Amazon told underwriters key to UK success

A leading insurance lawyer has said Amazon’s entry into the UK commercial market will stand and fall on the underwriters it chooses to partner with.

Broker Superscript has announced it has teamed up Amazon Business, the B2B marketplace, to provide tailored insurance for micro and small businesses as well as sole traders through Business Prime – the membership programme of Amazon Business.

Superscript CEO Cameron Shearer said: “This partnership is a huge step in the evolution of business insurance. The industry needs to bridge the divide between insurers and customers by providing a quick, smooth buying process that is customer-centric. This means digital-first, flexible and monthly.

“We are therefore delighted to partner with Amazon Business to provide this much needed service for SMEs, and to stand alongside leading tech companies that understand what SMEs need.”

Superscript joins fellow benefit providers on Business Prime UK, such as Sage (cloud accounting), McAfee (SMB digital security) and Compleat (invoice automation).

Molly Dobson, Country Manager for Amazon Business UK & Ireland, explained: “From its inception, Amazon Business has provided business buyers with access to the familiar Amazon.co.uk shopping experience while helping overcome challenges such as purchase workflows, payments, reconciliation and much more.

“As businesses come out of the pandemic and gradually resume normalcy, we want customers to have the best tools to run their business. We believe Superscript offering its SME insurance products to Business Prime is another example of how this programme provides value and benefits to members.”

Under the terms of the deal Amazon Business Prime members will be able to purchase a range of insurance covers including public liability insurance, employers’ liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, cyber insurance, directors’ and officers’ insurance and office contents & equipment insurance.

However, Anthony Baker, immediate past-president at the Forum of Insurance Lawyers said the key will be the providers that will be partners for the various products and the scope of the cover they will offer.

“The increased competition in the insurance market following the news that Amazon Business Prime members will be able to secure various insurance products will be welcomed by UK businesses,” Baker added. “The UK market has always been at the forefront of insurance product innovation and this recent announcement follows a similar announcement in the US earlier this year. This will increase competition in an already highly competitive UK insurance market and Underwriters and comparison websites will no doubt be closely monitoring take up of this initiative.

“However, the extent and levels of the insurance cover provided by the chosen underwriting partners for the various policies (eg cyber, professional liability and contents insurance) will need to be closely scrutinised by businesses to ensure that no gaps are missed particularly if brokers are currently providing expert professional advice.”

He added: “This is likely to be attractive to some SMEs but, in a highly regulated market, the insurance partners chosen by Amazon Business Prime will be crucial to maintaining Amazon’s brand reputation and ensuring that there is swift early payment of valid claims.”

Under the terms of the deal Amazon Business Prime members will be able to purchase a range of insurance covers including public liability insurance, employers’ liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, cyber insurance, directors’ and officers’ insurance and office contents & equipment insurance.

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