Internet Investor: Direct route for your insurance

Buying instant

insurance over

the Internet

offers clear


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:

Woolwich Insurance Services: Direct PC Banking Demo:

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before