Agis loses 430,000 clients in insurance battle
2 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — Insurer Agis has lost 430,000 clients since the health insurance system underwent a fundamental face-lift at the start of the year. This is 20 percent of its customer base. It still has 1.2 million policyholders.
2 March 2006
AMSTERDAM — Insurer Agis has lost 430,000 clients since the health insurance system underwent a fundamental face-lift at the start of the year. This is 20 percent of its customer base. It still has 1.2 million policyholders.
Agis boss Eelke van der Veen blamed price dumping, or selling under cost price, by health insurers for the loss
The two-tier public-private system was replaced by a basic package. The health insurers are trying to win customers by offering the best deals on additional coverage and lower premiums through discounted collective deals.
The deadline for members of the public to switch insurers for 2006 passed on 1 March.
Agis calculates it has lost EUR 1 billion due to clients jumping ship. The company's research found most had been tempted away by lower premiums offered through collective contracts.
Hundreds of people will lose their jobs at Agis because of the lost clients. It is already undergoing a re-organisation that will cut 250 jobs.
Van der Veen said another 100 jobs would definitely be shed, and more job losses could not be ruled out. The company expects to have a clearer picture of the situation in April.
Other insurers have gained from the hemorrhaging at Agis. Achmea, which operates the Interpolis, Zilveren Kruis and FBTO insurance brands, has indicated net gains of up to 10 percent in the number of customers.
As Achmea had 3 million customers at the end of 2005, it seems it has up to 3.3 million now.
Insurers VGZ and CZ both had approximately 2 million clients at the end of last year and they estimate they have each attracted another 100,000.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news