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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Direct Line

How ethical and sustainable is Direct Line?

Direct Line is a brand of insurance ranked and researched for its sustainability policies and business ethics by The Good Shopping Guide. Direct Line exceeds our Ethical Benchmark and is therefore considered to be a good overall insurance company for ethical consumers. The brand also ranks highly in the majority of our categories, with the exceptions of Responsible Investment Policy and Ethical Accreditation.

We would be open to granting Direct Line Ethical Accreditation in the future, should it be proposed. Direct Line would then receive tailored suggestions on how to grow further as an ethical insurance company, in addition to experiencing the benefits of being Ethically Accredited.

What is Direct Line and what does it do?

Peter Wood and Martin Long founded the business in 1985 as the insurance branch of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS). It was the first insurance provider in the UK to only accept phone applications. Paul Geddes, the group’s then-chief executive, declared in September 2012 that the company was “functioning as a standalone insurance company” in anticipation of a potential complete divestiture from the RBS Group.

It was announced in September 2014 that Mapfre would pay €550 million to acquire the Italian and German operations of Direct Line. Direct Line declared in February 2019 that Penny James, the chief financial officer, will take over as CEO.

Where does Direct Line score well as a brand ethically?

Direct Line ranks among the top brands in the majority of our evaluation categories, including Carbon Disclosure and Reduction Targets. For Ethical Insurance companies in particular, these research criteria are particularly important within the sector.

How can Direct Line improve its ethical rating?

The Good Shopping Guide employs a variety of assessment criteria to determine whether a brand is ethical and eligible for Ethical Accreditation. Direct Line scores are calculated using these criteria for all its surveyed categories. To continue developing its Ethical Rating, the company can apply for and receive Ethical Accreditation. Furthermore, by following in the footsteps of other strong brands, the brand could perform better in the Responsible Investment Policy category.

Certifications for ethics, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility

If you work for an Ethical Insurance company and would like to learn more about getting your brand registered and accredited, fill out an Initial Sustainability & Ethics form. With the help of this brief form, your certification application is launched! Contact us if you have any questions about the advantages of Ethical Accreditation for your business, brand, or product.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Environmental Destruction


  • Carbon Disclosure & Reduction Targets



  • Irresponsible Lending


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Responsible Investment Policy


  • Other Criticisms


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