New insurer MoonGate hails plan for taxi drivers
A new player in insurance is hoping to tap into the niche market of group insurance.
And MoonGate Insurance Group has already flagged down its first clients — the Bermuda Taxi Owners and Operators Association (BTOA).
MoonGate president and CEO Leon Bascome said: “We were looking at various financial entities and one of the opportunities that came about was to provide a specific type of insurance plan — affinity programmes, which is a binding together of various benefits targeted at a specific group.
He said that, by banding together, groups could get better deals and coverage through the benefits of bulk buying of cover.
Mr Bascome added: “Anyone who has an association or group — a group of truckers, water tanker drivers or even a group of doctors can benefit.”
And he said: “Whoever wants to form a group, we can tailor make a programme for them.”
He added: “Someone has suggested we go and talk to the medical fraternity because they have specific needs on their side.”
Mr Bascome explained that similar programmes were more common in places like the UK and US — but that this type of product was new to the island.
He added: “The idea was to bring a similar concept to Bermuda. Existing insurance companies had the opportunity to do this, but nobody really delved into the market. It's not a market which was tapped into.
“These entities may or may not have the expertise or the interest. This is something that's always interested us and we had to look at niche markets.”
Mr Bascome said that the key to success in affinity insurance programmes was to get the product package right for whatever group was looking for cover.
He added: “A lot of products are pretty specific and not everybody reads their insurance policies. We are trying to put the horse before the cart so people know exactly what they're getting and what they need to buy.”
And Mr Bascome said: “We are doing this on an individual basis as well.”
The taxi deal will include home, motor, life and health insurance.
Mr Bascome, who has a long background in the insurance industry with major firms like XL, said: “My experience from the international insurance industry has enabled me to hone the necessary skills and techniques required for these and other Bermuda risks.”
He added that Government's Health Insurance Department had been instrumental in developing the health insurance product for taxi drivers, which includes the Government's own HIP and FutureCare policies.
But Mr Bascome said both Government plans did not cover air ambulance costs — so his firm had partnered with the Medical Air Services Association (MASA) to add that in.
MoonGate, in Hamilton's Church Street, will be able to accept business from groups and the general public from November 1, with home and contents, motor, marine, life and pension insurance policies all available.
Non-health insurance coverage will be underwritten by the Freisenbruch-Meyer Group (FMG).
FMG president Michael Freisenbruch said: “We're pleased to be partnering with MoonGate to provide our insurance products to the Bermuda Taxi Owners and Operators Association.
“MoonGate shares our holistic view of the client. We're very encouraged that our high underwriting standards are understood by Leon and hist team.”
And he added that an FMG senior underwriter would be attached to MoonGate to assist with the launch of the firm.
BTOA president Derek Young said: “The taxi drivers without health insurance can now be covered under a single programme that can also include their home and vehicle. I'm hoping the industry takes advantage of the great packages MoonGate will be offering us.”