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Weinsure goes hunting for bean-counters

A Tauranga insurance broker plans to turn accountants and lawyers into insurance sellers.

Thursday, June 14th 2001, 12:06PM

An online insurance broker planning to use accountants and lawyers as its sales force begins marketing its services today.

Weinsure Ltd hopes to convince accountants and lawyers to recommend its range of discounted insurance products to their clients.

The lawyers and accountants will get a commission, while their clients will get insurance at a discounted price, Weinsure's Simon Beaton says.

Clients can get information and quotes from Weinsure's website (weinsure.co.nz) but must buy products through their accountant or lawyer, Barton says.

The company offers life, trauma, disability and medical cover. It will eventually also offer house and contents, and income protection insurance.

Tauranga-based Weinsure has signed up seven firms during a testing phase for the new venture. Today it begins pitching its services to other firms.

"Our target is 70 or 80 partner firms by the end of 2001," Barton says.

Weinsure aims to complete 80 proposals a week but will break even if it gets 10 a week.

Currently, the only products quoted online are from Sovereign. It was the only insurer willing to provide the raw data Weinsure needed to develop its discounted offerings, Barton says.

However, the company plans to remain independent and expects to eventually offer products from other insurers.

Barton says tapping into lawyers and accountants' client bases means Weinsure does not have to direct the same amount of energy into chasing customers as traditional brokerages. That means its commissions can be lower and its products cheaper.

For accountants and lawyers, offering insurance is a way to raise average income from each client, and to unlock the hidden value in their firm's client base.

The front page of the proposal signed by clients will make it clear that the lawyer or accountant involved will earn a commission, Barton says.

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