Halifax insurance arm reviews consumer PR

Halifax General Insurance (HGI) is staging a pitch for its consumer PR account after Andy Hornby, COO of parent group HBOS, signalled aggressive expansion into the general insurance market.

Incumbent agency Citigate Dewe Rogerson is repitching against icas PR, Lansons Communications and Blue Rubicon for an account believed to be worth £100,000.

An HGI spokeswoman said: 'It is a business requirement that we review our agency contracts on a yearly basis.'

The brief up for grabs involves the promotion of HGI products, which include home and contents, pet, healthcare and travel insurance. Personal finance publications and sections of national and local media will be targeted.

The review comes after the newly appointed COO took control of HBOS's insurance and investment arms as well as retail banking.
Hornby said in July that HBOS's goal was 'to achieve 20 per cent market share in the next ten years in current accounts, credit cards, general insurance and investment products'.

HGI saw year-on-year premium income increase by 12 per cent to £941m for the first half of 2005.

Profit before tax increased by 20 per cent to £233m, while overall sales of household insurance policies increased by 19 per cent on the previous year. It also announced a positive underwriting experience, despite recent storms and floods.

Meanwhile, increased insurance sales propelled HGI into the top ten of Post Magazine's annual review of the top 100 UK insurers.

HBOS's other insurance brands include motor insurers esure and First Alternative, although these do not come under the remit of the Halifax General Insurance account.

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