esure was founded in 2000 by Chairman, Peter Wood, to offer competitive insurance cover by using the Internet as a primary sales channel. Mr Wood pioneered the direct selling of insurance over the telephone back in 1985, when he launched Direct Line. With esure, his aim was to go a step further and harness the efficiency of the Internet to give a better deal to responsible drivers and careful homeowners.
From the outset, our goal was to offer superior service - on both the internet and phone - while using technologically advanced systems and underwriting to keep premiums low.
In just a few years, esure became one of the fastest growing insurers ever, with over 1 million customers joining us before our 5th birthday. Overall, esure has received numerous accolades for the quality of our cover and online services as well as our innovative marketing.
The company took another major step forward with the launch of the Sheilas' Wheels brand in 2005, initially offering just car insurance. Sheilas' Wheels has gone on to be one of the most recognised female insurance brands in the UK. Sheilas' Wheels home insurance was launched in 2008 and, more recently, Sheilas' Wheels travel insurance in January 2010.
In February 2010, Peter Wood led a management buy-out of the stake in esure originally held by Halifax/HBOS and latterly Lloyds Banking Group.
The esure brand was announced to the press in February 2000 and launched to the public in July 2001.
The company started out with less than 50 staff in offices in Wallington, Surrey, before moving to our Head Office in Reigate, Surrey.
Following its launch, esure quickly established itself as one of the freshest and most competitive insurers in the market. Car insurance sales grew rapidly with large numbers of internet and telephone customers switching to esure.
We officially launched esure home insurance in September 2001. Our contents cover includes a range of customer-friendly benefits such as our enhanced cover for garden contents and office equipment in the home and also features esure's 'pest cover' option which covers the costs associated with the removal of infestation by wasps' and hornets' nests, rats and squirrels.
By popular request, esure travel insurance was launched in January 2003. Our benefits include reduced prices for single parents who buy a family policy when compared with other policies where the definition of a family automatically includes two adults. This was followed by Pet Insurance, offering cover for cats and dogs.
In November 2011, we moved into the Broker market. We realised that no single car insurer can offer cover to every driver, which is why there are so many insurers to choose from as they target different types of motorist. We have carefully selected a panel of insurers to join esure broker that offer insurance to drivers who don’t fit esure’s usual underwriting criteria. So a driver with say a high value, high performance car or a number of recent claims on their record could still be part of esure with esure broker.
esure's largest office - The Equinox in Glasgow - was opened in May 2002. Originally our plan was to house 400 staff there after five years. This changed rapidly with esure's expansion and staff numbers passed this number in just over two years. In 2003, in recognition of our rapid expansion in Glasgow, The Equinox was chosen to host the launch of the Financial Services Strategy Group for Scotland - a group on which our Chairman Peter Wood sat. The launch was led by Scotland's First Minister, Jack McConnell.
Our presence in Manchester - formerly in offices in Cheadle Hulme - took a huge step forward when esure moved into its state-of-the-art office, The Meridian, in central Manchester in April 2004.
Today across all of our offices, esure employs over 1,500 staff and has call centres that are located only in the UK.
esure's marketing has attracted a disproportionate amount of attention and comment since the brand's launch in 2001. Our campaigns featuring Michael Winner - which spawned the catchphrase: 'Calm down, Dear... it's a commercial' have attracted huge attention - with many people finding them the marketing equivalent of an unscratchable itch.
The adverts were shortlisted for the 2003 National Business Awards in the Advertiser of the Year category, and helped to generate huge national awareness. In 2005, esure introduced a new icon in its advertising to promote our Internet benefits - Mister Mouse - before returning once again to feature Michael Winner in a new series of ads in November 2006.
In 2005, esure launched a new brand targeted at women drivers. Sheilas' Wheels has become iconic since launch thanks to its singing and dancing TV ads featuring three pink-clad 'Sheilas'. Sheilas' Wheels was designed to introduce a range of benefits that women would find helpful but - contrary to some people's beliefs - is also available for men either on their own or as part of their partners' policies.
Now that you’ve read all about us, why not join us? We have a dedicated site where you can find out more about us and our plans for the future. You’ll find out what we do, where we are and what some of our team think about working at esure. And if all that interests you, you’ll also find out about our latest opportunities in Reigate, Manchester and Glasgow and an online application form. So, why not visit www.bepartofesure.com