Post-lockdown ‘war’ for car insurance customers
Belgian insurers are currently offering large discounts and free extras on car insurance. It’s a war for customers, which normally happens during the Brussels Motor Show, when a lot of Belgians buy a new car. Maybe the coronavirus has something to do with it.
AG Insurance, the largest insurer in the country, is offering a 20% discount until the end of June. But only for drivers who drive less than 25 000 km per year. Ethias has a similar action. DVV offers free assistance with the replacement of a car and two months of free insurance. Until the end of June, Corona Direct grants 6 000 km for free on its mileage insurance with a full cover. Existing Corona Direct customers already benefited during the lockdown.
Serge Jacobs of Ethias says in the newspaper Het Belang van Limburg that the lockdown might have something to do with it. The number of registrations and thus insurance policies decreased during that period. “Now that the market is gradually picking up again, we see the demand for car insurance is also up again.” Insurers can attract a lot of new business, and that can bring them more than just car insurance.
“It is a compulsory insurance and often the first insurance taken out by a private individual when purchasing the first moped or the first car. In this way the insurer gets, so to speak, a foot in the door,” says Peter Wiels of the sector federation of insurers Assuralia.
AG Insurance says it doesn’t see more competition than otherwise in car insurance. “It has always been a price-oriented field. And that is no different now,” says Gerrit Feyaerts of AG Insurance. “What does play a role, however, is that the number of accidents is decreasing in the longer term. This means that there is more financial scope to take temporary actions.
The lower number of kilometers and fewer accidents during the lockdown play no role, according to Jacobs. “The price of premiums for car insurance is determined by the long-term trend in the compensation payable. The fact that there have temporarily been fewer accidents has nothing to do with this for the time being.”