Northern England was particularly badly hit and prompted multi-agency emergency rescue missions and, eventually, some recovery packages to help communities get back on their feet. For H&H Insurance Brokers, which specialises in farms and estates, it has been a busy five months.
Based in the north of England, with offices in Carlisle, North Wales, Durham and The Scottish Borders, the business has been assisting numerous clients with flood-related claims, many of which involve significant losses. “Only this morning I have been seeing a client with a £750,000 flooding claim. It has been a very busy time indeed,” said managing director John Noone.
Many farming communities have not just seen their livelihoods ripped from beneath their feet, but their homes too. “We are in a very specialist market and one of the things that makes it differ from others is that we are not dealing with finance directors or business premises as such – on a farm you are in your own home and place of work at the same time,” said Noone. “We get to know the farmer and their communities in a way you would not ordinarily see. The thing about farmers is they are very resilient. Farming is a generational occupation and they can go through all sorts of highs and lows but they just keep going on.”
H&H Insurance Brokers is in its 30th
year of trading. The brokerage is part of the H&H Group, which began life more than 140 years ago with livestock auctions, which it still runs to this day.
In quieter periods, the majority of the firm’s work is dealing with combine, tractor and farming equipment insurance as well as farm buildings, livestock and liability.
“We pride ourselves on our field of expertise, experience, heritage, locality and the quality of people we employ who understand the communities they serve. We need to have an understanding of how the business works, what the problems and issues are and with farming, it changes all the time,” said Noone.
In recent years the biggest changes the industry has faced has, according to Noone, been the introduction of the Finance Conduct Authority.
“This has introduced a new challenge to all UK general insurance brokers as they need to ensure their working practices are complaint with FCA legislation at all levels of the business whilst at the same time making sure their clients are not inundated with unnecessary and confusing paperwork,” he said.
Meanwhile, and looking to the future, Noone awaits with interest to see what ‘changes and processes’ the new Insurance Act will mean for the industry when it is made law later this year.