCRS, said 4Tune was based around online transactions. It will begin by offering products to traditional NU markets such as property owners and retail.

He said the web portal would be launched in 2006, with clients given access to "value added" services such as consultancy facilities.

Brown compared the online package to the club deals offered by British Airways.

"We see this very much as a club concept," he said.

"We are offering something more in order to lock the customers into the product."

He added: "Making it easier for the client to renew online in a shorter amount of time, because decisions are made at a much faster pace, is an attractive prospect."

Brown said that during the 18-month pilot of the scheme consumers had responded positively to up-selling.

Once the portal is online AFCRS intends to pilot a series of new products, "to see if there is an appetite".

If successful, Brown said, the company would consider growing its targeted audience by "another level" to companies with a brokerage of £2,000.

There was also the potential to build relationships between the portal and other aspects of the Alexander Forbes company, Brown said.