Co-op Group is a consumer co-operative owned by millions of members. It is the fifth biggest food retailer in the UK – with more than 2,500 local, convenience, and medium-sized stores. Co-op Insurance and Co-op Insurance Services are part of the Co-op Group.
Co-op’s insurance products provide cover for motor, home, life, travel, pets, breakdown, and business concerns. Its motor insurance products include car, young driver, and breakdown cover, as well as MOT and service. Its home insurance products offer protection for buildings, contents, and landlords. Meanwhile, its travel insurance products include annual multi-trip, single trip, and backpacker coverage.
History of Co-op
Co-op Group can trace its roots to the co-operative consumer societies established by the Rochdale Pioneers.
In 1863, independent co-operative societies launched The Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) to provide co-op products for hundreds of stores. Over the years, the CWS went through a series of changes until it became The Co-operative Group.
The Co-operative Insurance Company was launched in 1867 to provide fire insurance for co-operative societies.
Leadership at Co-op
Steve Murrells – CEO
Murrells led Co-op Group’s food business in 2012 until he became the company’s CEO in March 2017. He is responsible for all the company’s businesses, including insurance, funeral care, food, and legal services.
During his tenure, Murrells has led Co-op’s campaigns to solve issues that are important to its members. He introduced a new strategy that aims to help the company grow its market share and led the acquisition of Nisa Retail Limited, which takes the company’s wholesale arm to more than 7,700 stores across the UK.
In 2017, Murrells spoke on water poverty at the Global Citizen Festival and committed to donating 1p per litre from the sales of all branded bottled water to the Global Water Fund. Under his leadership, Co-op committed to addressing the scourge of modern slavery, with many businesses signing up to work on the company’s Bright Future programme.
Culture at Co-op
The Co-op Group uses its profits to support local communities and serve its members. It is also focused on promoting healthy choices and protecting the environment.
In 2019, the company delivered £17 million to more than 4,000 local causes. The company’s Fourth Reserve connects the community with nature at South East London’s New Cross to Forest Hill railway cutting. Meanwhile, its Blossom’s Legacy provides young children with swimming and water safety lessons.
In addition, 1% of everything members spend on the company’s products and services supports local causes through its Local Community Fund. The members can choose which charity to help, while the company picks new causes for its communities every 12 months.