Endsleigh poised to close branch network

Endsleigh branch

Endsleigh is reportedly planning to scrap its entire network of branches during this summer, including its student campus outlets.

The insurance broker currently has 119 retail outlets across the UK, with a strong presence in university cities and campuses. Back in May, Endsleigh announced it had entered into a consultation with branch sales staff to close its network retail outlets before the end of the year.

Although the company has yet to make a formal announcement, it is believed to have now decided to shut up shop prior to the start of the new university term in the autumn.

Endsleigh, which has been wholly owned by Zurich since the end of 2006, is also likely to make some of its 320 branch staff redundant.

With more than 80% of its enquiries now originating from the internet, Endsleigh says having a high-street outlet is less significant than in previous years. It says that more than 30% of new business sales are transacted entirely online on a self-serve basis with the majority of the remainder handled over the telephone.

At the time it launched the consultation, Mike Alcock, Endsleigh’s managing director, said that over the past five years the number of people visitng branches had dwindling to “extremely small numbers”

“The internet has rapidly become the channel of choice for people searching for insurance, often after office hours. Clearly our company resources must be aligned to consumer demand,” he added.

However, there is concern that a lack of presence on the high street could result in fewer students opting to take out insurance.

Brian Wright, managing director of student insurance service Karmainsurance.com, says: “What’s really concerning is the timing of the 119 branch closures – just before new students arrive on campus and are looking for insurance. While they may not have purchased Endsleigh’s cover, it would have got them thinking about insurance and the need to shop around. Now it may slip off their radar completely.”

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