Fee and commission income (1998):

Fee and commission income (1998):

Pre-tax profit (1998):

Head office:
Anson House
Schooner Court
Tel: 01322 626 262
Fax: 01322 280 179

website: www.woolwich.co.uk

Major shareholder:

Chief officer:
Andy Dimbleby, managing director

Company history:
Woolwich Insurance Services was established in 1995. A member of the Woolwich Group, the company's primary area of business is the provision of home and family-related insurance services. Its product portfolio includes buildings and contents, motor, pet and travel insurance.

It plans to develop other insurance services in response to customer demand. In 1997, the company focused on building its retail business and investing in branch advisers. In parallel, there was a succession of new products, including motor (January 1997), travel (February 1997) and pet (August 1997) products.

The company has its own distribution network providing insurance policies direct to the public via Woolwich branches on the high street, over the telephone and through the internet.

Woolwich Insurance Services says this makes it totally responsive to its market, equipped to provide an accessible, fast and comprehensive personal insurance service.

The implementation of sophisticated information technology systems has also strengthened the busi-ness. Investment in updated insurance processing systems has allowed better rating, increased product flexibility and reduced paperwork.

Improvements to claims handling processes have also significantly shortened response times to within two hours in emergencies. These efficiencies, together with its dedicated call centre, have significantly improved Woolwich Insurance Service's competitiveness.

The genesis of Woolwich Insurance Services resulted from the Woolwich Group's commitment to be a leading provider of financial services to its customer base.

The group's businesses cover the areas of lending, investing and protecting.

The Woolwich Group, and its long-standing business partner Legal & General, created a joint venture in 1995/96 by combining the branch network and sales skills of the Woolwich Group and Legal & General's technical, regulatory and actuarial expertise.

The underwriting arm of the partnership is Gresham Insurance Company. Woolwich Insurance Services is the distribution and marketing company for the joint venture.

Woolwich Insurance Services' specific objective is to make the Woolwich name synonymous with general insurance for home and family needs.

Building on its parent company's expertise and capitalising on the strength of the Woolwich brand, Woolwich Insurance Services has made considerable progress. From a standing start five years ago, the company has around half a million policies in force.

The fact that Gresham underwrites only Woolwich Insurance Services' products yields distinct benefits, most notably control over product development and pricing. This enables the company to match its services precisely to customer requirements and enhance quality and value.

Main lines of business:
Buildings, contents, motor, pet, travel and mortgage payment protection

Number of UK branches: