Team leader says deal is a ‘perfect fit’

Direct Line Group has acquired insurtech By Miles as it looks to strengthen “digital-first” journeys for customers, a statement released yesterday (24 April 2023) revealed.

By Miles’ cloud-based platform supports car insurance products that allow customers to pay only for the miles they drive.

It has sold over 100,000 policies since its launch in 2016 and currently has around 50,000 customers, writing £26m of gross written premium.

Andy Broadfield, who leads Direct Line Group’s Ecosystems team, said purchasing By Miles was an “exciting prospect”.

“It’s a perfect fit because we’re creating easy, digital-first journeys to enable customers to pick the motor insurance cover that best suits them,” he said.

“Combining our customer-friendly brands, underwriting and data expertise with By Miles’ innovative connected car capability and engaging customer proposition is an exciting prospect.

”We can’t wait to get started because it provides exciting potential for the group to meet more of the needs of more customers.”

’Negligible impact’

This comes following a tough 2022 for Direct Line – the group saw its profits nosedive after it was hit by the highest level of claims from major weather events since it listed a decade ago.

The insurer’s full year underlying gross written premiums fell 3.2% to £2.97bn last year, while its combined operating ratio (COR) also soared from 89.5% to 105.8%.

In January 2023, Penny James stepped down from her role as chief executive.

Direct Line, which already underwrites By Miles’ new business, said the acquisition of the business “has negligible impact” on the group’s capital position.

James Blackham, chief executive of By Miles, said: “When we started By Miles back in 2016, we wanted to build a new kind of insurance that would better fit the lives of drivers today and would continue evolving to support the way drivers get around in the future.

“Direct Line’s underwriting data and insight, commitment to customer experience and comprehensive knowledge of building household brands chimes perfectly with our mission of bringing the benefits of fair, data-led pricing to as many UK drivers as possible.

“Having proven the demand for usage-based insurance, we’ve made great progress building out our connected car data platform.

”With these solid foundations and the support of Direct Line, we’re excited to take our business to the next stage.”