Mike Richards (FD) of Westley Group describes his insurance renewal journey.
Westley Group

At Westley Group, we have always strived to create a culture of stability which transcends through our business to our customers, suppliers and other partners. Not only does this have obvious trading benefits to all parties, but it also allows us to deliver consistent messaging to our 288 staff across our Engineering Divisions at their various geographical locations across the UK.

However, although long term relationships often promote stability and are therefore encouraged it is always the best interests of our business which come first and we are occasionally forced to look beyond this preferred strategy – which was the position we found ourselves in at this year’s renewal of our insurances.

Our previous brokers had made us aware that the insurance market was ‘hardening’, both from capacity and premium perspectives, and we found ourselves looking down the barrel of significant cost increases whilst also being forced to engage with more than one insurer on our Property schedule to ensure that we were fully covered. At this point we reached out to Gallagher to see whether they could offer an alternative and better solution. We were uncomfortably close to our forthcoming renewal date when we first contacted Gallagher and it looked unlikely that we would have sufficient time to remedy the challenges that we were faced with.

However, from our first meeting with Richard Grosvenor he took a far more optimistic stance, clearly comfortable with his experience in our sector coupled with his confidence in his team’s broking skills, they set about a rapid remarketing exercise coupled with a re-evaluation of the cover we had in place.

I am delighted to say that the final outcome was a vindication of Gallagher’s confident approach. In the midst of the pandemic ‘lockdown’ they were prepared to visit our various sites in order to ensure that they fully understood our business. Armed with that knowledge they were able to convince a major insurer of our management controls and commitment to risk management. The final outcome was really positive, we avoided the seemingly inevitable increased costs that we were told were unavoidable in this market, plus all of the covers were absorbed by a single insurer rather than having to schedule our programme with multi-insurers. We have been extremely pleased with the professional way that Gallagher faced up to the challenges and delivered on their promises.

Having appointed Gallagher as our new brokers, we are now looking forward to building upon our relationship and working with Gallagher going forward.

Mike Richards (Financial Director – Westley Group Ltd)