Autoline jobs boost in Newry welcomed

October 20, 2014

Last week’s announcement by Arlene Foster that Autoline Insurance Group is to create 60 new jobs, the majority of which will be based primarily at the company’s headquarters in Newry, has been welcomed as a much needed boost for local employment.

The Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister said the new jobs will support a further move by the company into the wider UK and Republic of Ireland markets and form part of its multi-million pound investment plans over the next four years.

Autoline is one of Northern Ireland’s leading independent brokers providing a range of insurance and financial services to both personal and business clients across Northern Ireland.

The Minister hailed the success of the company as one built on “innovation” and said this was exemplified by Autoline’s launch of an app which offered insurance premium discounting directly linked to driving behaviour – the first broker in Europe to launch such a concept.

“As a result, it has significantly grown its customer base of young drivers. It is now planning to develop its own telematics and data analysis platform, which will help it to more than double its gross written premium by 2018 with almost 60 per cent of sales coming from outside Northern Ireland,” said the Minister.

The new positions will pay above the Northern Ireland private sector median, bringing the total employed by Autoline to over 200, with the additional salaries contributing £1.5million a year to the economy.

Ms Foster added that Invest NI was contributing £390,000 to support the creation of the jobs and said the expansion and the development of its data analysis platform will enable Autoline “to remain at the forefront of the market, increasing and extending its market share.”

Michael Blaney, Managing Director of Autoline, said: “Since developing our app we have become a leading player in the telematics insurance industry. The telematics platform will enable us to analyse the data collected through our app. This will give us a valuable commodity that we can sell on to other insurers and brokers and which will help us to substantially increase sales, particularly in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.”

The news of the increase in the local workforce was welcomed by Sinn Fein Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy, who congratulated director Michael Blaney on the continued growth of the locally based company.  Mr Murphy also welcomed the support provided by Invest NI in the expansion reiterating,

“It is important that indigenous business receives the support of statutory investment agencies to stimulate the economy and job creation.”

Echoing Mr Murphy’s sentiments, Ulster Unionist Representative Councillor David Taylor said the announcement “fantastic news for the local economy” and served to instil further confidence in the Northern Ireland economy.

Councillor Taylor also expressed his appreciation and congratulations to Invest NI for their role in providing the £390,000 employment grant which he said had undoubtedly enabled the jobs announcement to come to fruition.