As Coles prepares to rollout its MIX clothing line, Woolworths will be raising its competitiveness by expanding its financial services offer with the launch of Woolworths Insurance.

The first products to launch will be life insurance and pet insurance with additional products planned to be rolled out over time.

George Hughes, Woolworths head of insurance, said it has been the company’s intention to have a long term presence in the insurance sector.

“Our research tells us that many everyday Australians find insurance difficult to understand and access, to the extent that 95 per cent of families do not have adequate levels of life cover,” he said.

“We very much view our role as that of a market challenger to provide everyday Australians with access to insurance products that may previously have been out of their reach or new types of cover that can protect against unforseen expenses.”

Woolworths will partner with reinsurance firm Swiss Re and international insurance provider The Hollard Group.

Woolworths will leverage the skills, expertise and infrastructure of established providers, Swiss Re and Hollard. For general insurance products Swiss Re will act as reinsurer to the underwriter, Hollard. For the Life Insurance product, Swiss Re will act as the underwriter and Hollard will act as the distributor and administrator of the products, using their proven insurance systems and call centre expertise.

Woolworths Life Insurance will offer cover from $100,000 to $1.5 million dependant on age and income, all Australian Residents aged between 18 and 65 are eligible to apply with cover starting from $1.42 a week. Premiums are flexible with fortnightly, monthly or annual payment options as well as optional benefits to cover children or total and permanent disability.

Woolworths Pet Insurance will cover up to 80 per cent of the cost of eligible vet bills and is available for domestic dogs and cats. Premiums are also flexible with fortnightly, monthly or annual payment options.