Blog: The alphabet of insurance brands past from Arnott to The Underwriter


The birth of the new Google holding company Alphabet got me thinking.

For all the new brands that have been born in recent years, there are many that have bitten the bullet.

And that is as true in the UK insurance market as any other.

So here is a short list of some that have gone during my time at Post.

I remember their name being splashed over a non-league football team in the North-East.

Described as eBay for salvage, this Aviva owned start-up is one of many brands it run down.

Cornhill tests ... say no more. This re-brand was simply not cricket!

Drive Assist
Credit hire firm that ran into difficulties in 2013.

Ellis & Buckle
A relic from a day when loss adjusters sounded like law firms and accountants.

A victim of the banking crisis, this brand has disappeared as has ...

... which was coincidently bought by Fortis' successor Ageas.

Hill House Hammond
Another brand to bite the Aviva bullet. Former high street broking giant was closed in 2004.

I know Indie would have been the obvious choice, but this proto aggregator eventually helped give birth to Confused after being acquired by Admiral.

Jonathan Swift
Everyone calls me Swifty now.

Slightly cheating as this failure pre-dated my time at Post, but the brand, which stood for Kingscroft, Walbrook, El Paso, Lime Street and Mutual Reinsurance - was part of my early days on the title.

London & Edinburgh
Another brand culled by our friends in Norwich.

Ashworth Mairs Group became Merlin and a few years disappeared in an unfortunate puff of smoke.

Norman Insurance
A curious brand I remember from visiting broker branches in my early days at Post. Absorbed into MMA.

With the acquisition by Gallagher, this brand has now gone from the UK.

Premium Search
Acquired by Norwich Union, you can probably guess what happened to this pioneering telebroker.

Given what happened to Quinn and the fact Quindell are seeking a rebrand means that no one is going to begin their brand with the 4 letters Q-U-I-N for some time I suspect.

Some might still use it, but the brand is no longer a fixture of the UK market ...

St Paul
... as is Sun Alliance, but I have gone for St Paul here, a brand that was consigned to the insurance graveyard by Travelers.

Why did Capita buy a loss adjuster? I am sure they still don't know to this day.

The Underwriter
This London market insurer specialised in liability and barely got out of nappies.

Which leaves V, W, X, Y and Z and I am a bit stuck now.

Do you have any ideas of firms that could fill these spots?

Or any other insurance brands, loved or loathed that are no longer with us, please get involved and share your suggestions below.

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