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|Industry||Finance and insurance|
|Douw Steyn (founder)|
Number of employees
BGL Group is a financial services company based in Orton Southgate, Peterborough, England. Its main lines of business are vehicle and home insurance, with a range of supplementary products such as breakdown cover, legal protection and personal accident cover. In 2013 it added life insurance through the Beagle Street brand.
The company was founded in 1992 by Douw Steyn as the Budget Insurance Company, an underwriter. Budget Insurance Services was founded in 1997 and the following year Budget Insurance Company ceased underwriting and became an intermediary business, marketing policies underwritten by a panel of insurers. In 1999 it acquired Arnott Century, and changed its name to Budget Retail. The group acquired Dial Direct and Bennetts in 2001. In 2002 it launched an affinity business,[clarification needed] called Junction which was a major contributor to its growth through partners such as Post Office, M&S Money, Bradford & Bingley, and Yes Insurance.
In 2003, the company launched its own uninsured loss recovery business, ACM ULR, and in the same year it ran a PR and marketing campaign for Bennetts, helping to establish the bike insurer as a leading brand in the UK market. In 2004, Budget was noted as providing the most competitive home insurance, and the cheapest motor insurance cover.
The company opened its Cape Town Contact Centre in 2004, set up Comparethemarket.com as a complimentary service in 2005, and sold Budget Retail in 2006. In July 2007 the company changed its name to BGL Group, launching an eco-friendly car insurance site, ibuyeco.co.uk, and relaunching the comparethemarket.com insurance price comparison site.
The year 2009 saw the creation of comparethemeerkat.com – online meerkat comparison website as part of a spoof advertising campaign featuring a CGI meerkat character named Aleksandr Orlov. French price comparison sites LesFurets.com and CreditMieux.com were acquired in 2010, and Dutch site Verzekeringssite.nl was acquired in 2012. The latter was rebranded as hoyhoy.nl in 2014.
In 2013, BGL group launched Beagle Street, the first online-only life insurer in the UK.
The group's main company name is BISL Limited which was founded in 1996 – trading under the names of Budget, Dial Direct, Bennetts, Junction, ACM ULR, Fusion (no connection with the UK commercial insurer of the same name, established in 2001), and Comparethemarket.com.
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