Hastings Insurance

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(Redirected from Hastings Direct)
Hastings Group Holdings
Company typePrivate limited company
HeadquartersBexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, United Kingdom
Key people
Tom Coltrane, (Chairman)
Tobias van der Meer, (CEO)
Revenue£741.3 million (2019)[1]
£109.7 million (2019)[1]
£69.7 million (2019)[1]

Hastings Insurance Services Ltd is a UK personal lines insurance broker servicing customers via smartphone mobile app, online, and by phone. The company provides car, bike, van and home insurance, as well as a range of ancillary products and services such as breakdown cover, personal accident, substitute vehicle and key and legal cover. The company also offers unsecured Personal Loans. It is part of the Hastings Group, a business which was listed on the London Stock Exchange until it was acquired by a consortium of the South African business, Rand Merchant International, and the Finnish insurer, Sampo Group, in November 2020.


The company was established, based on business plan prepared by David Gundlach and Andrew Bowen, as "Hastings Direct" in 1997.[2] It was acquired by Insurance Australia Group in 2006[3] and then by its management in 2009.[4] In 2011 the company announced that 150 new posts would be created, with the first 60 to be recruited in January in the Bexhill, Hastings, Eastbourne, Brighton and Hove areas.[5] Goldman Sachs acquired a 50% interest in the company in 2013.[6] The company was the subject of an initial public offering in October 2015.[6]


The company trades under the Hastings Direct, Hastings Premier, Hastings Essential, SmartMiles, People's Choice and InsurePink brands.[7][8] In 2012, the company launched a usage-based insurance product under the Hastings Direct SmartMiles brand. The SmartMiles product requires a telematics device to be fitted to the insured vehicle.[9]

Insurance policies provided by the company are issued by a panel of insurers, including Advantage Insurance Company Limited, a Gibraltar based company.[10]

The company is known for its mascot, Harry Hastings, an animated figure dressed in armour from the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He is also known for singing a catchy tone of the number 0800 00 1066 (with the final 4-digit number being a reference about the Battle of Hastings.) [11] Based in Bexhill-on-Sea, the company is one of the largest employers on the South Coast. The company also has a second call centre in Leicester.[12]

Toby van der Meer became the CEO of Hastings Group on 1 March 2018. The previous CEO, Gary Hoffman, became non-executive chairman.[13]

In August 2020 it was announced that the company would be acquired by a consortium of the South African business, Rand Merchant International, and the Finnish insurer, Sampo Group, for £1.7 billion.[14] The transaction was completed on 16 November 2020.[15]


The company sponsored the Eastbourne International tennis tournament between 2003[16] and 2007[17] in a deal worth £350,000 per year.[18]


  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2019". Hastings Insurance. Retrieved 3 March 2020.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Hastings Van Insurance". Customer Care. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Selfless Portrait: Man Leaves $150M to City of Elkhart". Indianapolis Monthly. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Hastings and Advantage MBO team speak out". www.postonline.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Hastings Direct creates 150 jobs". The Recruiter. 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Hastings shares trade below IPO price". 12 October 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Hastings Direct".
  8. ^ "People's Choice".
  9. ^ "Hastings Direct gives details of telematics trial | Latest News | Insurance Times". m.insurancetimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  10. ^ "WireNews: Hastings Insurance Uses Advantage in EU Regulations to Sell Insurance in the UK".
  11. ^ "Harry Hastings and Stephen Seagull return in Hastings Direct TV ad series". The Drum. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Hastings Direct set to grow workforce in Leicester". Leicester Mercury. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Hastings revamps top management". Insurance Times. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  14. ^ "UK insurer Hastings to be taken private in £1.7bn deal". FT. 5 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Sampo-RMI's £1.66bn Hastings acquisition to complete after UK court approval". The Insurer. 16 November 2020. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Hastings Direct signs two-year tennis sponsorship deal". BrandRepublic. 10 March 2003. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  17. ^ "Hastings Direct quits as Ladies' Tennis Sponsor". Eastbourne Herald. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  18. ^ "Tennis bosses serve blow to Eastbourne". The Angus. 25 June 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2011.

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