Covéa Insurance has outlined its ambitions to significantly grow its commercial lines business and has detailed the key elements of the strategy that will drive that growth.
Covéa Insurance is looking to create a more diversified UK insurance business and strong and profitable growth of its commercial lines business is an important element of its overall strategy. Already known for its strengths in schemes and SME, the company intends to build on its existing commercial lines offering and reposition itself as a regional mid-market insurer.
The company is already having success in winning mid-market business and has been actively engaging with well respected, independent commercial lines brokers to understand their views on what’s required to stand out from the crowd in this competitive sector. Based on this insight, over coming months the company will be evolving its offering to position itself as a credible alternative to traditional mid-market insurers, with a proposition that’s there to help brokers win new business and grow their existing business.
The company is making significant investments in both people and infrastructure to realise its growth ambitions and deliver a compelling proposition. The appointment of Simon Cooter as Commercial Lines Director in January, to lead the development and delivery of the commercial lines strategy, marked the start of the company’s investment programme. Since that time Simon has been busy implementing his vision of creating a leadership team that has real market significance and one that brokers will want to work with.
Building on Covéa Insurance’s strong foundations in commercial lines, Simon has already established a core commercial lines leadership team, which has included three internal promotions, and is actively recruiting three new roles to complete his leadership team.
Having created two ‘super regions’ – one North and one South – two of the roles are for a Northern and Southern Regional Head, who will each have full P&L responsibility for all business traded in their regional area: for accelerating regional growth: and for the regional underwriting and development teams.
Simon Cooter commented: “I believe in regional autonomy, in empowering underwriters to make decisions and in making it easy for brokers to access decision makers at all levels. These two appointments are key to creating that autonomy and ensuring that brokers have the access they need to the right people in our regional trading teams”.
The third role is for a Micro SME Leader, a traditional area of strength for Covéa Insurance. The role will focus on further developing the company’s Micro SME business, building upon the strengths of the company’s own on-line trading platform (Broker Online), its comparative quote offering (BOS+) and the products it distributes through a number of B2B platforms.
But Covéa Insurance’s biggest investment in people will be in the development of its underwriters and its underwriting capabilities; the company recognises that providing an environment that supports regional underwriters to trade will be fundamental to its longer term success. Additionally, the company will also be recruiting experienced underwriters with a strong technical and mid-market trading background to add to the existing team.
From an infrastructure perspective, a strong regional presence remains central to how the company will continue to trade and along with a programme of investment in its current regional trading offices – Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Reading and Chelmsford – the company will open its 8th trading office in the City of London by the end of the year.
Simon Cooter commented: “I’m confident that we have a real opportunity to create a credible alternative to what traditional mid-market insurers have to offer. We’re looking to work with brokers who will support us to win business and based on our successes to date, it’s clear that brokers are looking for what we have to offer. Not only can we offer our brokers A rated financial strength and security, our desire and ambition is matched with significant investment. We’re absolutely serious about becoming a mid-market insurer and my message to the market is that this is just the start”