The banking arm of UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's is to market life insurance products in stores, over the phone and via the Internet under an alliance with Legal & General.
Sainsbury's estimates that 3.5 million people are likely to take out life insurance cover in 2004. The retailer says that by shopping around instead of paying the average market premium, consumers could save a total £11 million a month. The firm also estimates that around 16 million existing life insurance policyholders could be overpaying for their cover and could save up to 40% in premiums.
Tim Pile, chief executive, Sainsbury’s Bank, says: "The overall price of life insurance has fallen considerably over recent years but many people are unaware of this and are overpaying by as much as 40 per cent. Our research shows that 61 per cent of those already with life cover took out their policy over five years ago, which indicates that they could make significant savings by switching providers."
He says that Sainsbury's will offer paperless applications with no forms to fill in and anticipates that over 40% of applicants will be accepted immediately over the phone. Any applicants who cannot be covered immediately will be given free accidental death cover until the application is completed. Information is also available online and in all Sainsbury’s supermarkets to 11 million regular shoppers.
Sainsbury's is the latest of the big supermarkets to move into life cover, following Asda (via Scottish Widows) and Tesco (Norwich Union).