Launched as the UK's first telephone insurer in 1985, the company's distinctive logo of a red telephone on wheels emphasised what it was all about. The telephone has since gained a partner, in the form of a wheeled mouse, to reflect the increase in online buying. When it was launched in 1985, Direct Line was completely owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group. In 2012 the company was floated on the Stock Market where during the IPO, RBS sold a 30% share of the business. In 2013 RBS sold off a further 37% and is now expected to sell the remaineder of the company during 2014.
To this this day you can only take out a policy with Direct Line by contacting them directly as they do not appear on comparison web-sites. This hasn't stopped them from accumulating over 10 Million customers in the UK, Germany and Italy. One of the main attractions of Direct Line are their UK based call centres in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.