By Steve Murrells, CEO
I’m delighted to be able to share with you that today we’ve successfully completed the sale of our insurance underwriting business.
This is a really important milestone for a number of reasons. The sale enables us to unlock the potential of the Co-op Insurance business under a revised operating model to significantly increase our insurance footprint across the UK.
Until now, we’ve underwritten all our own direct car and home insurance products. The sale means we’ll now focus on developing and distributing products through Co-op Insurance Services (CISL), and we’ll be able to provide a much broader and competitive range of products and services for our members and customers.
Today marks the start of a 13-year partnership agreement with Markerstudy on car and home insurance. Working with Markerstudy and other partner underwriters will help CISL create a wider range of compelling products and services that reflect our Co-op values.
There’ll be no change to the cover provided by an existing Co-op Insurance policy, and customers can continue to use all existing customer service channels for any queries related to their policies.
The £185m sale provides us with the capital and agility to build our Insurance business, and to invest further across our other Co-op business areas.
It has taken considerable time and effort to get to this stage and thanks are due both to the colleagues who made this deal happen and, even more so, to those who have TUPE transferred with the sale. Despite a protracted period of uncertainty, latterly while also dealing with the challenges posed by the pandemic, they’ve stayed focused on delivering for our members and customers.
Our colleagues were our utmost priority when choosing a suitable buyer for our insurance underwriting business and this deal maximises the number of ongoing roles and minimises the number of redundancies.
It’s pleasing that Markerstudy is retaining operations in Manchester, Bury St Edmunds and Nottingham, the three office locations at which transferring colleagues are based.
Some 940 colleagues TUPE transferred to Markerstudy today with 13 transferring instead to Soteria Insurance (formerly CISGIL), which is owned by Markerstudy and its business partners. Importantly, about 30 colleagues will remain within the Co-op Group until the end of a transitional services agreement when they’ll also TUPE transfer to Markerstudy.
We wish those colleagues leaving the Co-op family all the best and we look forward to working with Markerstudy and other partners as we grow our insurance business and provide our members with the products they need.