Internet Investor: Direct route for your insurance

Buying instant

insurance over

the Internet

offers clear

benefits.

There are fewer

forms to fill in

and the details

are accurate

since e-commerce

means there is

no rekeying

of the data

FIRST DIRECT believes there will be an explosion in our use of computers to manage our money over the next decade. According to Mori research conducted for the bank, within 10 years more than a third of all current account holders in the UK, nearly 12 million people, expect to use the Internet or similar technology to arrange their finances.

To put that forecast in perspective, fewer than one per cent do so at the moment. The survey also showed that 13 per cent of current account holders already have access to the Internet, up from 5 per cent in 1996. First Direct's own PC Banking service does not operate over the Internet but instead uses its own private network.

Separately, Eagle Star Direct reckons that sales of "cyber insurance" - insurance cover bought over the Internet - will increase by 260 per cent over the next 18 months. This sounds far too exact a forecast to be taken seriously. However, it has to be said that, with the number of Internet connections steadily rising, Eagle Star Direct is surely correct in assuming some significant increase in such business.

It is on this basis that the company has extended the range of insurance it offers on the World Wide Web to include home and contents cover, adding to its existing motor and travel insurance websites. In fact, Eagle Star Direct's motor insurance site has received more than 100,000 request for quotations in its first 10 months.

As with the other sites, you may purchase home and contents cover directly and immediately, 24 hours a day, through payment by credit or debit card, completing the online application form. The site is interactive, allowing you to select your own preferred level of cover.

Demonstrating why Eagle Star Direct expects more business on the Internet, the company is offering anybody purchasing their home and contents insurance from the site a 10 per cent reduction in its standard premiums. A further discount of up to 10 per cent is on offer if your home passes certain security criteria. Full details of these are available on the site.

However, Eagle Star Direct was not the first to offer household insurance over the Internet. Earlier this year, Woolwich Insurance Services unveiled an online market search, select and buying system. The service provides real-time comparative household insurance quotations, as well as allowing you to buy a suitable policy on the spot.

Woolwich Insurance Services claims that its online service allows you select the best policy for your particular requirements, rather than simply providing a price-based comparison. In fact, the service is exactly the same as that on offer in certain Woolwich branches.

Providing you are satisfied with their Internet quotation, the policy can be arranged by paying for the initial premium through an online credit card transaction. If, however, you need personal assistance before you make your choice, there is an option to be connected to a trained advisor to assist you during the course of the search and transaction process.

Buying insurance direct over the Internet offers clear benefits to you as a consumer. Fewer forms need to be filled out by the customer and in turn, the e-commerce nature of the system ensures accuracy as well as speed, since information will no longer need to be filled in by hand and rekeyed by data entry staff.

There is, of course, a concomitant downside to this. If there is a mistake in your policy details, you cannot blame anyone else!

Eagle Star Direct: www.eaglestardirect.co.uk

Woolwich Insurance Services: www.woolwichinsurance.co.ukFirst Direct PC Banking Demo: www.firstdirect.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing