NIG targets SME insurance in Scotland
by Brian Turner
Story link: NIG targets SME insurance in Scotland
Commercial insurer NIG has announced plans to invest in and grow its Glasgow-based team as it looks to explore opportunities in the underserved SME market in Scotland.
A team of 12 underwriters in Glasgow currently handles new business, while the majority of Scottish renewals are looked after by NIG’s Manchester operation. However, NIG will be phasing the handling of renewals back to Glasgow and has already begun the recruitment process. The total number of underwriters in Scotland is also targeted to grow by up to 50% over the next 12 to 24 months.
Alan Kirkwood, Area Business Development Manager for NIG in Scotland, will continue to manage the sales team in Glasgow. As well as three Business Development Managers, NIG has also recruited a sales coordinator and is currently recruiting an Area Underwriting Manager who will lead the underwriting team.
Staff in NIG’s Manchester office will not be adversely impacted by the transition to Glasgow as NIG is also looking to grow in the Manchester market. This is supported by the recruitment of a new Area Business Development Manager for the branch to work alongside Steve Williams, NIG’s Manchester Area Underwriting Manager.
The decision to invest in its Scottish operation was catalysed by on-going feedback from brokers operating in the Scottish market who highlighted the need for a dedicated local service for them and their clients.
In a recent survey1 conducted by NIG on a sample of leading brokers in Scotland, 40% said that one of the key requirements they look for from their commercial insurance partners is a ‘strong, regional office’; overall, they rated ‘fast, efficient customer service’ in first place (60%). Asked about opportunities in the Scottish market, the majority (73%) said that commercial landlord and property owner lines are expected to show the most growth, followed by fleet/motor (46%) and tradesman (40%).
Alan Kirkwood, Area Business Development Manager for NIG in Scotland, said: “The team of four business development staff is dedicated to visiting brokers here in Scotland and maintaining a close relationship with them. NIG understands the Scottish market extremely well and the investment being made in the Scottish office underlines how committed we are to the region.”
Dave Parry, Director of Sales and Distribution for NIG, said: “Since 2009, the work we have carried out at NIG has been very focused on our face-to-market capability. We have recruited some great people and continue to invest in the talent we need to grow our business sustainably. We have listened to our broker partners and our continued investment in the Scottish market underlines our belief that there are rewards to be earned from getting closer to the local broking operations that have a strong relationship with their clients.”