The Operation

The purpose of this page is to provide prospective AR applicants with an overview of the detail, regarding the workings of the TEn AR Network. It does not cover absolutely every aspect of it.

You will find out lots more in our Start-Up Guide, which covers the real nitty-gritty, once you have made a decision in principle to move forward and join us.

The client relationships

In any typical broker, the client relationships are handled by variously titled people, called Account Executives or Business Development Managers.

In a smaller organisation, these people would report to a director/owner of the company, whereas further up the scale there might be several tiers of regional, national, or even the fiendishly confusing nightmare of matrix management.

In the context of TEn, this function is entirely within the scope of the Member Brokers. TEn does not have front-line contact with clients, except as a back-up or as a locum service.

The broker technicians

In a small Broker, there is little division of labour between the person dealing with a client and the person gathering quotes from insurers and the subsequent negotiation of special terms, endorsements etc. It is often the same individual.

As brokers become bigger, such a division of labour does tend to occur. The latter model being the one TEn has adopted as its default position, although it is very much on a ‘horses for courses’ basis, if that is what the AR prefers; and we agree.

Broker Technicians are TEn employees within our three regional offices, in Princes Risborough, Manchester and Glasgow. Each AR is assigned to a specific team and to specific people, generally in the geographically nearest of the three above mentioned locations.

The practice of Member brokers, dealing with a small group of people at our end on a day to day basis, has proved to be a sensible way of building knowledge and trust between the ARs and our people who essentially are their staff.

The mutual understanding of strengths and weaknesses is no bad thing!

For certain types of small ticket Commercial business, such as Tradesman, Offices, Shops, Vans etc, we have automated quote & bind facilities on Acturis, that enables each AR to handle the majority of their standard polices, all by themselves.

That said, up to 30% of this type of business may be referred into Your Team for special scrutiny. This is usually because it has proved to be less standard than was originally supposed.

Equally, for some of the larger and more complex cases, it is sometimes essential that the Member Broker has direct dealing access to the underwriter(s). Their knowledge of the client and the risk is first-hand and things can get lost in translation.

The best client outcome is always our guiding principle in every case.

The premium collection

It is the responsibility of Member Brokers to ensure that client payments are collected or arranged in a timely manner. With a few more rigorous exceptions, timely is defined as: -

  • Within 28 days for Commercial business
  • Up-front for standard Personal Lines business
  • Somewhere in the middle for HNW business

Credit control is definitely your baby, because they are your clients after all.

As an AR, you never handle client money and so, all cheques, credit/debit card payments and Premium Finance agreements are payable to directly TEn.

The distributed admin.

Whilst TEn retains a head office in Princes Risborough, which it is for historical reasons, thanks to a cloud-based IT system, VoIP phones, Teams and Zoom, most of our administrative support is distributed into regional offices.

This is true of Manchester and Glasgow. And Manchester has the most people.

Although the Accounts and IT Departments will probably always favour the South, the AR facing Broker Technicians are better equipped with local empathy and knowledge, if they are in closer proximity to the ARs they serve.

There are more opportunities for face-to-face contact - even socialising - between Broker Technicians and Members, plus a familiarity and confidence that is engendered from dealing with a smaller group of people with similar accents.

The insurer reconciliation

The reconciliation of insurer statements and remitting payments to them at the end of each month is the predominant activity of the TEn Accounts Department.

There is usually one relationship with each insurer, this makes the centralisation of reconciliation and payment entirely logical. Some insurers may require a different agency for this or that trading division, or for a special class of business.

These are quirks that TEn deals with; it is never the AR.

The IBA accounting

There is just the one IBA account - or whatever the new fangled FCA term is - per insurer agency. Many insurers have different agency agreement for different classes of business, so, the above statement is not entirely accurate. Other than in principal.

It is the sole responsibility of TEn to hold correctly ALL monies, be they Client Money or Insurer Money. The difference between the two is dependent on the Risk Transfer status of the agency or, sometimes, the class of business. It can get complicated.

We also maintain FCA approved solvency levels, which is easier.

The claims handling

For any Insurance Broker, the manner in which their clients’ claims are handled, is of paramount importance in terms of promoting the customer relationship.

This is, therefore, one area in which AR will always take the lead, in what might be considered to be an administrative function.

When a claim occurs, the client tends to call the person they know; their broker.

Consequently, logging a claim on to the central TEn system will be done by each AR. Notification to insurers and subsequent chasing will also be performed at the Broker level, wearing a TEn hat at all times when speaking to insurers.

After all, Practitioners are Appointed Representatives of TEn and there can be no FCA related problem with their Practices dealing in the client’s urgent best interests, directly with insurers (or, indeed, their agents) over a claim.

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