At Travelers, schemes success comes down to four D’s

Guiding prospective partners to schemes success

At Travelers, schemes success comes down to four D’s



This article was provided by David Bailey (pictured left), schemes manager at Travelers Europe and Jonathan Forster (pictured right), SME distribution director for Travelers Europe.

Before entering into any long-term commitment, it’s important to understand your partner. That’s the spirit driving the schemes business at Travelers and how the company works with brokers and MGAs to develop new schemes propositions together.

“These are long-term arrangements that can last for a minimum of three years but for as many as 10-15 years,” said Jonathan Forster, SME Distribution Director at Travelers. “So it’s important for both parties to be satisfied with the match.”

To ensure that happens, Travelers developed a “4D process” to structure the business. It guides prospective schemes partners through Discovery, Design, Delivery and Development stages that help Travelers understand and assess each scheme proposition, monitor its progress and position it for continued success. Throughout these stages, Travelers has an opportunity to get to know the people behind the idea – and they get to know Travelers as well.

Drilling down on the four stages

Discovery: In this first stage, Travelers invests time up front to confirm that the partner’s scheme proposition and Travelers are a good mutual fit. It’s the most important stage of the 4D Process, according to David Bailey, who recently joined Travelers Europe as Schemes Manager after many years developing schemes portfolios for other insurers.

“We want to understand the business, the people, their enthusiasm about the proposition, and their track record on performance and claims,” he said. “We’re forensic about it so we can avoid challenges and generate the best outcomes later.”

To that end, the Travelers team takes a deep dive into client data and also makes sure the policy wording meets their clients’ needs. They ask questions to better understand the partner’s aspirations for the scheme, then align those goals with their own team’s ideas and objectives.

Design: Throughout the second stage, Travelers aims to improve upon the existing proposition. The team continues its due diligence to deepen their understanding of the scheme, all with the support of a range of experts from across Travelers who can design protection around the specific needs of the scheme.

Nathan Anders, Specialist Schemes Director for Towergate Insurance, placed business with Travelers for Towergate’s subsidiary, Walker Midgley, in 2019. He remembers being impressed with the capabilities of the people on this broader team during this part of the process.

“I was speaking to the right people on calls once a week for a long period,” he recalled. “I was very conscious that these were senior people, busy people, and they could make decisions and move quickly – they were not people who took notes and then needed to go up the line for signoff.”

Delivery: During this third stage, the team at Travelers sets clear milestones and success measures to prepare the scheme for launch, whilst checking in with the partner regularly to provide support and set expectations.

“Communication is high on our agenda, so keeping in touch is important,” Bailey said. “Often, this provides peace of mind to partners who are keen to find an insurer for their business and want to know where the process stands.”

That was the precise effect it had on Anders, who said this outreach from Travelers set the company apart from other prospective partners.

“Travelers really communicated with me, even if there was no update,” he said. “There was no radio silence. It seems like a small thing, but I was under pressure to find a new insurer.”

Development: During the final stage, Travelers and the schemes partner agree to the level of contact and support they should have in place in the initial weeks and months following the launch, then they adapt as needed to meet the targets they have set. They hold quarterly and annual reviews, but these meetings are more about planning for the future than about reviewing results – they already do that together throughout the year.

“At Travelers, our aim is to build quality partnerships that will deliver and grow,” Bailey said. “That means managing and resourcing the scheme appropriately and setting it up for success for as long as it exists. We’re in this for the long term.”

To find out more about Travelers Schemes, visit

Travelers does not warrant that the information in this article constitutes a complete and finite list of each and every item or procedure related to the topics or issues referenced herein. The information provided in this article is intended for use as a guideline and is not intended as, nor does it constitute, legal or professional advice.

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