LONDON: Amazon is reportedly in talks with some of Europe’s leading insurance firms about offering products for a new price comparison website in the UK, which could see the US retail giant disrupt yet another business sector if the plan goes ahead.

It is unclear what insurance products might be sold on any new platform, but three unnamed industry executives confirmed to Reuters that talks with Amazon have been taking place, although one said there are no imminent launch plans.

However, home and motor insurance policies are big sellers in the competitive UK online price comparison market, which is dominated by and GoCompare, two brands that are also significant advertisers, especially on TV.

“As Amazon becomes a larger part of the home, whether it’s products delivered to the home, security monitoring, home services like wi-fi installation, you can make the case that insurance is the next logical step for this company,” said R.J. Hottovy, senior analyst at Morningstar.

Amazon declined to comment on the Reuters report, but the company has already made a foray into the US health insurance market via a partnership with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan.

And in Europe it has been working with The Warranty Group since 2016 to offer consumers warranty extensions on their purchases. It also has co-branded credit cards in the UK and Germany, although Amazon does not offer to lend money of its own.

That last point may help to explain Amazon’s reported exploration of price comparison sites because, as Reuters noted, Western tech and e-commerce firms – unlike their Chinese counterparts like Alibaba and Tencent – have been cautious about entering the heavily regulated financial services market.

A comparison site, however, would enable Amazon to give its customers access to a range of insurance policies from numerous providers without having to meet the same degree of regulatory burden.

Another possible incentive, as reported by Bloomberg, is that 30% of UK consumers indicated in a survey in April that they would consider buying insurance from providers such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, according to analytics firm GlobalData.

Sourced from Reuters, Bloomberg; additional content by WARC staff