Colchester/Brentwood: Insurance company Equity Red Star to cut 200 jobs in major reorganisation

Equity Red Star is withdrawing from the general motor insurance market to focus on insuring speciali

Equity Red Star is withdrawing from the general motor insurance market to focus on insuring specialist vehicles

Insurance company Equity Red Star is to cut around 200 jobs in Essex after deciding to exit the mainstream motor insurance market.

The company, which now plans to focus on specialist vehicle insurance, is to close six small regional offices and to consolidate its operations at sites in London, Colchester, Brentwood and Swansea.

However, while numbers in London will be unaffected and those in Swansea will increase, the workforce in Colchester will fall from 300 to 200 and that in Brentwood from 440 to 340.

A spokesman from the company said: “Equity Red Star has taken a strategic decision to re-focus on specialist vehicle insurance only, for example, insuring classic cars, commercial vehicles, kit cars, motorcycles and agricultural vehicles.

“Poor financial results in recent years, stemming from an overcrowded UK mass motor market dominated by the price-focused comparison websites, have driven this decision.

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“The consequences of this change are that the company will now consolidate into four locations, closing six small regional offices (each with fewer than 10 staff) and reducing overall staff numbers by about 200, although this is, of course, subject to consultation.”

Besides job losses, the reorganisation also involves the relocation of 24 roles from Colchester to Brentwood, 24 from Colchester to Swansea and 45 from Brentwood to Swansea.

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The company spokesman added: “All displaced staff will be offered a redundancy package, including outplacement, as an alternative to relocating, and in this case new staff will be recruited locally to fill any vacancies created.”

Equity Red Star was acquired last month by New York-based private equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners from Insurance Australia Group, under a deal first announced in December 2012.

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