Andrew Haigh of Engage Mutual
Andrew Haigh of Engage Mutual

Engage Mutual saw premiums fall £3m in the first half of 2012, atttributing the decline to the withdrawal of the Government’s child trust fund scheme.

Announcing its half-year figures, the savings and health insurance friendly society, based in Harrogate, said it received £29.8m, down from £32.8m in the same period last year.

The amount paid out to customers also fell. Claims totalled £49.8m during the first six months of 2012, down 18 per cent on the £60.9m paid out in the same period of 2011.

This was driven by a sharp decrease in investment payouts. Engage paid out £27.2m during the period, down from £38.5m.

However, Engage said it had made an excellent start to 2012, significantly improving its new business sales performance, maintaining its strong capital position and increasing staff numbers by more than seven per cent to support its growing business.

The company, whose customer numbers remain above half a million, said a strong overall new business performance, led by sales of over 50s guaranteed life insurance - which were up more than 60 per cent - delivered £2.9m total new annualised premium income in the first half year, up from £2.4m for the equivalent period last year.

Engage Mutual continues to invest in its health business, with total premiums of £3.5m up five per cent on last year.

Chief executive Andrew Haigh said the results provided “a strong platform for the ongoing development of the business”.

He added: “Despite the tough economic climate, we remain committed to developing our workforce while recruiting new staff in a number of key areas, both of which are essential in securing the long-term success of the organisation and sustaining our track record of excellent customer service.”

Engage Mutual is one of the larger UK mutuals, providing savings, protection and investment products to more than 500,000 customers.

The company is based at Hornbeam Park in Harrogate.