This month, we turn the spotlight on Nigel Hendry of Secure Insurance Services, an insurance intermediary that provides commercial insurance products and services to SME businesses.
In a few sentences, tell us about your business
We are an independent commercial insurances intermediary which began life in 2010. We work hard at being the vital “Insurance Department” for our many clients, so that we are the client’s first and only choice when they require any type of commercial insurance.
We enjoy fantastic renewal retention and new business sign up figures, which means we must be doing our work correctly in the opinion of our clients.
What positives - or new ways of working - have you taken from the pandemic period?
The pandemic has not caused us any real problems because we have always focused on providing our clients the service they need WHENEVER they need it. So typically, we spend a lot of the working day visiting our clients at their premises which forges strong relationships. The pandemic has meant that this has not been possible, but we have taken advantage of video conferencing and expanding our use of digital newsletters and social media and we have had some great feedback from lots of our clients.
What top tips can you share to stay focused and productive when working from home?
Take the positive route – use the “new normal” working situation to ensure that you deliver a constant and an even more immediate response to any client request. Make sure that your clients know that whatever they need, whenever they need it you can be there for them. We have taken the time to speak more to clients than ever before to build stronger and closer relationships.
You must ensure that you are still delivering a professional service, so being ready, alert and having the tools available helps provide a consistent, high level of service. Therefore, it’s vital to be always organised and not be distracted with any events taking place at home.
In the past few months, what is the smallest change you have made which has had the biggest impact?
Taking time to consider how we can improve and prioritise the actions which can deliver these improvements and then setting the benchmarks to ensure that the changes are consistent.
What do you enjoy most about working in insurance broking?
The interaction with all sorts of people, understanding their motivations and needs and then working out how you can deliver a tailored solution that works long term for your business and theirs. I have always enjoyed being at the “sharp end” – I want to see some immediate results of what I have been involved with, the corporate world is not my ideal way of spending my time.
What worries you the most about the future of insurance broking?
(1) The pressure on your time that is necessary for regulatory matters and (2) the over reliance on IT systems – both of which threatens what brokers have always done best – being innovative.
I was once told by one of the most senior Lloyd’s underwriters (on the day he retired!) that he worried that such problems would see the end of innovators and entrepreneurs. And I fear he is being proven correct!
If you could work in any other industry apart from insurance broking, what would it be and why?
Marketing and / or business mentoring.
Marketing – because it is fast moving, ever-changing and it’s intriguing to see what works and what doesn’t.
Business mentoring - I have studied business coaching for some time and completed a professional course years ago. I enjoy the challenges of finding solutions to the various issues that confront business owners.
If you could offer one piece of advice to someone just starting out in the industry, what would it be?
Try and enjoy every day (although we all know it is not possible) but realise the importance of enjoying what you do. Always do the very best you can at all times, no matter how simple or difficult the task may be. Lastly, realise that if you don’t know something ASK because you will always find someone prepared to help.
Which Blink products or services have been|are most beneficial to your business?
Commercial insurance providers – there have been a lot of them since we joined forces with Blink. We have been able to build strong and close relationships because of the efforts of Bill Broom and his colleagues which are still having a positive effect on our bottom line.
If there's one thing we'd like from Blink it's ...
It would be to have “pie & a pint” – I miss those days!!