Insurance products for UK residents

MMA and Provident Insurance

The news that MMA insurance is to take over Provident Insurance is at first glance unusual. Both firms operate in the insurance broking sector - i.e. sell insurance through professional insurance brokers. However there the similarities cease. B Portwood & Co are agents for both companies.

MMA sells household, commercial property and liability insurance as well as motor insurance whereas Provident just sells motor insurance. MMA have been moving away from the motor insurance market as the rates quoted (especially on aggregator websites) have been too low to make any money. (During the next year I anticipate that motor insurance sold on aggregator sites will become more expensive than through an insurance broker as insurers are sustaining much worse claims experience). MMA also have specialised in the over 30 restricted driving market.

Provident, however are more of a specialist in the younger end of the market, especially the female driver. As a broker we also know that the type of business Provident attracts (TPFT on low value vehicles) also has a high default rate (Provident cancellation charges are amongst the highest of any insurer) and to be honest their insurance policy is not the best in the world - see the Defaqto website (where you can find out how bad your online car insurance policy is -  as an insurance broker we offer better policies)

There are, as far as I can see three possible reasons:-

  • Motor insurance rates are going to harden so the sector might become profitable - this take over will increase MMA's size of the market.

  • As Provident specialise in the younger female they should gain proportionately due to the ECJ Gender Ruling on 1st March

  • The market has decided that Provident do not have the reserves to continue in the motor insurance business and that this takeover will enable them to trade until market conditions improve. (This was a common practice when Lloyds Syndicates selling motor insurance got into difficulties - a larger syndicate would take them over then run off the business, keeping the best bits for themselves.)

For more information contact JB Portwood

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