Amazon considering insurance comparison site for UK, says report

E-commerce giant is said to be in talks with some of Europe’s largest insurers over a new site that would compete with the likes of GoCompare and Compare the Market

Ben Chapman
Thursday 16 August 2018 10:43
The retailer's reported plans sent UK stocks sliding on Thursday morning
The retailer's reported plans sent UK stocks sliding on Thursday morning

Amazon is considering creating a new comparison website in a move that could shake up the UK insurance market, according to reports.

The e-commerce giant is said to be in talks with some of Europe’s largest insurers over the new site. It is not yet clear what products might be offered on Amazon’s rumoured new venture, or when it might launch.

The news was enough to send shares in insurance comparison site GoCompare plummeting 10.2 per cent on Thursday morning, before swiftly regaining most of the losses.

Shares in Moneysupermarket slid 3.3 per cent, while the other big player in the sector, Compare the Market, is owned by BGL which is not listed.

The firms face the threat of becoming the latest to be hit by the "Amazon effect", which sees the vast company crush competition in many sectors it chooses to move into.

Amazon said it would not comment on “rumours and speculation”.

Amazon already compares prices for millions of products on its website but to do so for insurance policies would be a first for the firm.

The new service would seek to succeed where Google has tried and failed. The search company shut down its own attempt at a financial services comparison site in February 2016 after just a year due to low traffic.

In the US, Amazon has made a foray into the health insurance market via a partnership with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan.

The plan announced in January sent US healthcare and insurance company stocks into freefall.

Rumours of Amazon’s latest attempt at disruption come days after private equity company Bain Capital tabled an unsolicited £1.17bn offer for car insurance provider Esure.

Esure founder Sir Peter Wood stands to make £360m if the deal goes ahead.

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