Where will we grow next?

20 years of progress with no sign of stopping

We’ve come a long way since our early days as the Budget Insurance Company. From five insurance executives to a multi-million pound business. From an insurance underwriter to a major financial services company. From paperless trailblazers to price comparison pioneers.

This expansion has been achieved through a combination of organic growth, start-up businesses and a number of strategic acquisitions. Since becoming the BGL Group in 2007, we have grown to serve the needs of more than 8 million customers and now employ more than 2,700 people.

1992

1992

1992

Budget Insurance Company formed

Five executives of South African company, Auto and General, form Budget Insurance Company. Trading as an underwriter of motor insurance, they become the only company in the UK to issue monthly policies.

1997

1997

1997

Reformed as an intermediary

Peter Winslow leads a strategic change to reform the company as Budget Insurance Services, an insurance broker underwritten by a panel of leading UK insurers. It also begins selling annual policies, bringing it in line with the UK market. The Budget website launches.

1999

1999

1999

High-street acquisition

Budget acquires high-street brokerage, Arnott Century, bringing future CEO, Matthew Donaldson, into the group. The size of the customer file increases by 220,000 overnight. Shops are re-branded as Budget Insurance Services and the Budget home insurance product is launched.

2001

2001

2001

Purchase of Dial Direct and Bennetts

Budget acquires the insurance intermediary group, Dial Direct, which includes the brands Dial (motor insurance) and Bennetts (motorcycle insurance). This brings in over 270,000 additional customers. The secondary product range expands to include motor finance and personal accident insurance.

2002

2002

2002

Brand partnerships launched

Budget forms its affinity business, Junction, offering outsourcing insurance sales and services to major high-street and financial services brands. Over the next few years, Junction wins contracts with Bradford & Bingley, M&S Money, Debenhams, the Post Office and others.

2003

2003

2003

First travel insurance products

Budget’s claims arm, ACM, is restructured to administer Uninsured Loss Recovery. Travel and life insurance products are launched under the Budget consumer brand.

2005

2005

2005

One million policies

Budget celebrates reaching one million policies.

2006

2006

2006

Time to comparethemarket

comparethemarket.com is launched. Leading websites, including Auto Trader, MORE TH>N and moneysavingexpert.com, quickly establish partnerships with the price comparison site. The year also sees the launch of Budget Van Insurance, backed by the high-profile marketing campaign, “It’s a van man thing!”

2007

2007

2007

Budget becomes BGL

Budget Group of Companies changes its name to BGL Group and delivers record profits of £43 million. This represents a year-on-year growth of 93 per cent. We are chosen as ‘one to watch’ in the Sunday Times’ PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Profit Track 100 rankings report.

2008

2008

2008

Sending athletes to Beijing

As BGL’s CSR activity continues to grow, our Fusion contact centre sites help athletes compete in the Beijing Olympics by providing them with financial support. We report our 11th year of record profit growth in personal lines.

2009

2009

2009

Introducing Aleksandr Orlov

Aleksandr the meerkat makes his first appearance in the revolutionary new advertising campaign for comparethemarket.com. Junction signs new five-year deals with Auto Trader, the Post Office and the RAC.

2010

2010

2010

Expansion into Europe

BGL Group makes its first move into the French market, acquiring French price comparison business, LesFurets.com. BGL Trekkers complete a gruelling South African charity challenge raising £104K for the NSPCC.

2011

2011

2011

BGL Super Skills Rugby Challenge

Further growth leads to 80 new jobs for Fusion in Coventry. We also receive planning permission to expand our Peterborough head office with two new buildings. The BGL Super Skills Rugby Challenge sees local children train with England rugby stars at Twickenham.

2012

2012

2012

BGL goes Dutch with a new comparison site

We acquire leading Dutch insurance price comparison company www.Verzekeringssite.nl, rebrand our French price comparison business www.LesFurets.com and launch a new life insurance brand ‘Beagle Street’. Bennetts becomes the first UK brand to build a social network for the biking audience. The Group raises £1 million for good causes.

2013

2013

2013

Legal acquisition

We launch our new motor insurance brand, Auto & General, and acquire law firm, Minster Law. Our head office refurbishment reaches completion. Olympic gold medallist, Katherine Grainger, opens a new onsite gym for Peterborough employees.

2014

2014

2014

£1million to good causes

Ahead of time, we get a third of the way towards our strategic goal of donating £3m by 2017. We build a new primary school in Zambia, exceeding our fundraising goals thanks to the hard work of the Zambia team and the participants in the Row the Thames challenge.

2015

2015

2015

We go to Hollywood

comparethemarket.com went to Hollywood in 2015 with the launch of MEERKAT MOVIES, a new reward for customers giving them two for one cinema tickets.

We also traveled to Laos to visit the gravity-flow water systems that were funded by BGL and now provide clean water to six rural villages, dramatically improving the lives of over 3,400 people.

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