Principal Insurance partners with AXA in Ireland

MAG Ireland (The Irish Motorcyclists’ Association) has received the following communication from Principal Insurance.

Principal Insurance has partnered with AXA Insurance dac in order to maintain and grow its presence in the Irish motorcycle market following the withdrawal of two UK underwriters.

The move insulates the UK-headquartered group from continuing Brexit uncertainties by providing access to an Irish domiciled company.

This partnership with Ireland’s largest property and casualty insurer significantly extends Principal Insurance’s underwriting footprint within the Republic of Ireland. AXA will provide underwriting for all of the existing schemes designed by Principal for which Zenith and Tansar previously provided cover.

“With Principal currently holding a share of around 20 percent we felt that, in the interests of maintaining a healthy and functioning market, it was absolutely vital to retain and grow our presence,” commented Principal’s managing director, Dave Bowcock. “The loss of underwriting capacity and competition would have been bad news for Irish bikers who welcomed the shake-up we gave to what had become a complacent market when we arrived here in 2015.”

“AXA were immediately receptive to us, they saw and seized the opportunity with great dynamism. There was a recognition that Principal’s specialist expertise and reach would perfectly complement AXA[1]’s extensive underwriting capabilities. It’s a partnership which offers great synergies.”

Paul Nolan, AXA Ireland’s Broker Director, echoed those sentiments, saying: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Principal Insurance using in particular their specialist expertise. It’s a great fit for AXA further extending our reach in the motorcycle market and we look forward to the success that this will bring for both AXA and Principal Insurance.”

Existing Principal policyholders are unaffected by the change. Cover already provided by Zenith and Tansar will remain in place for the policy term and renewals then offered through Axa.

Bowcock says Principal is also looking to extend the partnership through introduction of other biker-led lines. “We’re keen to explore the potential to create specialist, biker-friendly schemes for home and car insurance,” he said.

In less than four years Principal has established itself as a key player in the Irish motorcycle sector with schemes that cover classic, modern and custom machines.

MAG Ireland, the Irish Motorcyclists’ Association, praised the broker when it first announced its entry to the market, saying: “MAG Ireland welcomes the announcement by Principal insurance that it will enter the Irish market following the successful growth of the business in the UK. As a specialist broker, Principal insurance combines a unique knowledge of the motorcycle insurance sector with a well-established product portfolio.

“MAG Ireland was instrumental in opening up the Irish motorcycle insurance market in 2002 since then we have watched it grow and develop. Today, Principal Insurance adds a new level of diversity and choice for Irish riders and the decision to extend the business here represents a vote of confidence in the growth potential of the Irish motorcycling sector.”

MAG Ireland welcomes this announcement from Principal Insurance which underlines their continued commitment to the Irish market and provides a degree of certainty in the shadows of a somewhat chaotic Brexit process.

MAG Ireland - Protecting your rights
MAG Ireland – Protecting your rights

For decades Irish motorcyclists were hamstrung by a lack of choice and we fought hard to change that. We believe competition in the insurance sector is critical to a healthy market.