Interviews
11 Dec 18

Insure your BMW or MINI through an online platform

Earlier this year, BMW Group Financial Services UK unveiled a new partnership with Wrisk, a disruptive insurance provider. Phil Kerry, Sales & Marketing Director at BMW Financial Services (GB), spoke to Fleet Europe about BMW’s plans with Wrisk.

Like so many other new services launched today, Wrisk is delivering traditionally paper-based services through an online platform. The company promises a future, or rather a present, in which it is no longer required to go see an insurance broker to insure your new car. Instead, everything can be done in a few steps, online via the Wrisk platform. What’s more, drivers buying a new or approved used BMW or MINI in the UK can receive a complimentary seven-day insurance policy, giving them a week to decide which insurance policy suits them best.

BMW discovered Wrisk at the first edition of the Innovation Lab, held in 2016 by BMW FS as a way to get to know innovative start-ups in the fields of digitising the customer journey, data-driven decisions, access to cars, used cars and fintech. Wrisk appealed to Mr Kerry because the start-up had refreshing ideas about insurance and was more agile than the established insurance companies he had been working with since joining BMW over 20 years ago.

Niall Barton

“What Wrisk was suggesting and promising was a fresh approach involving technology, a different approach to taking the customers on board and actually modernising the whole experience,” said Mr Kerry. “It’s very refreshing compared to the large insurers we’ve dealt with for as long as I’ve been with BMW. You know what you can expect from them, and they tend to be less agile and more set in their ways.”

For BMW, it was important to have confidence not only in the product but also in the people behind it. “Niall Barton has got massive experience and contacts within the industry,” said Mr Kerry, “so it wasn’t just new kids on the block. It’s a nice mix of modern technical skills and deep-rooted experience in the market.”

Niall Barton, Wrisk’s co-founder and CEO, has indeed accumulated almost 40 years’ experience in insurance as both a broker and an underwriter and he has gone on to be on the board of various insurance companies. Together with his team, they have managed to find the necessary backing to start delivering in the demanding insurance market.

Insurance in the price of a car

BMW FS is planning to move a large part of its motor insurance portfolio to Wrisk while add-on products may remain in the hands of other insurers. At this moment, BMW Group UK is already offering a complimentary 7-day insurance policy through Wrisk to anyone buying a new or approved used BMW or MINI vehicle in the UK, but the company is looking at ways to take this even further.

“We’re looking at potentially offering an embedded solution of insurance within the price of a car. We’ve worked quite closely with Wrisk on how this could work but it’s still early days at this moment. Nevertheless, we’re very excited about the potential.”

Image: BMW 3 Series sedan (source: BMW)

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck