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Such was its success in the motor insurance sector, that in 1988, Direct Line went on to use the same business model to challenge the grip that mortgage lenders exercised on the home insurance market, introducing buildings and contents insurance as its second core product.
During the 1990s, the company added other financial services, including mortgages, loans, pet and travel insurance, to its portfolio of products, quickly establishing itself as a leading player in each new market.
The simplicity of its selling methods modernised the world of motor insurance and revolutionised the insurance market across all sectors from motor to home insurance, pet cover to life assurance.
During that same year, geographical expansion continued in Europe and resulted in the red phone brand being launched in Germany and Italy at the start of 2002.
Product Each of Direct Line's products is designed with the same basic philosophy -- to offer consumers a clear, straightforward, good value alternative to products that are sold through traditional distribution channels.
A total of £8 billion is spent annually in the UK on motor insurance with 40% of drivers opting for comprehensive insurance policies (Source: Mintel 2002).
The price war of the 1990s within the industry helped to push premiums down for many motorists but resulted in a battle for supremacy among the growing number of companies in an overcrowded market.