Insurer Direct Line to appear on price comparison sites for the first time

Insurer Direct Line to appear on price comparison sites for the first time

Direct Line will be featured on price comparison sites for the first time.

The insurer previously boasted it was not involved in companies such as Moneysupermarket and Go Compare, but after reviewing the business in a bid to revive its falling share price, the company changed its approach.

Adam Winslow, who took over as chief executive of the London-listed home and motor insurer four months ago, said: “Over the past five years, price comparison websites have continued to increase their share of new business from 80% to 90%… Winning on price comparison websites is critical to our growth.”

Direct Line, which also owns Churchill and Green Flag, said it would initially launch on price comparison websites with a new suite of motor insurance products. Direct Line is one of the UK’s largest motor insurers.

Mr Winslow added: “Our presence on these platforms will enable us to reach more customers, alongside our strong direct sales offering.”

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “Direct Line is finally giving in and putting its motor insurance policies on price comparison sites. It’s a big change and a significant event for the company.

“General insurance is a highly competitive market and unless a provider accepts low margins by being the cheapest, they risk being placed lower than the rankings some people will look at when scrolling for deals.”

Direct Line, which has been struggling with losses and profitability at its motor insurance arm, has reiterated plans to make cost savings of at least £100m by 2025.

Winslow said layoffs could also be part of that plan.

“One of my observations is that this is an insurance business that has lost its technical edge,” he said. “It’s important to openly acknowledge the missteps of the past few years.”

The company will also exit or stop investing in some businesses, such as pets and travel.