A Personal Lines Department

Personal Lines business, both High Net Worth (HNW) and normal EDI level policies, has become a significant and growing proportion of what TEn is about.

Background

When TEn was first conceived in 2004 and launched in 2005, it was imagined as a purely Commercial Lines network. This concept endured for about six months, at which point one or two HNW Household markets were added in response to demand by our 5th AR.

It was as well we did that, because just about every other Member thereafter wanted them too; indeed, a rapidly increasing range and number of markets were required. Anticipating that there would be some requirement for EDI type Personal Lines to be handled, TEn originally made arrangements with a company called Outright, based in Stoke-on-Trent, to answer calls as TEn and deal directly with any customers that appeared.

This outsourcing continued for several years, although by 2009 - first Household and then Private Motor - were moved back in-house onto the CDL Strata quotation and EDI system. The rationale was that each AR would handle their own quotes and take-up.

A Private Clients Team

From September 2017, a Private Clients Team was established in our Princes Risborough office with the employment of John Shephard (Head of Private Clients), a specialist with 25 years’ experience in the field. John is now building a team around him.

The volume of HNW business, both Household and Motor, had grown steadily over the years to about £4m GWP by 2017. Prior to the Private Clients Team this had been handled previously by our predominantly Commercial broking teams, without a specialist focus upon it.

Whilst during 2018, the development of and recruitment for the Private Clients Team continues as a Work in Progress, even the early strides in added-value have been significant.

At the same time, the headroom created in the Commercial broking teams with the steady transfer of renewals from themselves and towards the HNW Team, has helped there too.

The Personal Lines Department

From January 2018, the Personal Lines Department was established in TEn’s new Sutton Coldfield office under Carl Jones (Head of Personal Lines), plus two part-time staff.

The Department became ‘live’ on a limited basis during February and gained an extra full-time person during that month, with others on the way thereafter. For the clear majority of the network’s Commercial Brokers, the Personal Lines Department will operate as the Personal Lines Department of each member, dealing directly with the clients.

This is, of course, totally different from our modus operandi in terms of Private Clients and Commercial business, where all client contact is through the broker.

Therefore, we expect and encourage our members to say to their clients, “I shall put you through to my Personal Lines Department and they will be pleased to deal with your enquiry.”

Indeed, we have acquired a large number of 0333 telephone numbers, one for each of our members, which will be answered as each different broker when their number is called.

The Personal Lines Department will deal with MTAs and renewals, all on each separate brokers’ behalf, with that brokers’ name and branding appearing on documentation. Ownership of clients remains with each member, even though TEn will be doing most of the work.

Why Work This Way for Personal Lines?

Simple answer. Expertise and regulation. The Personal Lines Department has the benefit of call-recording, compliant scripts and the ability to apply discounts, with the full authority of the relevant insurers. Also, a referral path to most markets.

These are not features and techniques generally available to or used by our predominantly Commercial brokers, who do not have the time, nor the experience to get the best out of increasing subtle and complex quotation systems. Not to mention chasing proof of bonuses and occasional signed proposal forms.

What about Personal Lines Brokers?

For a limited number of TEn ARs that do a focus of volume EDI business and have adopted call-recording and scripts etc, then the Personal Lines Department will act as a referral point for those brokers. Rather like our Broking Teams operate for Commercial business.

However, we do not anticipate more than 10% of the membership wanting to retain this burden.