Samsung Fire targets direct sales

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Samsung Fire targets direct sales

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, Korea’s top nonlife insurer, said yesterday it plans to strengthen its direct auto insurance business to cope with a changing market structure.

“We plan to introduce telemarketing in the company’s direct auto insurance business,” an official from Samsung Fire said. “The move is to provide policyholders with diverse options at reasonable prices.”

While traditional insurance programs are sold face-to-face by consultants or independent brokers, so-called direct insurance programs allow policyholders to subscribe freely via the Internet and telephone without commission fees, thus saving money.

Samsung Fire’s latest move came as the portion of direct auto insurance, which accounted for 36.6 percent of the country’s total auto insurance sales in fiscal 2011, is expected to increase to 50 percent in 2013.

Dongbu Insurance held the largest share with 21 percent of the direct auto insurance sector in the April-November period, followed by AXA General Insurance with a 19.6 percent share. Samsung Fire accounted for 14.5 percent over the cited period.

Market watchers said Samsung Fire will soon usurp Dongbu Insurance with the introduction of telemarketing.

“Samsung Fire’s market share in the direct auto insurance sector reached 14 percent even without telemarketing,” said an official from an insurer.

Samsung Fire said the new policy will be implemented in April, the first month of fiscal 2013. The firm closes its books on March 31. Yonhap

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