The insurance olive tree, an old branch? The subsidiary of the British company Admiral celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2021. After strong development in the car insurance market, the insurer is extending its offer to home insurance and scooters, while promoting B2B partnerships. We took stock with Fanny Limare-Wolf, co-founder of L’olivier and recently appointed Chief Financial Officer.
How do you perceive the evolution of L’olivier on the French insurance market since its launch?
We celebrated our tenth anniversary last year. We are now well established in the French insurance market. Over the past two to three years, we have seen our initial ambitions materialize in three ways. We first developed our auto portfolio, which has grown exponentially over the past two years. We’ve doubled in size in just under three years, which makes us the second player in the direct car insurance market in France, and we are very happy about it. The other objective is to continue to make our customers satisfied. First, by offering low prices: a customer who comes to L’olivier saves an average of 251 euros per year on his car insurance, all formulas included. We also measure customer satisfaction very closely, in terms of the services offered. It takes a long time to learn, but we have had proof of our involvement: 96% of our customers, for example, renew after a disaster. Proof that the claim was handled as they wished. We were also elected Customer Service of the Year in 2022. This is a fairly solid methodology in which we have confidence, because it is a jury that makes many mystery calls, and which tests the different channels. brand communications. Here too, it is a guarantee that we are doing a good job on customer satisfaction.
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After devoting yourself to car insurance, you have been developing new products for two years. Why?
The validation of our model gave us the boost to start expanding our product line. We launched home insurance a little less than two years ago at the request of our customers, who wanted to consolidate their contracts with us, which is quite common on the French market. More recently, we launched electric scooter insurance with Wakam, and car insurance with a touch of telematics with Blablacar.
What is your scooter product and why are you entering this market?
The electric scooter market in France has expanded considerably. We currently count 2.5 million scooters in circulation, which is close to the number of motorcycles. It is a market that still needs to mature, but civil liability insurance is already compulsory, although few users are aware of it. There is therefore a lot of education and prevention to be done, so that these machines fit into the urban panorama. In any case, they are destined to stay there, and this requires a better knowledge of the insurance obligation and a better offer of protection, with in particular compensation in the event of an accident, theft, etc. This demand from our customers gives us the opportunity to learn about new mobility and the way people move and will want to move in the future. It’s also a chance to help build a safer road for everyone. With us, users can choose a basic Civil Liability formula, which remains the mandatory minimum to protect others, then subscribe if they wish to a more extensive formula, with coverage for theft, personal injuryetc.
And concerning the partnership with Blablacar?
This insurance was born, on the side of Blablacar, from a desire to extend its range of services, by offering an innovative product to their customers. For us, this commercial interest was shared, with the idea of offering a good product and a good quality of service. The insurance consists of the provision of car insurance offered to all, through L’olivier. This is car insurance “classic”, with advantages for carpoolers. However, you don’t need to be a Blablacar user to subscribe to it. The formula contains two options: a first, traditional, and a second with an app, which is aimed at drivers who want to engage in a road safety approach and reduce their carbon footprint. The application will provide them with driving and maintenance advice, in exchange, we offer a discount on the car insurance premium. But unlike conventional telematics formulas, we don’t measure driving quality, it’s more of an encouragement for good driving, rather than a monitoring device.
“The challenges of dematerialization are crucial, but we want to offer the same quality of service online and on the telephone, because we know that the telephone is still a need for many”.
This model, which mixes partnership and connected insurance, is very similar to that of new online insurance. Do they impose new ways of doing things?
It is certain that many policyholders want to go for the new products offered by insurtech. But it should also be borne in mind that the insured still need the telephone and direct contact. At L’olivier, you can do almost everything online, including subscription, but even offering the possibility of doing everything online, one in two customers still calls us at some point in their subscription journey. We notice that it is a lot to be reassured, to understand the options, and above all to make sure that someone picks up well. The challenges of dematerialization are crucial, but we want to offer the same quality of service online and on the phone., because we know that the telephone is still a need for many. We are therefore continuing to invest heavily in our advisor platform in France.
Did you take action with your policyholders during the health crisis?
We carried out three major actions during the pandemic. First, that of lowering our prices, in different ways. In total, this corresponds to a 10% reduction in car insurance premiums for our customers. During the second lockdown, we expanded the number of loaner vehicles for essential workers, including caregivers. We have also lifted many deductibles in the event of accidents for these same policyholders. We have also supported our customers who may be in economic difficulty by being more tolerant of certain unpaid bills. Finally, we also donated 100,000 euros of our profits to charitable initiatives, in particular to the Secours populaire to help families. This is an approach that we will continue in the future.
How do you view the home insurance market, which is new to you?
In home insurance, we are starting! It is a very competitive market, in particular with very aggressive insurtech on pricing, sometimes rightly so, sometimes with a viability that is more difficult to perceive. Bancassurances are also very present, offering their formulas directly at the time of taking out the loan. We also need to enter a changing market, which has seen fewer claims for two years due to the pandemic, but which is at the same time subject to structural factors of rising premiums due to climate change. To achieve this, we rely, as on the car, on advantageous pricing, solid warranties, and exemplary customer service.
Can we replicate the recipe applied in car insurance to home insurance?
I think that the disaster process is quite different, longer, more complicated for the customer, especially at the time of the disaster, which often requires the intervention of a specialist or a craftsman. There are similarities and real specificities. But the fact of offering a quality customer service is, in our opinion, totally replicable in home insurance.
Will you recruit to support your growth?
On the team side, our growth is quite rapid, because we started at two ten years ago, and we are now close to five hundred. We are currently looking for collaborators in Paris and Lille, and in all areas: customer advisors, developers, pricing analysts, in data, in marketing, etc. We have many needs, and want to believe that one of the reasons for our success is also the quality of our working environment.