BGL Group is a financial services company based in Orton Southgate, Peterborough, England. Its main lines of business are vehicle and home insurance, with a range of supplementary products such as breakdown cover, legal protection and personal accident cover. In 2013 it added life insurance through the Beagle Street brand.
The company was founded in 1992 by Douw Steyn as the Budget Insurance Company, an underwriter. Budget Insurance Services was founded in 1997 and the following year Budget Insurance Company ceased underwriting and became an intermediary business, marketing policies underwritten by a panel of insurers. In 1999 it acquired Arnott Century, and changed its name to Budget Retail. The group acquired Dial Direct and Bennetts in 2001. In 2002 it launched an affinity business, called Junction which was a major contributor to its growth through partners such as Post Office, M&S Money, Bradford & Bingley, and Yes Insurance.
In 2003, the company launched its own uninsured loss recovery business, ACM ULR, and in the same year it ran a PR and marketing campaign for Bennetts, helping to establish the bike insurer as a leading brand in the UK market. In 2004, Budget was noted as providing the most competitive home insurance, and the cheapest motor insurance cover.
The company opened its Cape Town Contact Centre in 2004, set up Comparethemarket.com as a complimentary service in 2005, and sold Budget Retail in 2006. In July 2007 the company changed its name to BGL Group, launching an eco-friendly car insurance site, ibuyeco.co.uk, and relaunching the comparethemarket.com insurance price comparison site.
The year 2009 saw the creation of comparethemeerkat.com – online meerkat comparison website as part of a spoof advertising campaign featuring a CGI meerkat character named Aleksandr Orlov. French price comparison sites LesFurets.com and CreditMieux.com were acquired in 2010, and Dutch site Verzekeringssite.nl was acquired in 2012. The latter was rebranded as hoyhoy.nl in 2014.
In 2013, BGL group launched Beagle Street, the first online-only life insurer in the UK.
In 2015, Bennetts was sold to Saga Group.
The group’s main company name is BISL Limited which was founded in 1996 – trading under the names of Budget, Dial Direct, Bennetts, Junction, ACM ULR, Fusion (no connection with the UK commercial insurer of the same name, established in 2001), and Comparethemarket.com.
The group has a formal commitment to support national, local and employee-nominated causes, and ensures that its people are actively encouraged to support charities and other community initiatives.
Budget Direct is a low cost, value focused insurance brand of Auto & General headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. Their Car and Home Insurance policies are underwritten by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited. Auto & General Insurance Company is an Australian insurance company regulated by APRA and is an active member of the Insurance Council of Australia.
Budget Direct is part of the Budget Insurance group, established in the early 1970s, which collects A$2 billion in premiums each year for the group’s 6.8 million policies.
Budget Direct operates three call centres located in Queensland at Kawana Waters, North Lakes as well as at the company’s headquarters located in Toowong, Brisbane. The company also has multiple assessment centres in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. As of August 2013, the company had over 550,000 policy holders and over 800 staff. In 2016 Budget Direct launched in Singapore offering Car, Motorcycle and Travel Insurance.
Budget Direct’s previous television advertisements depicted a couple called Michael and Michelle. The ads revolved around Michelle’s mispronunciation of the word «Budget» whilst explaining the benefits of Budget Direct insurance to Michael who continually corrects her pronunciation. In August 2013 Budget Direct rebanded with an alien version of the shower ad with animated aliens instead of Michelle and Michael. This also included a reveal of a new brand positioning and logo created by Hulsbosch. In January 2014 it was reported that the brand had engaged 303Lowe with the release of new TV ads featuring a daredevil by the name of Captain Risky and tagline «We don’t insure Captain Risky to keep prices low», to explain the brand’s low to medium risk market positioning.