Asda to offer own-brand insurance

Asda is to launch a branded travel insurance service in its first venture into own-label financial services.

Asda is to launch a branded travel insurance service in its first

venture into own-label financial services.



From today (Wednesday), the supermarket will offer four ’Asda for

Travel’ branded policies, at prices which it claims undercut high-street

rivals.



It says its aim is to cut the cost of family cover.



Asda’s advertising agency, Publicis, has been closely involved in

developing the travel brand from the initial strategic paper and product

recommendations through to the launch strategy and ads.



The launch marks a change of direction for Asda, which had previously

claimed that it would not develop its own financial services, preferring

tie-ups with partners such as Lloyds TSB, which has branches in several

Asda stores.



Rival retailers, such as Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s, all

offer branded financial services.



Asda’s new parent company, Wal-Mart, recently signalled its intention to

go into banking with the acquisition of a small Oklahoma bank, the

Federal BankCentre. It is rumoured to be developing a financial services

format that can be adopted in the UK, Germany and its US stores.



An Asda spokesman said: ’We are not going into banking but one

opportunity is to offer further insurance packages. We will see how it

goes.’



Asda’s annual multi-trip worldwide policies will cost pounds 57.95 for a

single person or pounds 78.50 for a couple.



There will be no extra cost for over-65s, and there will be no limit on

the number of children that can be covered by a family policy.



The scheme will be supported by press and radio ads as well as in-store

marketing at 45 stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester.



Customers will also be able to sign up for their policies through a

freephone number.



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