The Globe and Mail reported this morning that Toyota Canada is looking very heavily into providing Auto Insurance through its car dealership network – effectively creating one-stop shopping for retailers’ automotive needs. It looks like this won’t be happening until 2008 at the earliest.
The question that seems to be on everyone’s minds is whether they will operate the insurance company at break even (or at a loss) in order to boost car sales. If they are using this as a tool to increase sales than it could be possible that they will be a source of very low insurance premiums for your auto insurance! If, on the other hand, they are operating the insurance arm as a profit-centre then will it have much of an impact on sales? I think in either case it is probably a positive thing.
Toyota has such a strong brand and they have to ensure that the Toyota brand gets transferred to their insurance operations – which means high quality, good value and excellent customer service. If traditional insurers get a kick in the pants – I’m all for that! :)