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Trade Me gets into the online insurance biz

Trade Me has announced it has partnered with TOWER Insurance to launch its own insurance offering to Kiwi consumers.

Trade Me Insurance will be a comprehensive online insurance offer providing members with home, contents and car insurance, the company says.

Members can get quotes, buy insurance, make a claim and manage their policy online.

“We’ve built a streamlined online insurance experience that is as useful and intuitive as possible, with a focus on the buyer,” explains Jon Macdonald, Trade Me CEO.

TOWER Limited CEO David Hancock says Trade Me Insurance is an important new initiative.

“Today’s launch is a real milestone for us. We’re focused on meeting changing customer expectations around insurance online, and investing heavily in the development of digital infrastructure,” he says. “What’s most exciting about Trade Me Insurance is that it offers general insurance customers an end-to-end digital solution from quote to claim, and gives customers greater flexibility and choice.”

Macdonald says the new offering had been tailor-made with TOWER. “Trade Me Insurance has been built from scratch,” he says. “It combines our knowledge of building useful online experiences with TOWER’s financial strength and 140 years of insurance experience.

“Everything’s new – the products, the website, the pricing and the customer service.”

Macdonald says TOWER was a natural fit for Trade Me.

“They’re smart, and easy to deal with. And most importantly for this venture, consumers will have confidence that Trade Me Insurance is backed by a well-respected local insurer doing some interesting things online,” he explains.

Hancock says TOWER’s alliance with a much-loved brand like Trade Me strengthened the insurer’s partner network across New Zealand.

Trade Me Insurance is led by Conor Sligo and Tim von Dadelszen, the general managers of Trade Me’s current LifeDirect insurance comparison website.

Macdonald says Trade Me Insurance was part of Trade Me’s selective forays into financial services. “This seemed like a natural extension for us into an area where we could do something to change things up,” he says. “We’ve made some investments in financial services already, having acquired LifeDirect in 2013 and buying a stake in peer-to-peer lender Harmoney in January this year.”