Bugle Broker Spotlight


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This month we caught up with Jason Martin, Managing Director of 1st Choice Insurance a leading independent commercial insurance broker based in Shrewsbury, West Midlands

What core business lines does your brokerage cover?
We started out seven years ago concentrating on motor trade insurance, but now we have clients across all sectors and lines of business.

How do you generate new business enquiries?
We concentrate on networking, and on|offline advertising. We look after our customers at 1st Choice Insurance, so we also get a lot of referral business.

What do you foresee as the biggest challenges at your brokerage at the moment?
Parking spaces!!

On a serious note, we have grown 300% in the last two years and one of our biggest challenges is to make sure that we can find and recruit more staff with the same skills, drive and enthusiasm as the team we have now. Also, as sales increase dramatically on a weekly basis it is tricky getting the balance between sales and admin staff. As we grow our key focus will be to deliver the same professional service to our clients.

How do you plan to grow in the coming year?
We already have plans in place to move to bigger premises before Xmas and to recruit a further 10-15 staff. We have also recently recruited a highly experienced field executive to drive our mid-market offering. We plan to build on this and have a team of four by 2020.

What are your marketing plans this year?
The primary focus this year is to continue networking with prospects at a local and national level, and to really push our client referrals to grow our business organically. We are also keeping our eyes open to good acquisition opportunities with the sector.

Which Blink products or services have been most beneficial to your business?
I would have to say the commercial motor products from PolicyPlan

If there’s one thing we’d like more of from Blink it’s...
Networking events

Date Added: 25/06/2019 11:20:16



This month we caught up with Mark Searcy, Director of Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers. A local insurance broker established since 1946 offering a range of personal commercial insurance solutions, based in Westcliff on Sea.

What core business lines does your brokerage cover?
We are an independent insurance broker and cover all commercial and personal lines business, we have a bias towards motor fleet and property. We also have a good personal lines book of business serving local clients.

How do you generate new business enquiries?
Most of our commercial business is arranged through word of mouth and a heavy presence in local networking groups. Our personal lines business is generated by pro-actively making contact with past and present clients and offering the services of a local broker. 

What do you foresee as the biggest challenges at your brokerage in the future?
The ever-increasing regime of compliance and finding the right staff with the right qualifications and experience.

How do you plan to grow in the coming year?
We have taken on two new members to join the team to specifically focus on making contact with clients to offer quotations and to cross sell other product types.

What are your marketing plans this year?
Continue to talk and get to know our current clients and to understand their insurance needs better. Continue to network heavily in the local area. More focus on emailing clients with information to add value to the service they receive from us. 

Which Blink products or services have been most beneficial to your business?
We find most of the products to be beneficial to us as they all offer something slightly different to the normal composite market places.

If there’s one thing we’d like more of from Blink it’s...
There isn’t anything specific other than continuing to provide the kind of products they do. Our BDM Stuart Godward is always a pleasure to deal with and is very helpful with any queries we have. He goes above and beyond sometimes, such as recently texting me at well past midnight to check that I had got on the right train home. What more could you ask for?

Date Added: 24/05/2019 12:02:53



This month we caught up with Karl Holland, Managing Director of Premier Insurance Centre based in Winsford, Cheshire. Established in 1992, they provide a one-stop shop for personal and commercial lines to service the insurance needs of the local community.

What core business lines does your brokerage cover?    

Historically we have specialised in personal lines and with a “Dream Team” we are still managing to grow this segment of the business. Several years ago we started to develop a commercial department that specialised in the motor trade, this department has grown steadily and we are now able to cater for any class of business.

How do you generate new business enquiries?     

As we have been trading for over 25 years we generate business through recommendations and referrals from our existing clients along with cross selling.

What do you foresee as the biggest challenges at your brokerage at the moment?  

Increasing regulatory burden, recruitment, cyber fraud and the ever-increasing cost of software houses.

How do you plan to grow in the coming year?    

As we believe in the right profile and risk we are happy with steady growth from recommendations and referrals from existing clients, however, would not rule out the right acquisition.

What are your marketing plans this year?   

Local advertising, referral incentive introductions from existing clients and emphasizing our ethos of “Service from Start to Finish” from your local Broker.

Which Blink products or services have been most beneficial to your business?  

Numerous Personal Lines products and our excellent rapport with R&Q.

If there’s one thing we’d like more of from Blink it’s... 

Richard and Bill to support Stoke City and appreciate quality football and to bring back “Horner`s Corner”!

Date Added: 26/04/2019 11:16:53



This month we caught up with Andrew Rigby, Director at Rigby Financial - a busy general insurance brokerage and independent financial advisors based in St Helens.

What core business lines does your brokerage cover?

SME Commercial up to £75m turnover, all motor and household.

How do you generate new business enquiries?

The best generation of NB enquiries we find is word of mouth, however, we do use a multidimensional approach to generating new leads; social media, referrals from existing customers, SEO, networking groups, etc.

What do you foresee as the biggest challenges at your brokerage at the moment?

The increasing regulatory burden.

How do you plan to grow in the coming year?

Organically and from getting the most out of our existing customer base – after all if you don’t have all your client’s insurance business ‘who’s client is it?'

What are your marketing plans this year?

Marketing for our commercial lines will be very much through client referrals and using the existing prospect list that we have worked on over the past few years. In relation to our personal lines business, this will be through our social media channels as we find this extremely cost effective.

Which Blink products or services have been most beneficial to your business?

Our relationships with both R&Q and ABACUS.

If there’s one thing we’d like more of from Blink it’s...

Nothing springs to mind, appears to have most bases covered!

 

Date Added: 27/03/2019 14:08:21



This month we caught up with Ian Tyler, Business Manager at Boston Insurance Brokers, a local broker based in Hampton in Arden, Solihull.

What core business lines does your brokerage cover?

95% corporate/commercial – 5% associated high net worth.

How do you generate new business enquiries?

Referrals and networking.

What do you foresee as the biggest challenges at your brokerage at the moment?

Insurers and capacity.

How do you plan to grow in the coming year?

Referrals, networking and we would not rule out an acquisition if the right fit occurs.

What are your marketing plans this year?

Targeting trade associations on linked business.

Which Blink products or services have been most beneficial to your business?

R&Q Commercial Risk Services offer us access to informed underwriters and a knowledgeable team that can make instant underwriting decisions.

If there’s one thing we’d like more of from Blink it’s...

More free lunches of course!!

Date Added: 20/02/2019 10:12:28



This month we caught up with Dave Hambridge, Head of Sales and Distribution at DNA Insurance, a rapidly expanding broker based in Romford, Essex.

What core business lines does your brokerage cover?

The core business lines for the business are public and private hire, but only in the South West of England, SME and small commercial, household and property owners and minibus on a national basis, we are just set to launch our motorhome and horsebox products. 

What core business lines does your brokerage cover?

Motortrade, Taxi, Fleet and Commercial

How do you generate new business enquiries?

The business is now over 15 years old, so we have a hard core of existing customers. Also, we generate new business through recommendations and cross selling. We have a full-time Business Development Manager who visits many of the larger customers, which helps us understand their business better. For the individual risks we find lead providers and aggregators such as Bionic a useful source of business.

What do you foresee as the biggest challenges at your brokerage at the moment?

As a large motor trade broker, one of biggest problems is fraud and ghost broking. We are proactive in validating our new customers and turn away risks which fail those checks, but battling potential fraud is constantly evolving. Our challenge is to stay ahead of the fraudsters to protect both our insurers and our other clients.

How do you plan to grow in the coming year?

Investment in systems is helping to grow the business alongside a comprehensive staff development programme. We have made some key appointments already this year and hope to continue that work. Finding ambitious people to fit in with our existing team always takes time, but it's a good investment. 

What are your marketing plans this year?

Wide and various to cater for the various parts of the business. We attend trade shows, sponsor events and sports clubs, host golf days and invest in targeted advertising. 

Which Blink products or services have been most beneficial to your business?

We've really benefited from the motor trade and fleet products. Blink introduced us to insurers we wouldn't necessarily have spoken to or accessed previously.

If there’s one thing we’d like more of from Blink it’s...

A motor trade combined product!

Please note that the content on this website should not be considered advice and professional legal advice should be sourced by you or your clients if required. The views or opinions expressed in the Blink Bugle do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Blink Intermediary Solutions. Your use of the content, for whatever purpose, is at your sole risk. Full terms and conditions apply to individual products, please ensure all of the contractual documentation is read and understood prior to use. Access to this facility is subject to approval by the product provider only. Blink Intermediary Solutions is not part of the approval process.

To the best of our knowledge, the information contained on our site was correct at the time of publication and provided by sources we believe to be reliable.

 

Date Added: 25/01/2019 13:18:22



This month we caught up with Kevin Davies, Managing Director of Riviera Insurance, based in Torquay, Devon, which was established in 2016 and specialises in niche, non-standard insurance.

What core business lines does your brokerage cover?

Public and Private Hire, but only in the South West of England, SME and Small Commercial, Household and Property Owners and Minibus on a national basis and we are just set to launch or Motorhome and Horsebox products.

How do you generate new business enquiries?

We have three main channels, business development, digital and lead procurement; currently 40% of the business is generated via business development using various methods such as, networking and recommendation referrals where the lead to quote is in excess of 90%and an above average conversion rate.

Digital marketing which we carry out in-house, is currently 35% of our enquiries and for the balance lead procurement, we expect a lower lead to quote and conversion rate so we have filters in place to ensure we secure leads that are quality, not quantity.

What do you foresee as the biggest challenges at your brokerage at the moment?

We are still growing business having only started on 2016, so we are on an upward trend. As a result, the biggest challenges are in two key areas: additional staff, we currently employ 14 most of whom have in excess of ten years broking experience and, we are putting in place a recruitment process to seek people to join us that will be new to the industry. Secondly, ensuring we generate sufficient leads/quotes to support our business plan and growth expectations for each of our products.

How do you plan to grow in the coming year?

By the three main channels of generating new business enquiries, new products all supported by our business plan and budget which we review each month to ensure the business is on target to meet our goals and we are also looking at an acquisition strategy to grow a network of offices in the South West. If you look at the demographics in the South West area, many brokers looking at an exit strategy, we have several models we have developed to complement this and would be happy to talk to anyone wishing to consider this.

What are your marketing plans this year?

Our marketing strategy is mainly focused around business development and complemented by digital marketing and lead procurement. We have recently recruited a member of the team to carry out business development to support or SME and Small Commercial growth, and at the same time we can also generate leads for Public and Private Hire; this would be supported by both digital marketing which we will continue to develop and expand our new products and with lead procurement.

Which Blink products or services have been most beneficial to your business?

Public and Private Hire facilities, SME and shortly Household and Property Owner Products

If there’s one thing we’d like more of from Blink it’s...

Nothing really, Steve Horner and Richard Harrison were very supportive of my original business and now Blink have done the same in the new venture; if we want something, we approach our Blink IS BDM, Antony Nash as one of our ports of call.

Please note that the content on this website should not be considered advice and professional legal advice should be sourced by you or your clients if required. The views or opinions expressed in the Blink Bugle do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Blink Intermediary Solutions. Your use of the content, for whatever purpose, is at your sole risk. Full terms and conditions apply to individual products, please ensure all of the contractual documentation is read and understood prior to use. Access to this facility is subject to approval by the product provider only. Blink Intermediary Solutions is not part of the approval process.

To the best of our knowledge, the information contained on our site was correct at the time of publication and provided by sources we believe to be reliable.

Date Added: 21/11/2018 11:07:55



This month we caught up with Rena Ross of Kelvin Smith. Kelvin Smith insurance brokers was established in 1982 and is one of Scotland’s leading firms of independent insurance brokers.

What core business lines does your brokerage cover?

We are an independent General Insurance Broker and we cover all commercial lines, with particular strengths in arranging cover for clients operating within the Construction, Property and Leisure sectors, we also have a substantial Motor Fleet book and a Private Client Department.

How do you generate new business enquiries?  

In the same way we have done for many years, which is from recommendations and referrals from our existing clients.

What do you foresee as the biggest challenges at your brokerage at the moment?

Our biggest challenge at the moment is probably the recruitment and selection of staff to keep pace with growth on our book! Glasgow is a real hub for the Insurance industry, however, there is strong demand for high quality commercial broking staff as a result.

How do you plan to grow in the coming year?

In the same way that we have been steadily growing previously – recommendations and referrals from existing client helps to keep our conversion of new business quotations high.

What are your marketing plans this year?

More of the same!

Which Blink products or services have been most beneficial to your business? 

Instant Underwriting and Nelson Policies have been good in helping us place and win business for classes sometimes more difficult to place locally.

If there’s one thing we’d like more of from Blink it’s...

To continue supporting us in keeping our offering slightly different from that of our competitors.

Please note that the content on this website should not be considered advice and professional legal advice should be sourced by you or your clients if required. The views or opinions expressed in the Blink Bugle do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Blink Intermediary Solutions. Your use of the content, for whatever purpose, is at your sole risk. Full terms and conditions apply to individual products, please ensure all of the contractual documentation is read and understood prior to use. Access to this facility is subject to approval by the product provider only. Blink Intermediary Solutions is not part of the approval process.

To the best of our knowledge, the information contained on our site was correct at the time of publication and provided by sources we believe to be reliable.

Date Added: 25/10/2018 15:27:24



This month we caught up with Jim Robinson, Crest Insurance Consultants, an independent broker based in Burnham, Buckinghamshire who provide a full range of general insurance services, both personal and corporate.

What core business lines does your brokerage cover? Primarily commercial especially around property, liabilities and pharma.

How do you generate new business enquiries? We have always relied upon introductions from existing contacts. We provide a bespoke service as we believe this is the best way to differentiate our offering and introduced business, we believe, best suits this approach.

What do you foresee as the biggest challenges at your brokerage at the moment? Possibly Brexit as some of the pharma clients could be impacted by this. Increasing regulation does not help either.

How do you plan to grow in the coming year? As before, we will look to continue to develop our pipeline of introductions, but continue to look to our existing client base for growth.

What are your marketing plans this year?  We don’t really have any marketing plans other than as outlined above.

Which Blink products or services have been most beneficial to your business? We are quite new to Blink IS and for the foreseeable future their assistance in the re-alignment of our agency base through the excellent efforts of our BDM Ant Nash, is the most beneficial support to us.

If there’s one thing we’d like more of from Blink it’s... more of the same

Please note that the content on this website should not be considered advice and professional legal advice should be sourced by you or your clients if required. The views or opinions expressed in the Blink Bugle do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Blink Intermediary Solutions. Your use of the content, for whatever purpose, is at your sole risk. Full terms and conditions apply to individual products, please ensure all of the contractual documentation is read and understood prior to use. Access to this facility is subject to approval by the product provider only. Blink Intermediary Solutions is not part of the approval process.

To the best of our knowledge, the information contained on our site was correct at the time of publication and provided by sources we believe to be reliable.

 

Date Added: 26/09/2018 15:48:59



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About Blink



At Blink Intermediary Solutions we offer a refreshing, independent and agile approach to helping independent UK insurance brokers grow. We provide access to a broad range of personal and commercial insurance facilities, some of which are exclusive and there are no fees to access the standard range.