Gross written premium (1999):

Gross written premium (1999):

Royal Bank of Scotland

Year company established:

UK head office:
Direct Line House
3 Edridge Road
tel: 020 8686 3313
fax: 020 8681 0512


Company history:
When Direct Line was launched in 1985, it was the first insurance company to use the telephone as its primary sales tool. Cutting out the middleman and commissions by selling motor insurance direct to the public, the company was able to reduce premiums for millions of drivers in the UK.

Today, Direct Line has around 2.7 million customers for motor insurance and more than 950,000 policyholders for home insurance.

Chief officer:
Ian Chippendale, group chief executive

Ian Chippendale, 50, joined Direct Line Insurance on March 1, 1996. He took over from Peter Wood as chief executive in June 1997.

He came from Privilege Insurance - the Peter Wood/Royal Bank of Scotland joint venture direct motor insurer - where he had been chief executive since the company's inauguration in February 1994. He was responsible for the launch of Privilege in October 1994 and its subsequent successful development.

He was previously at Provident Financial, where he was an executive director from 1989, with overall responsibility for the group's operating companies in the insurance sector and for the group's corporate development

UK branch offices:

UK staff:

Main classes of business:
motor, home, rescue , travel and pet

Key general insurance personnel:
Mike Flaherty, director of strategy
Steve Clarke, group finance director
Richard Beal, director of group IT
Annette Court, managing director, direct
Carole Swetenham, director of group human resources
Stephen Geraghty, managing director, Green Flag Group
Miles Russell, head of corporate affairs
Chris McKee, managing director, international
Andy Cornish, managing director, group insurance services
Oliver Prill, managing director, ecommerce