The insurer has plans to make the new product available for its 1,000 UK broker partners too

Motor focused insurer Sabre Insurance plans to launch a new flexible product in the second half of 2021, providing “insurance by the hour, day or week” under new brand DriveSmart.

Announcing the proposed product launch within its half year financial results, published today (27 July 2021), Sabre’s chief financial officer Adam Westwood said: “DriveSmart is a digital product and will be available to customers via an app and online.

“As mobility needs change and customers demand more flexible insurance, this new proposition will extend Sabre’s offering to a broader customer base.”

For example, Sabre Insurance chief executive Geoff Carter told Insurance Times that the product may come in handy for “students coming back [home] for the summer” because “it might make sense to add them on for a few days onto a policy rather than add them on permanently”.

DriveSmart could also benefit “learner drivers potentially, where they may learn to drive [in] different cars”.

Carter added that although this type of proposition “isn’t new to the world”, it is “new to us and we think we can give it a slightly Sabre twist as we launch that as well”.

This “twist” includes making DriveSmart available for Sabre’s 1,000 UK-based broker partners following its widespread launch.

Carter continued: “Our view is that brokers may also have a need for this and we already have relationships with around 1,000 brokers in the UK, so why would we not try and make that product available to them as well?”

Growing market niche

For Carter, DriveSmart represents Sabre’s foray into a “market niche that we’ve been keeping an eye on for quite a while”, providing a proposition that customers can “dip in and out” of.

He told Insurance Times: “We think there’s definitely a growing market.

“This is the sort of product I’ve used quite a bit over the last few months - insuring my wife’s car, for example, when we went to drive to Cornwall for a week and needed a bigger car.

“It does [speak] to the sharing economy – people may be more willing to lend their car to people and they’re happy to pay for their own insurance on it.

“There’s definitely an interesting market niche for this. How big it’s going to get, we’re not sure, but we want to be able to have a product there so we can understand how that market grows and develops.”

DriveSmart is the first milestone on Sabre’s “new product development road map”, Carter confirmed.