Car Insurance - AXA UK announces acquisition of swiftcover.com

Thursday, 01 February 2007

Acquisition strengthens AXA UK's position in the provision of personal lines insurance direct to consumers.

AXA UK announced today that it is to acquire the UK's only 100% online insurer, swiftcover.com, jointly owned by international insurer Primary Group and Swiftcover's management. The transaction is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain conditions including regulatory approval.

swiftcover.com is one of the most dynamic businesses on the UK personal direct market, with net inflows of 120,000 policies in 2006. This performance is based on a combination of successful marketing and competitive offers, which benefit from the efficient cost structure of Swiftcover's 100% internet model.

Peter Hubbard, Chief Executive of AXA Insurance, said: "We are extremely pleased to have agreed terms for the purchase of Swiftcover, which further strengthens our distribution platform and gives us greater access to personal lines customers. We have underwritten a significant proportion of Swiftcover's business since its launch and know the potential of this franchise. We intend to build on Swiftcover's strong brand and powerful operating model to deliver an additional revenue and earnings stream for AXA UK." 

Andrew Blowers, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Swiftcover, said: "We identified a gap in the UK insurance market to offer consumers a totally online experience and, by cutting out the cost of call centres, save them money too. With swiftcover.com, we have built a successful brand that has recently achieved a prompted awareness level of 24%. We have made enormous strides with the help of the Primary Group but, going forward, I firmly believe that AXA are the right partner to help us grow the business and achieve our objectives."

Philip James, Chief Executive of Primary Group, said: "We are pleased to have been able to support Swiftcover to the point where its future development potential will be enhanced by a close association with AXA."

swiftcover.com claims to save 70% of people money on their insurance because it is totally internet based enabling efficient management of the insurance process, and allows customers full control of their insurance needs any time of the day or night. Customers can:

·         Get a quote

·         Buy a policy

·         Make and track a claim

·         Make changes to their policy

·         Check premium payments

·         Read and print both policy and other documents

 

The company's brand has been built through a series of high-profile advertisements and will continue to trade under the swiftcover.com name.

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Enquiries

                Phil Hickley          Corporate Affairs Manager                020 7920 5135

                Steve Muir            PR Manager                                   020 7920 5136

               

Notes to Editors

AXA UKis a part of the AXA Group.AXA Group is a worldwide leader in Financial Protection. AXA's operations are diverse geographically, with major operations in Western Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific area. IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 79 billion for full year 2006.
The AXA ordinary share is listed and trades under the symbol AXA on the Paris Stock Exchange. The AXA American Depository Share is also listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol AXA.

Our previous company performance is not a guide to how we may perform in the future.

swiftcover.com is the UK's only 100% online insurance provider and offers a car insurance quote in under 60 seconds. Swiftcover's car and travel insurance won the General Insurance Website of the Year Award at the 2005 Insurance Times Awards. It also won the Marketing Campaign of the Year Award at the 2006 Insurance Age Awards. Swiftcover is based near Woking, Surrey with an administration centre near Stockton on Tees and employs approximately 120 people.

Primary Group Limited is a Bermudan based insurance distribution business with broking, underwriting and insurance capabilities. The Group employs over 1,000 members of employees located throughout the world. Office locations include Bermuda, United Kingdom, Ireland, China, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and the United States of America.

 

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