In the last months of 2010, my wife, now my partner in Sigorta Dükkanım, who has been working in the insurance sector for a long time, was doing feasibility studies to develop a software supported by the CRM infrastructure, that would enable agencies to better manage their their protfolio and use technological and web based tools and channels to increase their sales.
In the same days, one of our friends from abroad, told us about his Slovak friend living in Russia who had seen a quick increase in on-line insurance investment, although she had started with a humble budget.
To learn better about the experience undergone in Russian market having similarities with ours, we went to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, and discussed with the above mentioned enterpreneur about how this project was implemented, the different phases that the project went through and what was done and not done.
As we listened, we were convinced that that online insurance business could be implemented in Turkey; the entire model we had planned for agencies actually would be perfect fit for our own venture.
The recent evolution of social media in Turkey coupled with the 1200% increase in the web user population over the last three years motivated us to embrace this project.
We prepared a work plan without delay and realized how solid and detailed it was once it was completed. Either that or perhaps it was because we stuck to the workplan in such a disciplined fashion.
Afterwards, we scheduled an appointement with two of the market leaders in England, where the online insurance market is the most evolved.
During the discussions details of “speed” at improving and growing the market gave us further hope.
As of February 2011, 70% of auto insurances policies were sold online in England.
England’s online insurance story began with direct web sales. Over time, people’s need to shop around regarding price and different products when purchasing insurance, propelled insurance intermediaries to come up with the common platform idea.
Online distribution, which picked up momentum in England in 2002, saturated the local market by 2011.
Insurance companies began investing in Italian and Spanish markets. Before investing in a country, they looked at criteria such as whether or not internet users made up more than 50% of the country’s total population.
When we visited to London in February, this ratio in Turkey was 33%, but by August the ratio had creeped up to 44%.
In the other hand, while in February 2011, the number of web users was below Spain and Italy, by August 2011, Turkey’s number of web users exceed that both countries.
We held our meetings and explained what we were hoping to achieve. One company, which we met, even offered to provide investment capital.
With our business plan and presentation at hand, we started to meet with investors, as the venture needed more capital than we had to launch with a proper communication investment.
Finally, we found an investor and on April 20, 2011 we established our company.
It is all worth mentioning that before we moved into our office in May, we met with our core team every weekend at “Lavazza Cafe”.
We had the full support of the Insurance Section of the Turkish Treasury and top management of many insurance companies.
On 12.10.2011 we celebrated the kick-off of “www.sigortadukkanim.com” at the Tomtom Suites Hotel with the attendance of all those that had supported us in our venture.
We believe in our project and we know that the future of the insurance business is growing the retail, mainly online insurance. As the Sigortadukkanim team, we are proud to be one of the front runners of this new line.