Insurer signs deal with easyJet founder to boost market share

The prospect of a price war in the no-frills market increased this week as Zurich announced an affinity deal with easyMoney.

The company has signed a deal with easyJet entrepeneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou to provide cheap car insurance under the easyMoney brand.

The no-frills market has seen the introduction of Irish insurer Quinn-direct in the past six months. It joined established supermarket brands and Gibraltar-based insurers in the low-cost end of the private motor market.

Mark Winlow, managing director of Zurich's personal lines business, refused to be drawn on the details of the policy, but said that it would be aimed at those shopping on price, online.

Winlow explained that the deal is part of Zurich's UK drive to move up the league table of insurers. He refused to match his predecessor's pledge of usurping Royal & SunAlliance as the UK's number three personal lines insurer, but said that its current market share of 4% was not large enough.

"We were the fifth largest personal lines insurer in the UK in 2003 and we believe in 2004 we moved up as those immediately ahead of us lost market share. Our plans are to continue our growth and the partnership with easyGroup is one way for us to achieve our growth plans," he said.