In its regular series, The Research Department uses the Data Numerical Analysis (DNA) tool to compare products offered by insurers for home, motor and payment protection.

Product reviews
Th …

In its regular series, The Research Department uses the Data Numerical Analysis (DNA) tool to compare products offered by insurers for home, motor and payment protection.

Product reviews
The past month has been a quiet time for new product launches. However, there have been a few recent launches that are worth a closer look. Using data from The Research Department's Aequos database, we have analysed a range of products for home, motor and payment protection.

Household contents
In October, Zurich made some important changes to its home insurance product. Key contents changes included:

The Zurich product is now one of the best home insurance products available from brokers.

It lags behind other providers' products in only a few areas: particularly, a single item limit for valuables of £2,500 and lack of cover for plants in the garden (NIG Homeplan provides £200 of cover for these). ‰

How DNA works

  • These charts use The Research Department's unique Data Numerical Analysis (DNA) scoring system.
  • DNA illustrates the relative positioning of a product based on selected criteria.
  • The criteria used in this chart are a representative sample only and may not be relevant in all cases.
  • Other criteria are available and may give different results.
  • When used to match products to a client's circumstances, DNA can show how closely a product matches those requirements

    Motor revamp
    In June Royal & SunAlliance (RS&A) launched the MoreTh>n brand for its direct operation. From 1 October it made a number of changes to its motor policy, primarily to widen cover in areas where the June wording appeared to be overly restrictive - for example, it extended the emergency accommodation cover to include all loss or damage rather than just accidental damage. The most significant change, though, was the introduction of maximum no claims bonus protection, under which policyholders with full no claims discount entitlement are given a guaranteed discount, regardless of claims.

    New MPPI covers
    Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance (MPPI) makes up a significant part of the creditor insurance market in the UK. The government wants to see more people taking this out and, together with the Council of Mortgage Lenders, has set a target take-up rate of 55%.

    Some insurers have been active in promoting products in this area, particularly Pinnacle Insurance. In August, it launched Helpupay, an MPPI product which is sold direct by telephone or via the internet at www.helpupay.co.uk.

    Maximum monthly benefit is low at £1,000 compared to other providers, and unlike most MPPI products Helpupay is rated by the age of the applicant, with eight separate age bands.

    In this analysis the Pinnacle product does not appear to offer superior levels of cover, compared to some building societies and other direct writers' products.

    However, when you consider the Pinnacle premium for this level of cover is just £2.02 per month per £100 of cover - half the cost of its nearest competitor - this should certainly make other insurers sit up and take notice.