British Insurance Services

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British Insurance Services
Trading Style
IndustryFinancial services
Key people
Gary Duggan, CEO Paymentshield Limited
ParentTowergate Underwriting Group Limited

British Insurance Services is an insurance provider based in Southport, Merseyside, offering payment protection insurance and home insurance. The company is an online-only insurance provider which sells its policies independently of loan providers.[1] It is a subsidiary of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited, and had gross written premiums of around £12 million as of 2012.


The company was set up in 2003 by husband and wife Simon and Sara Burgess, under the name Burgesses.[2] It changed its name to British Insurance in 2005, after gaining permission from the then Secretary of State for Industry to use the word ‘British’ in the company title.[1]

In 2006 the company was reported to be insuring three sisters from Inverness, Scotland, against the possibility of a virgin birth. It had provided a £1 million policy to cover the cost of child-raising in the event of one of them giving birth to the Second Coming of Christ.[3] The company told BBC News Online that it had been donating the premiums of £100 per year to charity. It withdrew the policy in 2006 following complaints; Burgess said that the Catholic Church was "up in arms about what we've been doing".[3] The company also insured a football fan for £1 million against suffering severe mental trauma if England were knocked out of the 2006 World Cup prematurely.[4]

British Insurance was acquired by Towergate in 2008 for an estimated £25 million.[2] Existing staff, including the founders, were retained as part of the deal.[5] Simon Burgess continued as managing director until 2010. Following his departure, Nel Mooy was appointed as managing director.[6]

In 2013, the business was transferred within the Towergate Group and is now a trading style of Southport-based income protection and household insurance provider Paymentshield Limited.


The company's awards include:


  • The Money Awards: Outstanding Achievement Award.[7]


  • Personal Finance: Outstanding Online Insurance Provider.[8]
  • Mortgage Finance Gazette: Best Overall Insurance Provider and Ambassador Award[9]


  • Mortgage Finance Gazette: Excellence in Treating Customers Fairly (financial service product provider category)[10]
  • Investment International: Best Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance Provider[11]
  • What Mortgage: Best Online Insurance Provider[12]
  • Investment International: Best Overall Insurance Provider[9]
  • Global Business Excellence: Outstanding Consumer Champion (Simon Burgess)[13]


  1. ^ a b "About Us". British Insurance Services. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  2. ^ a b Milner, Leah (26 August 2009). "Simon and Sara Burgess to set up provider". Money Marketing. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Sisters lose second coming cover". BBC News Online. 22 June 2006. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Cup fan's £1m 'trauma' insurance". BBC News Online. 3 May 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  5. ^ Montia, Gill (24 January 2008). "Towergate acquires British Insurance". Insurance Daily. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  6. ^ Meeson, Louise (3 March 2010). "British Insurance unveils new MD as Burgess heads to US". Insurance Age. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  7. ^ "The Money Awards". Archived from the original on 8 April 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  8. ^ "The Personal Finance Awards 2009 Results". What Mortgage. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Two more award wins for British Insurance". Mortgage Introducer. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  10. ^ "Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards 2009". Mortgage Finance Gazette. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  11. ^ "First 2009 award win for British Insurance". Mortgage Introducer. 13 January 2009. Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  12. ^ "Award Nominations 2009". What Mortgage. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  13. ^ "Global Business Excellence Awards". Retrieved 1 July 2010.

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