Hastings : Everything you need to know

Headquarters Address: Conquest House, Collington Avenue, Bexhill-on-sea, East Sussex TN39 3LW, UK

GWP: £961.6 million (according to 2019 annual report)

Size (employees): 3,000+

UK Locations: Bexhill, Leicester, London, Gibraltar

Underwriting Expertise: Car, multi-car, motorbike, multi-bike, van, and home insurance

Key People: CEO: Toby van der Meer

About Hastings

Hastings plc is a general insurance provider with two separate businesses: retail and underwriting. It offers car, van, bike, and home insurance products through six brands:

  • Hastings Direct: The largest brand of Hastings plc that provides car, bike, van, and home insurance.
  • Hastings Premier: It offers all the benefits of Hastings Direct in addition to breakdown cover and motor legal expenses as standard benefits.
  • Hastings Essential: It provides no-frills car and home insurance.
  • Hastings Direct Smartmiles: It measures and rewards good driving behaviour and helps young and inexperienced drivers to save money on car insurance.
  • Insure Pink: It offers car insurance while donating £10 from every policy sold to the Pink Ribbon Foundation.
  • People’s Choice: It provides car insurance with benefits.

Hastings Insurance Services Limited, the retail business, focuses on end customer pricing, product design, fraud management, distribution, and management of customer relationships.

Advantage Insurance Company Limited, the underwriting business, focuses on risk selection, reserving, underlying technical pricing, and claims handling.

History of Hastings

Hastings was founded in 1996 in Bexhill-on-Sea to provide services to the car, van, bike, and home insurance markets in the UK. Its growth plans revolved around its four Cs way of working: colleagues, customers, company, and community. After years of adapting to changes in the market, the company decided to also invest in technology and digital leadership.

It now has more than 3,000 employees across its Bexhill, Leicester, London, and Gibraltar offices. It also has more than 2.7 million live customer policies, with 90% directly underwritten by Gibraltar-based insurer Advantage Insurance Company Limited.

Leadership at Hastings

Toby van der Meer – CEO

Van der Meer took up the chief executive officer role at Hastings in March 2018. Before the role, he had served as the company’s managing director for retail from 2011. As the retail managing director, he was responsible for the profit and loss of the company’ UK retail business, particularly brand, product, retail pricing, digital and marketing, and customer operations.

Van der Meer has served in senior leadership roles throughout his career. Before joining Hastings, he was a managing director at MoneySupermarket, where he was responsible for the website’s money and broker business and operations. He was also a member of the online bank Egg’s executive team.

Culture at Hastings

Hastings believes that supporting its people helps the company to grow financially and sustainably, allowing it to support its customers and communities further. With that in mind, Hastings creates initiatives that focus on its people, customers, business, and community.

It strives to create an environment where employees feel included, valued, and empowered. According to its website, it also recognises employees’ hard work by providing remuneration without compromising customer outcomes, regularly assesses its compliance with the principles of the Living Wage Foundation, and does not tolerate slavery and human trafficking within the business and supply chain.

The company monitors customer feedback through a dedicated platform. Its contact centre team accesses data via personal dashboards to solve issues and improve the customer experience. It is also committed to treating customers fairly, making it easy for customers to file a complaint, and maintaining high standards of customer experience.

Hastings invests in education and environmentally friendly initiatives to become a good neighbour to local communities. Its charity events committee comprises Hastings employees who volunteer or organise fundraising events for local charities and organisations throughout the year. Meanwhile, the Hastings Community Fund provides free advice and physical support or small grants to help individuals and groups with fundraising activities.

The company also works with schools, colleges, and universities to help students with their future. In 2018, it set up the fourth year of the “Be the Change” programme in Bexhill and Leicester to provide students with life skills and remove barriers that might make them disengage from school.

Hastings improves its carbon footprint by providing outdoor green spaces, free charging points for electric vehicles, and discounted train travel options to employees. It has also created cycle-to-work and car share schemes and launched an initiative that lessens the company’s use of plastic.

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