Following a strategic overhaul, Rural Insurance has signaled its aggressive growth intentions with record monthly new business figures for the last four months.
Managing director Simon Stevens, who only joined the Harrogate-based business in March, said the results had been driven by bringing in new hires among the management team and a particular focus on high quality service.
“June alone was up 78% year on year, and in the last three months, we’ve achieved nearly £1million new business GWP, a near 140% increase on 2010. Our ambition is to grow our overall market share to 5% and become a top five player within three-five years,” he added.
Mr Stevens said his first priority was to implement new image and workflow technology to streamline and improve its policy admin. “We’ve invested heavily to scan one million pages of policy files, and workflow has given our team leaders access to MI dashboards to monitor performance.”
“We launched a new Rural website in April giving brokers access to online quotation facilities and a link to imarket to allow them to issue electronic motor cover notes on behalf of Rural. And last week, we announced the first wave of our delegated authority schemes, signed with two specialist brokers in Northern Ireland.”
“We have lost one or two members of the old team to competitors, but we are delighted with the recent performance and continue to make new hires. We have taken on four new underwriters in Harrogate to support the new business demand, and in sales and business development, Gill Anderson, who joined Rural at the beginning of July from Lucas Fettes, will have responsibility for the North West region.”
Mr Stevens said agricultural insurance was in “an interesting phase,” as farmers look to diversify, and commodity price increases keep the industry in the headlines. He added: “Recent results from major insurance players in the sector have created new opportunities for agile specialists like Rural. We are expecting the competition to respond, but our service promise has clearly paid off in recent months, and I am delighted with the positive response from our brokers.”