RSA Insurance Group

RSA Insurance Group Limited (trading as RSA, formerly RSA Insurance Group plc and Royal and Sun Alliance) is a British multinational general insurance company headquartered in London, England. RSA has major operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scandinavia & Canada. It provides insurance products and services in more than 100 countries through a network of local partners. It has 9 million customers.[2] RSA was formed by the merger of Sun Alliance and Royal Insurance in 1996.

RSA Insurance Group Limited
TypePrivate limited company
Founded1996; 25 years ago
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Key people
Scott Egan (CEO, RSA UK & International) Mark Hodges (Chairman)
RevenueDecrease £6,546 million (2020)[1]
Decrease £483 million (2020)[1]
Decrease £364 million (2020)[1]
Number of employees
13,500 (2021)[2]
ParentIntact Financial Corporation and Tryg
Subsidiaries123 Money

RSA was listed on the London Stock Exchange until it was acquired by Danish insurer Tryg and Canada's Intact Financial Corporation in May 2021. The transaction closed on 1 June 2021.



RSA was formed by the merger of Sun Alliance and Royal Insurance in 1996.[3]

How RSA was created:[4]
  • RSA Insurance Group (2008)[5]
    • Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc (1996)
      • Sun Alliance & London (1965)[a 1]
        • Sun Alliance Insurance Limited (1959)
          • The Sun Fire Office (1710)
          • The Alliance Assurance Company (1824)[a 2]
        • London Assurance Corporation (1720)
      • Royal Insurance (1845)[a 3]
  1. ^ acquired Phoenix Assurance in 1984
  2. ^ founded by Nathan Mayer Rothschild and Moses Montefiore
  3. ^ acquired Liverpool & London and Globe Insurance Company in 1919

On 4 February 2014, it was announced that Stephen Hester, former CEO of RBS Group would become CEO of RSA with immediate effect.[6]

In 2014/15 Hester led a major restructuring of RSA to bolster its finances. Many non-core overseas operations were sold, disposals almost halving the size of the group, with the aim of aligning its strategic focus with its core markets.[7]

In September 2015, RSA divested all its Latin American insurance operations to the Colombian insurance company Grupo Sura for £403 Million.[8]

In November 2020, the company received a £7.2 billion offer from Danish insurer Tryg and Canada's Intact Financial Corporation. This deal is considered one of the biggest takeover bids in Europe in 2020.[9] The transaction closed on 1 June 2021.[10]


RSA's London offices at 20 Fenchurch Street
Johnson (owned by the RSA Group) office in Canada

RSA operates in 28 countries and provides insurance products and services in more than 140 through a global network of local partners. It has over 20 million customers around the world.[11]

RSA is the second-largest general insurer in the United Kingdom. Its global headquarters are in the City of London on 20 Fenchurch Street occupying floors 15-17 of the 'walkie-talkie' building. Its UK registered office is 20 Fenchurch St, London. Other key UK offices are located in Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester, Chelmsford, Glasgow, Cardiff, Sunderland, Belfast, Peterborough, Halifax, Birmingham, and Horsham. RSA, including its "More Than" brand, announced itself to be the first carbon neutral insurance company in the UK on 2 December 2006.[12]

RSA owns the More Than direct car, home, pet and travel insurance brand in the United Kingdom, recognised widely for its former Lucky The Dog advertisements and its "MORE IS ..." campaign. More Than also sells van, business car, shops and offices and business insurance through its More Than Business operation.[13] RSA also owns the CODAN brand in Denmark and Norway, Johnson brand in Canada, 123+ brand in Ireland, Trygg-Hansa brand in Sweden, Al-Alamiya in Saudi Arabia, Al-Ahlia in Oman and the Motability and Insurance Corporation brands in the UK.[14]



  • Bahrain Bahrain
  • Oman Oman
  • Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates

North America and Caribbean

  • Canada Canada
  • United States USA


  • United Kingdom United Kingdom
  • Republic of Ireland Ireland
  • France France
  • Germany Germany
  • Spain Spain
  • Belgium Belgium
  • Denmark Denmark
  • Sweden Sweden
  • Norway Norway


Three former RSA Insurance Ireland staff have been fined a combined £182,000 (€206,090) under sanctions tied to an investigation by a UK accounting watchdog into financial irregularities at the firm in 2012.[15]

Asbestos liabilities

In January 2002 Royal & Sun Alliance became involved in litigation over claims for injury arising from asbestosis among workers in Clyde shipyards. The workers alleged that between 1972–1977 RSA had issued insurance certificates to asbestos manufacturer Turner & Newall but excluded cover for asbestosis, in breach of the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. RSA responded that asbestos-related injury was excluded from the policy because it was a risk the company was not willing to underwrite, that Turner & Newall was instead self-insured against asbestosis and should therefore be responsible for any compensation.[16]

In February 2002 RSA set aside £384 million to double its reserves available for asbestos claims which, combined with claims of £215 million arising from the 11 September attacks, wiped out its 2001 profits.[17][18] RSA put up seven of its subsidiaries for sale in an attempt to raise a further £800 million to cover liabilities for asbestos insurance claims in the United States.[19] Friends Ivory & Sime subsequently acquired RSA's UK asset management subsidiary in May 2002 for £240 million.[19] The situation was further compounded by RSA having to reserve £1.2 billion against liabilities for guaranteed annuities, the product which caused the collapse of Equitable Life, and was also facing a fine from the Financial Services Authority for failure to meet the deadline in the pension mis-selling review.[20] Two months later Friends Provident acquired RSA's offshore life unit International Financial Services Limited, based on the Isle of Man, for £133 million.[21] In July 2002 RSA sold its group risk business to Canada Life for £60 million.[22] RSA was forced to close its life business, with the loss of 1,200 jobs, in August 2002.[23]

In November 2002 Turner & Newall launched a suit against RSA on behalf of former employees who had suffered asbestos-related disease, claiming that the insurer was liable because it provided employer liability policies to the engineering firm.[24] In an effort to reduce costs, RSA chairman Sir Patrick Gillam said it would sell its US business RSUI and "float most of its Asia Pacific operations", bringing total job losses in the UK to 4000.[25] The case was heard at the High Court of Justice in January 2003.[26] RSA argued that a policy clause which excluded cover for pneumoconiosis also excluded other asbestos-related disease such as asbestosis and peritoneal mesothelioma. Colin Edelman QC, representing T&N, told Mr Justice Lawrence Collins that the defence which RSA had the "temerity" to put forward was "just ridiculous" and that the insurer was trying to "wriggle out of its liability".[27] On 9 May 2003 the court ruled that RSA was liable for the compensation claims.[28] In September 2003 RSA cut 1,000 jobs in the UK and asked shareholders for £960 million to cover further asbestos claims.[29]

Inflated repair costs

In September 2011, Judge Platt of the Romford County Court in his judgement attacked the method in which RSA recovered their costs by putting a subsidiary within the motor claims process to inflate profits. Several insurers are now refusing to pay RSA's requests for payment without sight of the original invoice.[30] On 15 June 2012, RSA Insurance was successful in a High Court ruling; the company said the ruling meant "its practices have been deemed legal and its stance vindicated".[31] Within hours, Allianz Insurance lodged an appeal against RSA.[32] Since then RSA has started to make bilateral agreements, the first announced on 29 June 2012 with Cooperative Insurance.[33]

Hillsborough disaster

A fatal event at an English FA Cup match, widely known as the Hillsborough disaster, implicated RSA. A human crush resulted in 96 fatalities and 766 injured persons. The Royal Sun Alliance Insurance Company (which, as Sun Alliance, was the insurer for Sheffield Wednesday Football Club in 1989) refused to waive its entitlement to privilege, thus denying the Hillsborough Independent Panel access to its material. Strenuous efforts were made to persuade the company to allow the Panel confidential access to the material, but it maintained its refusal. RSA were entitled to do this as they are under no obligation to release information relating to the amount of compensation paid out to victims and families; in any case the release of that information would not have affected the result on who was to blame for the Hillsborough disaster.[34]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2020" (PDF). RSA Insurance Group. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b "RSA: About us" . RSA Group. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  3. ^ Smooth merger of Sun Alliance and Royal Insurance The Banker, June 1996
  4. ^ "History - RSA Group" . Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Royal And Sun Alliance weathers the insurance storm". The Daily Telegraph. 5 March 2008.
  6. ^ "Former RBS chief Stephen Hester joins RSA as CEO" . The Telegraph. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  7. ^ RSA to cut 1,200 jobs Telegraph, 26 February 2009
  8. ^ "RSA sells Latin American assets to Sura" . Financial Times. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  9. ^ Sweney, Mark (18 November 2020). "RSA agrees £7.2bn takeover by two overseas insurers" . The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077 . Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Intact Financial Corporation and Tryg A/S complete acquisition of RSA Insurance Group plc" . Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  11. ^ "Products - RSA Group" . Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  12. ^ Royal & Sun Alliance is carbon neutral Carpages, 2 December 2006
  13. ^ "MORE THAN - Cheap Car, Home and Pet Insurance Quotes" . Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  14. ^ "RSA around the world" . RSA Insurance Group. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  15. ^ Brennan, Joe (22 February 2017). "UK watchdog fines three former RSA Insurance Ireland staff" . The Irish Times.
  16. ^ Reynolds, James (25 January 2002). "Insurer rejects asbestos claims". The Scotsman. Edinburgh, UK. p. 13.
  17. ^ Treanor, Jill (1 March 2002). "Royal & Sun forced into sell-off as profits evaporate". The Guardian. Manchester, UK. p. 27.
  18. ^ Bevens, Nick (28 February 2002). "September 11 wipes out profits at R&SA". Edinburgh Evening News. Edinburgh. p. B.2.
  19. ^ a b Dey, Iain (1 May 2002). "FIS doubles funds with £240 million R&SA deal". The Scotsman. Edinburgh, UK. p. 1.
  20. ^ Bain, Simon (12 June 2002). "Royal & Sun edges towards £800m target for disposals". The Herald. Glasgow. p. 19.
  21. ^ Andrews, Bill (11 June 2002). "City round-up: Rival to buy R&SA offshore life unit". Edinburgh Evening News. Edinburgh. p. 8.
  22. ^ "Royal & Sun sells group risk". The Guardian. Manchester, UK. 30 July 2002. p. 17.
  23. ^ Senior, Antonia (9 August 2002). "Stricken insurer cuts jobs and shuts life business". The Times. UK. p. 25.
  24. ^ Bevens, Nick (1 November 2002). "R&SA shares plunge over asbestos fight". Edinburgh Evening News. Edinburgh. p. 2.
  25. ^ Bevens, Nick (7 November 2002). "Insurance giant to axe 900 jobs". Edinburgh Evening News. Edinburgh. p. 1.
  26. ^ Snowdon, Neal (22 January 2003). "It's D-day in death dust cash battle". Manchester Evening News. Manchester.
  27. ^ Stewart, Stephen (28 January 2003). "Insurers accused of shirking liability to asbestosis victims". The Herald. Glasgow. p. 8.
  28. ^ "Damages fight goes on after ruling success". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 12 May 2003. p. 8.
  29. ^ Slattery, Laura (5 September 2003). "Royal & Sun Alliance cuts 1,000 jobs in UK". The Irish Times. Dublin. p. 51.
  30. ^ "Judge attacks car insurer's repair costs" . BBC News. 17 September 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  31. ^ "RSA claims legal victory after 'fabricated repair charges' case" . 15 June 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  32. ^ "Allianz slams RSA legal victory as it works on appeal" . 15 June 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  33. ^ "RSA agrees first bilateral agreement on motor repair costs" . 29 June 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  34. ^ "Hillsborough: The Report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel" (PDF). September 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.

Further reading

  • Dickson, P. G. M (1960). The Sun Insurance Office, 1710–1960: The History of Two and a half Centuries of British Insurance.

External links


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