Why home insurance? Why not, I guess. Image: Amazon
Amazon, already the biggest online retailer in the world, isn’t content with total global domination of commerce. Instead, the company is constantly seeking to expand into new realms. It has a streaming service, a shipping and logistics arm, its own pharmacy , owns the cloud through its web services, runs the largest organic grocery chain in the U.S., and so on and so forth. In a lot of ways, Amazon is inextricable from day-to-day modern life .
So, obviously, the next logical question is: Why not insurance? The company is launching an online portal for purchasing home and personal property insurance for customers in the United Kingdom. The move is just the latest in Amazon’s push towards becoming a full-blown financial institution. The tech behemoth already offers credit cards and a digital wallet .
“Shopping online for home insurance is a well-established experience, and our goal is to exceed customers’ expectations when it comes to the Amazon Insurance Store,” said Jonathan Feifs, general manager of Amazon’s European Payment Products, in the company’s news statement . “This initial launch is just the beginning—we’ll continue to innovate and make refinements,” Feifs added.
At first, the company will offer policies through just three insurers: Ageas UK, Co-op, and LV= General Insurance. But the goal is to add more and more, according to Amazon’s press release.
To buy a plan, customers will first have to answer a questionnaire related to their assets and finances. Amazon said the questions only concern the value of any items customers want additional insurance on and the value of items they have made past claims against. From there, insurance-seekers will be able to compare, adjust, purchase, and review policies. Once insured, customers can then pay for, and view their plan via Amazon’s site. Although to make policy changes, customers will need to contact the third party insurer directly, the company told Gizmodo in an email.
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But hey, bonus alert: “Amazon customers who make qualifying purchases of a home insurance policy through the Amazon Insurance Store will receive a £10 Amazon.co.uk gift card.” Bleak.
The company declined to say if it plans to expand its new insurance biz beyond the U.K.. A spokesperson also declined to comment on whether there are plans for Amazon itself to offer insurance or if the offerings would remain strictly third-party.
Tech giants dipping a toe into the insurance marketplace isn’t totally unheard of. Google briefly ran “Google Compare” a site for car insurance and other financial products in both the U.K. and U.S., before shutting it down in 2016. And obviously other companies have moved into the broader personal finance sphere. Just last week, Apple announced a high-yield savings account through a partnership with Goldman Sachs.
Update 10/19/2022, 3:15 p.m. ET: This post has been updated with additional information from Amazon.