Belfast Telegraph

Hughes Insurance closing more than half of its branches across Northern Ireland

By Rachel Martin

Hughes Insurance is to close over half of its branches just months after it was taken over by Liberty Mutual Insurance.

The announcement could affect dozens of jobs. The company has confirmed that 20 staff could be made redundant.

A spokesperson for the firm said the closures came as part of an “operational restructure” to accommodate changes in consumers’ buying patterns.

It said that customers in Northern Ireland were increasingly buying their insurance policies online.

As part of the restructure, the business will close six of its eleven regional branches in April alongside and will also make changes at its company headquarters in Newtownards.

The company currently employs a total of 280 staff.

Managers broke the news of the proposal to close branches in Ballymena, Ballynahinch, Lisburn, Magherafelt, Newry and Omagh to staff today.

US firm Liberty took over the Northern Ireland insurer in July.

Hughes Insurance was founded in 1977 by Newtownards man Leslie Hughes who was awarded an OBE for his services to the insurance industry in the 2015 New Year's Honours.

Hughes Insurance Services Limited which trades as Hughes Insurance is one of Northern Ireland’s longest established insurance brokers.

The business operates exclusively in Northern Ireland selling motor, van, home and commercial insurance.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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