Andrew Quirke: DEFEND plans to expand into new European markets

The auto insurance market in 2023, as in the previous year, was significantly affected by inflation and high-interest rates. These factors were reflected in the availability of new and used cars for end customers, as well as a significant increase in the price of spare parts and workshop labour. On the positive side, the number of new and used vehicles on the European market has stabilized, although it remains below pre-Covid figures.

Nevertheless, DEFEND INSURANCE GROUP continues to enjoy its trajectory of continuous growth. Thanks to technological developments in previous years, we have been able to expand rapidly into other markets, entering Romania, Latvia, and Austria in 2023. This year, we are planning to expand our presence to Estonia and Bulgaria, bringing our total to 12 European markets.

The B2B market is key for us and we're working on enhancements to our extended warranties and other products for new and used cars. This includes insurance for electric vehicles, which we were among the first to introduce to the market. Hand in hand with this goes further technological development, automation, and optimization of processes, especially in the area of insurance administration and claims handling. Artificial intelligence will be a big focus for us.

Another area of focus for us is the online B2C market, developing products exclusively for end-to-end online sales that can also add value as an offering to our existing B2B client base. In 2023, we launched, in cooperation with insurer Lloyd’s, DEFEND Car Hire XS in five European markets, a comprehensive rental car excess insurance. The product is available with a few clicks on our defend-online.eu portal. It offers an unrivalled benefit limit and range of cover, along with a significantly more competitive price than similar insurance policies available direct from car rental companies. Another great advantage is its flexibility, allowing you to arrange it purely for the days of the rental of the vehicle, and its coverage in virtually every country in the world.

Another new feature we are preparing for online sales is an extended warranty for electric vehicles, such as the increasingly popular electric bikes and scooters. Our clients can look forward to this innovative product, in cooperation with our main insurer Fortegra Europe, in 2024.

Inflation and high interest rates will still be with us in 2024, but I believe it will be another growth year for DEFEND INSURANCE GROUP and our partners.

Published on online insurance magazine oPojištění.cz.