Engage Mutual in Harrogate made an excellent start to 2012, significantly improving its new business sales performance, maintaining its strong capital position, and increasing staff numbers by more than 7% to support its growing business. Customer numbers remain in excess of half a million.
Premiums and Claims
A strong overall new business performance, led by sales of over 50s guaranteed life insurance, delivered an impressive £2.9m total new annualised premium income in the first half year, up from £2.4m for the equivalent period last year. Within that total, sales of over 50s guaranteed life insurance policies were up over 60%.
Overall premiums were £29.8m and the mutual paid out £49.8m to its customers in insurance claims and savings pay-outs and maturities.
Engage Mutual continues to invest in its health business, with total premiums of £3.5m up 5% on the prior year. It remains committed to providing affordable and relevant health solutions for its customers, and is developing an innovative health cover product that it plans to launch towards the end of the year.
A diverse and prudently managed balance sheet ensured that Engage Mutual’s capital strength remained in excess of three times the required regulatory level. A well capitalised business enables the mutual to continue to maximise benefits to customers, through a combination of competitive pricing, improved product benefits and excellent customer service.
Customers of both its with-profit funds are now benefiting from enhanced payouts as Engage Mutual is progressively distributing the excess capital in those funds to its members. Customer service across the organisation has consistently been of a high standard as recognised by recent Association of British Insurers research1.
In August, Engage Mutual received a prestigious Investors In People (IIP) gold award in recognition of its commitment and dedication to staff, joining an elite group of only three per cent of organisations that have achieved the gold accolade.
Recruitment continued through the first half of 2012, with staff numbers increasing by 14 to 203. An employment satisfaction survey undertaken by the organisation in the first half of 2012 recorded that 86% of staff think Engage Mutual is a great place to work.
Despite the tough economic climate we remain committed to developing our workforce while recruiting new staff in a number of key areas, both of which are essential in securing the long-term success of the organisation and sustaining our track record of excellent customer service.
We are very pleased with results for the first half of 2012 which provide a strong platform for the ongoing development of the business