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Who owns your insurer?

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August 8, 2007
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We reveal who owns different car insurance brands and comparison sites, to show you that comparing quotes isn’t always as objective as it may seem

Back in 2007, we wrote a blog post about a spat between Direct Line and Confused, in which the owners of the little wheeled telephones accused the comparison websites of a host of misdemeanours. One of the complaints that Direct Line made about the aggregators was about the ownership of the comparison sites. It suggested, we suppose, that perhaps the price comparison sites might be biased in favour of their owners.

What most people don’t realise is that many of the competing brands of insurance advertising on your TV screens every day are all owned by a relatively few companies, and very little mention is made of the links between them.

Direct Line have been very quick to point out the following ownership issues with the aggregators. But after reading this article, you might decide that they have been lobbing stones in their own glass dwelling.

Who owns car insurance comparison sites?

  • Confused.com is owned by Admiral. Yes, that Admiral. They also own elephant.co.uk, Bell Direct and Diamond, the women’s car insurance specialist, and Gladiator for commercial vehicle insurance. It also owns international brands, including: Compare.com and Elephant Insurance in the USA; Balumba, Qualitas Auto and WiYou in Spain; Rastreator in Spain and Mexico; ConTe.it in Italy; and L’olivier – assurance auto and LeLynx in France.
  • GoCompare is independent but owns MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, an online voucher code business, and also Energylinx, an energy comparison and switching specialist.
  • Compare the Market (comparethemarket.com) is owned by Budget Group, known as BGL Group. It also owns Beagle Street (BeagleStreet.com), Budget Insurance, Dial Direct, Junction (Partnerships) and Les Furets (LesFurets.com) in France.
  • MoneySupermarket is independent and a FTSE listed company. However, MoneySupermarket bought the independent advice site MoneySavingExpert and own TravelSupermarket (TravelSupermarket.com).
  • Vast Visibility (vast:visibility) is one of the smaller comparison sites out there. It is behind the brands The Bike Insurer, MCN Compare (MCNcompare.com), Asda Money, mustard.co.uk, Auto Trader and Parkers.

Who owns car insurance companies?

Here’s a breakdown of who owns which insurance company:

Who does Esure group own?

  • Sheilas’ Wheels
  • First Alternative
  • Esure Broker

Who does Acorn Insurance own?

  • Granite Underwriting.

Who does Ageas Insurance own?

  • Auto Direct
  • Castle Cover
  • Cover Direct
  • Done Deal
  • Express Insurance
  • RIAS (over 50s insurance specialists)

It also owns a majority share of Tesco Underwriting, the Tesco car and home insurance offering.

Who does Markerstudy Group own?

  • Markerstudy Insurance
  • Chaucer Motor
  • Zenith Insurance
  • Auto Windscreens
  • Lancaster Insurance Brokers
  • The Insurance Factory
  • Zenith Direct
  • Chaucer Direct
  • BDML Insurance
  • The Policy Shop
  • Supercover
  • Masterquote

Who does Ardonagh Group own?

  • Towergate
  • Autonet
  • Chase Templeton
  • Price Forbes
  • Direct Group
  • Carole Nash
  • Footman James
  • Just Motorcycle Insurance

Who does A-Plan own?

  • KGM Insurance
  • Endsleigh Insurance

Who does Aviva own?

Aviva is one of the well-known insurers who only deal direct, or do they? Aviva owns the General Accident brand and Quote me Happy (Quotemehappy.com).

Who does BGL Group own?

  • Budget Insurance
  • Dial Direct

Who does Complete Cover own?

  • Mulsanne Insurance
  • Quote A Car
  • My Motor Quote
  • Insure Your Motor
  • 4 Young Drivers
  • Girl Motor
  • Hyperformance
  • ESInsure

Who does Saga own?

  • Acromas Insurance Company Limited, who underwrite for AA.
  • Saga Services Limited
  • Direct Choice
  • Bennetts (motorbike broker)

Who does Royal & SunAlliance own?

  • More Than
  • John Lewis home insurance
  • Echoice

Who does Liberty Mutual Insurance Company own?

  • Hughes Insurance Brokers

Who does AXA own?

  • Swiftcover

Who does Covea own?

  • Swinton
  • Its4me
  • Bullseye

Who does First Central own?

  • Skyfire Insurance Company
  • First Central Insurance Management Limited (1ST CENTRAL)

Who does Brightside own?

  • Brightside Insurance
  • Commercial Vehicle Direct
  • One Insurance Solution
  • ProSport Insurance

Who does iGO4 own?

  • Hastings Direct SmartMiles Insurance
  • Wisedriving

Who does One Call Insurance own?

  • One Call Commercial
  • One Call Debt Recovery
  • One Quick Quote

Who does Complete Cover own?

  • Mulsanne insurance
  • Allen & Allen
  • Complete Car Cover
  • Complete Car Express
  • Complete Car EXTRA+
  • Complete Driver Cover
  • Complete Home Cover
  • Complete Travel Cover
  • Complete Van Cover
  • Complete Van Express
  • Complete Van EXTRA +
  • Fare Cover
  • Hyper Hotline
  • Insure It All
  • Prestige Keep Moving
  • Quote a Car
  • Quote a Van

Who does Right Choice Insurance Brokers own?

  • AutoAid Breakdown
  • Autonational Breakdown
  • Autonational Rescue
  • Bike Devil
  • Eurorescue Breakdown
  • Naked Pet
  • Pink Pound Insurance
  • RCIB

Who does Vantage Insurance Services own?

  • Ladybird
  • First Insurance
  • Autosaint
  • Fresh Insurance
  • Crusader Insurance
  • ClubCare
  • Shield

Who does Hastings Insurance own?

  • Hastings Direct
  • People’s Choice
  • Insure Pink

Who does Sabre Insurance own?

  • Go Girl brand
  • insure2drive
  • Drive Smart

There are more like this, but finally, we come to…

Insurance companies owned by RBS Group

  • Direct Line
  • Churchill
  • Privilege
  • NIG
  • Green Flag
  • UK Insurance Limited
  • ATS Euromaster Motor Insurance
  • BMW Fleet Insurance
  • BMW Insurance
  • Churchill Car Insurance
  • Churchill Home Insurance
  • Churchill Insurance
  • Churchill Insurance policies
  • Churchill Pet Insurance
  • Churchill Travel Insurance
  • Churchill Van Insurance
  • Citroen Insurance
  • DialDirectFinance
  • Direct Line Car Insurance
  • Direct Line Commercial Vehicle Insurance
  • Direct Line for Business
  • Direct Line fuel & go
  • Direct Line Home Insurance
  • Direct Line Insurance
  • Direct Line Insurance policies
  • Direct Line Pet Insurance
  • Direct Line Select
  • Direct Line Travel Insurance
  • Direct Line Van Insurance
  • Directline.com
  • Egg Insurance
  • Green Flag Motoring Assistance
  • Lombard
  • Lombard Direct Home Insurance
  • Lombard Direct Motor Insurance
  • Lombard Vehicle Management Fleet Insurance
  • MBNA Car Insurance
  • MBNA Home Insurance
  • MINI Cover
  • MINI Insurance
  • Mint Insurance
  • National Insurance and Guarantee Corporation
  • Nationwide Car Insurance
  • Nationwide Home Insurance
  • Nationwide Home Insurance Essentials
  • Natwest Fleet Insurance
  • Natwest Home Response 24
  • Natwest Insurance
  • Natwest One Home Insurance
  • Natwest Pet Insurance
  • NIG
  • NIG Insurance
  • NIG Insurance policies
  • Peugeot Insurance
  • Privilege
  • Privilege Breakdown
  • Privilege Business Insurance
  • Privilege Car Insurance
  • Privilege Home Insurance
  • Privilege Insurance
  • Privilege Insurance policies
  • Privilege Motor Insurance
  • Privilege Plus
  • Prudential Car Insurance
  • Prudential Home Insurance
  • Royal Bank Insurance
  • Royal Bank of Scotland Fleet Insurance
  • Royal London Home Insurance
  • Royal London Motor Insurance
  • Royal London Pet Insurance
  • Royalties Insurance
  • Sainsbury’s Car Insurance
  • Sainsbury’s Home Insurance
  • Sainsbury’s Premier Car Insurance
  • Sainsbury’s Premier Cover Home Insurance
  • The National Insurance and Guarantee Corporation
  • The One Account Home Insurance
  • Ulster Bank Home Insurance
  • Virgin One Home Insurance
  • Virgin Pet Insurance
  • Yourcar Insurance

Of course, we’re sure none of those brand affinity deals count as middle men, at least to Direct Line’s way of thinking. And I’m sure Direct Line think that everyone must know that they are part of a larger insurance group, otherwise they wouldn’t have made such a big fuss over the ownership of the price comparison sites. And we’re sure that none of the RBS Group would ever use a price comparison site, much less run one, given the arguments put forward so forcefully by Direct Line.

It must be another company that started up the now-defunct tescocompare.com, then, registering the domain name and taking out a trademark. And it must be a different RBS Insurance “whose brands include Direct Line and Churchill” and is “understood to have invested millions of pounds in the venture”. Sure enough, tescocompare launched with a whole load of RBS Group brands offering quote comparisons “that you can’t get anywhere else” (although no Direct Line, of course) along with a large quota of HBOS (Halifax and Bank of Scotland) companies. The service has since ceased trading.

The lesson? Ring around for your car insurance quotes

All this makes me very grateful to work for a family-owned specialist car insurance company – my life would be very confusing if I had to reconcile multiple sets of brand values that were pulling in different and mutually contradictory directions!

But for you as a customer: beware. Make sure that when you ring round you are actually getting quotes from more than one company.

Why not start by getting a quote from us? We impartially check our panel of over 40 insurance schemes to get you the best deal. Get in touch on 0330 123 1232 or request a callback.

Note: Original post written in 2007. Last updated November 2018.

12 responses to “Who owns your insurer?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    >Does Adrian Flux still own Herts Insurance Consulants because it’s not obvious from their website??

  2. Dave Wilson says:

    >Hi there,

    Yes we do own HIC, but we don’t exactly keep it a secret – I’ve mentioned them several times on this blog, and news about Herts is published here too. I also post to the Herts blog.

    There are limits to how far we can interlink between the sites without it looking like we’re trying to spam the search engines.

    It’s perhaps worth pointing out that as HIC is run as an entirely separate entity and have their own relationships with underwriters, they have access to different schemes than we do – so if you want a classic or modified car quote, it’s well worth giving both companies a ring – Flux on 08000 83 88 33 and HIC on 08451 291 291. This may not be the case when an insurer buys a broker – there will probably be pressure to pick that company’s scheme over others that might be available, with the result that the customer’s interests are sidelined.

    I’ve got no problem with any of these insurers owning as many companies as they like, but for one of those companies to launch a nationwide TV campaign on the back of the ownership of a competitor is a little bit rich.

  3. Insurance Blog says:

    >It will be interesting to see how
    Tesco
    will hit the market. They are going to be bringing on big brands, not available on other comparison sites.


    Tesco Compare
    goes live tomorrow!

  4. Steve says:

    >Direct line have been on moneysupermarket (landlords insurance) section recently!

  5. Discount Landlord Insurance says:

    >A very informative blog on the insurance market – which clearly identified the background and situation of all the big insurance comparison websites. WELL DONE.

  6. Anonymous says:

    >http://www.moneysupermarket.com/landlord-insurance

    direct line:- "You wont find us on any price comparison sites!"

  7. marcwilson says:

    I’m confused (.com?)

    Who owns Diamond: AIG, or Admiral?

  8. Adi says:

    Good article, a mention of Ageas and their white label brands would be a good addition

  9. Arujuna says:

    Great information. Just in time for my home insurance renewal. Gives me a very good idea now.

  10. Catherine O'Driscoll, CHC says:

    The next question is who (as in human being) owns the companies that own the insurance companies?

    • The Secret Scouser says:

      companies are entities in themselves. the answer you’re looking for is either a) the shareholders or b) our reptilian overlords




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