It has already been a busy week for major industry returns – and now you can add another to the list, with the news that Karen Beales has been appointed managing director of Financial & Legal Insurance Company Ltd (FLI), the specialist LEI insurer that is part of the Drive Further Collective.
FLI, which is based in Cheadle, was established in 1995 and writes ATE and BTE insurance well as homebuyer insurance. It is regulated by both the PRA and the FCA, and also provides capacity for its own products and for partners.
Beales, who will replace Mike Timmons who has stepped down to move to a new position elsewhere in the industry, will join FLI from February and report to Drive Further Collective chief executive Nick Garner (pictured above with Beales).
“I am thrilled to welcome Karen to FLI,” Garner said. “She is a highly experienced CEO with a very strong background in leading businesses. She will be responsible for setting out and achieving our long-term objectives for FLI after the implementation of the Civil Liability Act, which is certain to bring significant changes to the LEI sector.”
Addressing Timmons’ departure, Garner added: “I want to thank Mike Timmons for his contribution to FLI and wish him every future success. Karen inherits a strong position for FLI, after we’ve grown our GWP by nearly 20% during last year, giving us an excellent platform to take advantage of changes to the LEI market in the post reform world.”
Beales, who was previously CEO of UK General Insurance, detailed her belief that consumer demand for legal expenses cover is certain to grow after government reforms are implemented, as customers making a claim for minor injuries will no longer be able to get their legal costs paid for by the at-fault insurer.
“I am really looking forward to assisting Nick and FLI in a rapidly changing market,” she said. “I have enjoyed my time in consultancy, but the opportunity to lead a team again is irresistible, especially at such an important time for the industry.
“Part of our task will be to lead efforts within the wider industry to educate consumers about the merits of having LEI cover. It is a valuable product but it is widely misunderstood, and that needs to change.”