Direct Line Group overview

Direct Line was launched in 1985 by Sir Peter Wood and Martin Long, as the insurance division of RBS. It was the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It rebranded from RBS Insurance to Direct Line Group ahead of its divestment from RBS Group in 2012.

It is made up of a number of insurers and related service providers including Direct Line, NIG, GreenFlag, Privilege and Churchill. The Group works across Motor, Home, Rescue and other personal lines, as well as Commercial.

Direct Line held an IPO in 2012, in which it sold a 30% share of the business. A further 17% was sol in the following year, and another 20% in 2014. The remainder of its holding was sold in February 2014.

In 2014 Direct Line gained entry into the FTSE 100. In 2018 Direct Line reported a revenue of £3,306.7m.

In 2017, the group invested in three ventures: The Floow on March 7th, PawSquad on June 5th, and Canopy on October 4th.

In April 2019 Direct Line Group launched Darwin, a direct-to-consumer provider of motor insurance. On top of standard car insurance, consumers can add extras to their policy such as breakdown cover, guaranteed hire car plus and motor legal protection.

In June 2019 Direct Line Group partnered with digital challenger bank Starling to enable Starling current account holders to apply for home insurance directly through the Starling app's Marketplace.

Later that same year, in November, Direct Line partnered with car subscription startup Drover to provide insurance for its consumer vehicle base.

In July 2020 Direct Line Group acquired contents insurtech Brolly for an undisclosed amount, taking on its team and tech platform.

In May 2021 Direct Line expanded its telematics partnership with The Floow, with the launch of a smartphone app-only version of DrivePlus. DrivePlus originally began as a black box proposition. The new fully digital experience aims to increase road safety and make insurance more accessible to young drivers, with potential savings of up to 20% available.

In April 2023 the company acquired By Miles, a pay-per-mile insurer that launched in 2016. By Miles, which raised $26.5 million in funding, has sold over 100k policies since launching and it currently has 50k customers, writing £26m of gross written premium. In 2021, By Miles introduced By Bits, a platform for insurers to create usage-based car insurance products. With this latest acquisition, Direct Line is further advancing its strategy of "creating easy, digital-first journeys for customers to find the right motor insurance cover."

Map showing the location of Direct Line Group

Beckenham, United Kingdom

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Key people

Mark Evans Marketing Director
Jose Vazquez Chief Risk Officer
Sarah Greasley CTO
Phoebe Hugh Head of New Products
Adam Whiteley Director of Household Development & Other Personal Lines
Mike Biggs Chairman
Steve Maddock COO
Ranjeet Athwal Enterprise (Integration) Architect
Penny James CEO
Tim Harris CFO
Ash Jokhoo CIO
Danuta Gray Chairman
Jane Poole Chief Financial Officer