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How to do business with an insurance giant

How to do business with an insurance giant

How to do business with an insurance giant It’s all well and good being independent, but there’s no doubt that the name value of a big insurance firm can carry a lot of weight with customers. But how do you go about getting such a deal?

One underwriting firm certainly knows how.

Around two weeks ago Insurance Business UK revealed that Aviva had struck a deal with Suffolk’s Yutree Underwriting in an effort to give brokers the edge when competing for haulage business. The two companies have launched Hauliers Liability by Yutree, which is available to independent brokers across the country.

But how did this deal come about? We spoke to Laura High, director at Yutree Underwriting, to find out.

“Our business is about four years old and previously we had another business in Newmarket called The Davis Group which was sold to Bluefin in 2007,” she explained. “The Davis Group was a freight and transport broker. So we ran hauliers’ liability schemes for a lot of years in that business.

“When we set up Yutree, we weren’t going to set our stall out to be a freight and transport broker again so we had more general liability facilities that we had launched. However, as we had done it for so many years in the previous business a lot of brokers knew us for it – so four years in we took stock of where we were and decided to do hauliers’ liability again.

“The scheme is liability insurance – public and employers’ liability insurance - for hauliers, so general haulage risks but also removal companies and couriers. So it works for one man and his truck up to your big multi-fleet risks. We do all the underwriting in the office with Aviva being the capacity behind it.

 “We’re delighted to have a name like Aviva behind us because, as a four year old business, it’s brilliant to have a household name behind one of your schemes.”

High herself has a history with Aviva, having worked there at the start of her career when the insurer was known as Norwich Union. However, she does not believe that this was the key to the deal – on the contrary, it was about finding a suitable proposition for which there was a legitimate appetite from such a major insurer.

“I think it helped a little (her background) but the overriding factor is that we have a proven track record in the sector, in haulage, in this business of running schemes with all the governance and processes behind it,” she said. “So when we were presenting to Aviva we were presenting a very solid proposition and all we needed to know from them was that hauliers’ liability was within appetite and then everything fell into place.

“We had built up a good relationship with Aviva in our direct business so we talked to them about their appetite for it as a scheme and I think they were taken with our background in it – we underwrite and select the risks.

“So it was just a case of things coming together at the right time, really.”

Perhaps the conclusion then is that preparation pays off and that it really isn’t who you know, it’s what you know – find the right proposition at the right time and the big names will listen.

Related stories:
Aviva forms underwriting partnership with Yutree