This month, we turn the spotlight on Clare Dougherty, Executive Director of Sureplan Insurance Brokers – a High Street broker with branches in Hartlepool and Middlesborough that has been in the insurance broking business for over 30 years.
What core business lines does your brokerage cover?
We are a high street broker offering all general insurance products, our business split is 45% Taxi, 35% Personal lines and 20% Commercial.
How have you found business in these unprecedented times?
It has obviously affected our taxi account more than our other lines of business, however it would have been more challenging if our taxi insurers hadn’t offered alternative cover solutions to assist the individual taxi drivers. The lack of new business has been the main impact for our personal/commercial business whilst the renewal retention in these channels has grown stronger.
What is your current setup, are you and your staff in the office, remote working or a combination of both?
It is a combination of both, we opened our office to customers on the 6th July so the majority of our staff are back in the office, we are lucky that our offices have the space for the staff to work safely.
What positives - or new ways of working - have you taken from the pandemic period?
When the pandemic started, we quickly managed to arrange for everyone to work from home, luckily, the technology we have and systems we use enabled this without any major hurdles and no detriment to customer service. If a similar situation occurred in the future, this has given us the confidence that we can move even quicker. It also shows we can offer a flexible way of working for our staff members in the future if needed.
What is your current business focus?
Our current focus is to increase the new business enquires/volumes by improving our online/social media presence, whilst maintaining the renewal retention. Prior to the pandemic, commercial was an area we were looking to grow the business, so our main focus will be around this. It also goes without saying we will continue to support our customers the best we can whilst we are still coming through this pandemic.
Which Blink products or services have been/are most beneficial to your business?
The most beneficial products have been B-Link and T-Link, both products are a great fit for our business. Instant Underwriting has also helped support our growth in the SME market.
If there’s one thing we’d like from Blink it’s …
A competitive standard household scheme