February 26, 2020 / 11:41 AM / a month ago

Insurer Direct Line to cut jobs in digital push

(Reuters) - Motor insurer Direct Line (DLGD.L) said on Wednesday it would cut 800 jobs as it adapts to consumers’ increasing preference for purchasing policies from online operators.

The statement followed a Sky News report earlier in the day that said the company would reduce its workforce.

“Like many companies we are having to prepare for changes in the way we operate reflecting changing customer behaviour where people are increasingly opting to interact with us digitally,” Direct Line said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters.

Listed on the UK midcap index, Direct Line is Britain’s largest motor insurer with 11,000 employees and home to brands such as Churchill, Green Flag and Privilege.

Direct Line laid out a plan in November to cut expenses and boost its digital presence, under Chief Executive Officer Penny James, who took over the top job last year.

Worries of Britain’s motor insurers that battle stiff competition have been compounded by the country’s changed discount rate used to calculate compensation for personal injuries. Insurers will now have to make larger lump sum payments for claims.

Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Vinay Dwivedi

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