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May 18, 1971

The story of Lifesure’s success all started in the May of 1971 with a fall off a garage roof. Whilst lying in hospital, surrounded by nurses, Colin Barnes had a moment of epiphany, deciding that when he was discharged he would start up his own business.

Some weeks later, a plaster free Colin set off to conquer the world of insurance, heading to Cambridgeshire to start his quest. After hiring out a store room in his cousin’s warehouse, he set up his office, propped up the three-legged table he was given with some spare bricks and headed out into the world to find some business.

Starting up from nothing, Colin acquired business from talking to people. He had no set hours and many evenings were spent in the pub meeting new clients and explaining the benefits of life insurance. The business then began to grow rapidly, with customers starting to ask if they could insure their cars and houses with Lifesure. So Colin headed off to London, doing something no one else had before and walked straight into the offices of major insurance companies, to meet with the insurers. Colin explained to various insurers what sort of policies were needed by his clients and got the best deals. With a whole new set of contacts under his belt, he was then ready to take things further.


June 3, 1972

Lifesure Office at 34 New Street

In 1972 Colin acquired Lifesure’s first office, though it didn’t start off looking like most people remember. After finding a derelict house in New Street, St Neots, Colin decided that he would buy it and restore it before it got pulled down. This was no small challenge, especially with a tree growing through the middle of it! He started with the front room and when this was complete he moved his business there.

Lifesure was now a two-man team, having a receptionist to man the office and take messages whilst Colin was out gathering business.



September 20, 1973

With business at Lifesure really picking up, Colin’s brother Roger joined the team.

The office building was restored room by room, making space for the new staff being hired.


February 18, 1978

Lifesure truly became a family business in the year of 1978, after Colin’s eldest son Ric joined the company.

Business was growing so quickly that a new office in Bedford was opened up, for a new 6 person team lead by Ric.


August 5, 1980

The 80’s saw the rise of mullets, punk rock and Ghostbusters, as well as changes to Lifesure’s business.

Lifesure ceased to sell life insurance, the product that the company was originally set up upon. Instead, niche markets were cornered such as insurance for MG sports car enthusiasts, caravan insurance and motorhome insurance.

The personal lines side of the business became Lifesure’s focus. Caravans were so successful a new company MCIA (Motor Caravan Insurance Agency) was set up, with staff specialising in getting the best deals for caravan lovers across the country.


March 28, 1986

In 1986 Lifesure bought its first computers and business was slowly moved from paper into the digital world…


April 5, 1990

A new decade and more successful specialist products were created. Lifesure became one of the first companies to insure Japanese import vehicles.


March 22, 2000

There were many exciting changes for Lifesure in the new millennium. The companies first website went live in 2000 and Lifesure joined the world of online business!


Lifesure website in 2000





July 15, 2002

In 2002 the Bedford office closed and its staff moved to New Street, St Neots to join the ever expanding company.

Lifesure also started catering the Park Home market with a new scheme set up bringing in more business and happy customers.


October 12, 2005

Lifesure became a proud sponsor of the Bedford Blues rugby team in the season of 2005/6 and are still sponsoring the club today. Many a Saturday has been spent cheering the team on by members of staff.




June 21, 2008

The company had grown so large that new premises were needed, so a new office was specially built just up the road from the New Street office. In 2008, 33 staff members relocated, with space for many more…

The MCIA merged back with the main Lifesure company.

After many years of hard work, building the company from scratch, Colin stepped down as Managing Director at Lifesure and his son Ric took on the new role.




May 27, 2011

In 2011 Colin’s other son Simon joined the company. Simon headed a newly opened small office in Dorset, which was responsible namely for Lifesure’s marketing.


January 11, 2015

Lifesure started the process of redefining some of its teams to make them better and more efficient. This included restructures in Finance, Operations and Marketing.




August 26, 2016

In February 2016 Lifesure launched the latest version of its website as well as a separate dedicated website for its property lines: www.lifesureproperty.co.uk




August 4, 2017

On 1st June 2017, Ric retired from his role as Managing Director of Lifesure and for the first time in the company’s history a non-family member took the reins. Today Paul Reid, Lifesure’s former Finance Director, now runs the company and Lifesure is still growing from strength to strength with an expanding portfolio of personal and property insurance lines.

A number of the Barnes family members still work at Lifesure (3 generations since 1971) and many staff members who started working under Colin are still at the company, the longest serving having started in 1985.