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Insurer Youi launches in NZ

Last updated 12:47 04/08/2014

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South African insurer Youi is offering special incentives for golfers and lawns bowlers as it begins selling car, house and contents insurance in New Zealand.

Youi’s contents insurance policy will pay a policyholder $200 if they or an immediate family member who lives with them sinks a hole in one in an official club competition game of golf or on any New Zealand golf course.

It will also pay up if a policyholder (or an immediate family member) bowls a full house in an official club competition game of lawn bowls or on any New Zealand bowling green.

And, to spur on policyholders who represent their country, it will pay out $200 when one of them, or an immediate family member, breaks an officially recognised international sporting record.

Even the birth of babies can be claimed with the contents policy paying out $100 per baby, if a policyholder or a member of their immediate family who lives with them, gives birth to two or more babies from the same pregnancy conceived during the term of the policy.

Youi is aiming to take market share off the two big Australian-owned insurance groups that dominate the market.

They are Vero, which operates the Vero brand and majority-owns AA Insurance, and its giant rival IAG group, which owns the NZI, State and AMI brands.

Youi received its licence to sell insurance here on 28 July, and only sells policies through its website and call centres in Auckland and Australia.

Its chief executive Danie Matthee said the plan was to follow Youi’s success in Australia.

Youi has made inroads into the Australian market since it launched there in 2008, and now claims to be the fastest-growing car and home insurer across the Tasman.

Matthee said Youi had a market share there of 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent of house, contents and car cover with over half a million clients.

But ‘‘our new business premium market share would be greater than that, in the region of 7 to 8 per cent’’, he said

Matthee would not reveal the growth targets Youi had set itself in New Zealand, but he said the company would not price irrationally to get business.

Youi has had a new Zealand presence for over a year, with a call centre in Auckland servicing customers in Australia. It’s now a sizeable employer with over 280 staff in New Zealand, which it says will rise to over 420 by April next year. 

As well as house, contents and car insurance, Youi also insures watercraft, motorcycles, caravans and trailers.

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