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Race to provide direct legal services sees Allianz convert to an ABS

Last year they hit your television with an advert comparing the stresses of the daily commute and school run to a formula one race but this week multi-billion UK personal and business insurer Allianz entered the race to provide direct legal services to their customers by converting to an alterative business structure, after being granted a licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

The insurer, which had a turnover of €110.8bn in 2013 alongside an operating profit of €10.1bn, is pairing up with personal injury firm Serious Law. The new venture will named ALP Law and the body will provide legal advice and support to Allianz’ direct private motor policyholders if they suffer a personal injury following an accident where they were not at fault.

Allianz stated it selected Serious Law, which specialises in ‘catastrophic’ personal injury claims, because of its proven experience and technical expertise.

Allianz’s head of legal protection claims James Barclay said: ‘The new structure introduced through ALP Law will not add layers of costs to the legal claims process but will ensure that Allianz customers with a genuine need for legal support receive the highest possible level of service.’

Allianz is one of several insurers to make inroads into the legal services market in recent months. Direct Line Group launched its legal services venture in July with Parabis Law, after acquiring its ABS licence from the SRA.

The retail general insurer added an interesting dimension to the debate over cuts to legal aid, by announcing plans to launch ‘competitive’ law firm DLG Legal Services at a time when many Britons struggle to afford legal services.

Other new entrants include Admiral, Ageas and RAC, which were granted ABS licences to provide legal services in April last year. Ageas tied up with Cardiff-based NewLaw Solicitors; Admiral entered two separate joint ventures with Lyons Davidson and Cordner Lewis; and RAC agreed a five-year deal with Quindell Portfolio.

For more on ABS growth, see Guest postGuest post: In the ABS landscape, it’s all about the brand – oh yes