The Admiral Group has consistently ranked as a top 5 UK insurer over the years. The core brand is served at www.admiral.com and they have been trading since 1993. This company is joined by Bell, Diamond, Elephant and of course Confused.com. The Group’s pre-tax profit tends to peak at £370 million and their user base sits at 4.2 million. Britain has always been their prime location served although they have expanded overseas to the likes of France and Spain. All of the Group’s brands are very popular and having their own comparison service to feed them is ideal. There has however been growth problems at Confused who have had to live in the shadows of those meerkats.
Aviva is the UK’s leading insurance company. This feat was solidified a few months into 2015 when they acquired Friends Life in a lucrative £5.6 billion deal. There has been a series of merges over their history. You can trace their roots as far back as 1696 that was through the Hand in Hand Fire & Life Insurance Society. In the modern day they have more than 31 million customers worldwide. Annual pre-tax profits are usually around £2 billion, but most of this flows through general and life cover. Aviva’s car insurance market share is sizeable, although they are edged out by the Direct Line Group (includes Churchill, Direct Line and Privilege).
The Direct Line Group (DLG) is made up of the core brand (Direct Line), Churchill, Green Flag and Privilege. DLG is collectively the UK’s market leading motor insurer. Across general insurance lines they are however dwarfed by Aviva. To highlight the variation, the annual pre-tax profit here is £500 million in comparison to Aviva’s £2 billion. This central brand started out life in 1985. Peter Wood (also known for Esure) was the founder. Today they have 10 million customers and process 13,000 quotes daily. Much of this business is boosted by their multi-million pound TV ad campaigning headed by Pulp Fiction’s Winston Wolfe. For some reason they use the “Winston Wolf” spelling in their site copy.
Dial Direct was formed in 1995 and they have been under the control of the BGL Group since 2001. They were acquired alongside Bennetts in the deal. BGL operates under BISL Ltd through other own brands notably Budget Insurance and Compare the Market. They also manage the policies of such major banks as Halifax, Lloyds Bank and Santander. Other key partners who they manage for include Legal and General, M&S and the Post Office. BISL doesn’t share their underwriting panel, but they have been known to use the likes of Allianz and Covea. Similar to many brokers, much of the business to their site is generated through external price comparison searches.
Go Skippy was formed back in November 2012. We have titled them as they are mostly known, although they do brand themselves as GoSkippy. They can be found direct at www.goskippy.com where they provide bike, car, home and van quotes. Most people will however be introduced to them through their listings on price comparison searches across such sites as Compare the Market, Confused and GoCompare. Whilst being headed as a broker, most of the underwriting comes from Southern Rock Insurance who are within the same group of companies founded by Arron Banks. Sometimes they do use third party insurers. Over the years Southern Rock have underwritten policies for the likes of Asda, Debenhams, ECar and Readers Digest.
The AXA Group is one of the world’s leading insurers active today in 56 countries. They have 103 million customers worldwide, with the UK count standing at just over 10 million. The UK has actually not been one of the Group’s prime locations, making up just 6% of their insurance revenue. The current name has been used since 1985, but their earliest roots date back to 1817. This company operates across healthcare and investments, but insurance is central. Life cover is catered through SunLife, but we are looking here at the AXA car insurance available through www.axa.co.uk. They trade directly here and also through Swiftcover (acquired back in 2007).
Swiftcover was formed in 2005 and they have been owned by the AXA Group since 2007. In 2009 they celebrated their one millionth customer. It is their core car insurance product in focus here, but they do offer other options such as breakdown and home cover. Most of their business of course flows through motoring that is where their advertising push has been directed towards. The memorable ad was their £25 million “Get a Life” campaign with Iggy Pop. What has helped to distinguish this company has been their approach to operate entirely online. In doing so this has helped them to cut down on costs that has enabled them to pass on competitive quotes on to their customers.