Heroes come in many shapes and guises


I am never quite sure how to answer the question. “So what do you do for a living?” Now, if you’re a firefighter, you can pretty much guarantee that people will be enthralled in the stories of rescue and danger, you are clearly in the presence of a real life hero.

When it comes to my turn to answer I do feel awkward, knowing that eyes will glaze over, and yawns will be stifled.

As soon as you mention the word insurance, broker, underwriting, premiums you notice people switching off. This is a subject not always easy to explain. Even my mother is known to smile sweetly, nod her head and mutter something polite (so very British).

Yet every business has a form of insurance whether it’s to protect it from fires (yes Mr Firefighter we are one step ahead of you), insuring fleet vehicles, and handling claims or employers liability. Insurance has had a fascinating start.

In fact it was through a coffee shop frequented by sailors and merchants that gave us the first insurance policies. Thanks to Lloyds of London selling marine insurance, they realised that sailing was a dangerous occupation. With the fear of storms or pirate attacks these merchants and sailors wanted insurance in case they were thrown overboard or lost their goods at sea.

Thankfully the likelihood of a small business owner requiring pirate insurance is quite slim. Over the past 300 years business insurance has adapted to fit the needs of a changing world

Insurance, let alone specialist insurance, like transport, may not inspire much adulation, but for those of us working in this sector, it’s intriguing to see how it has grown into a product that offers businesses protection from everyday risks.

Heroes come in many shapes and guises

Just like Lloyds of London who started out looking after marine insurance Ratcliffe Insurance has been specialising in transport, truck and haulage Insurance for 40 years. There aren’t many of us who can still offer this service.

Honest and upfront, a true hero helps you save

We may not be in the business of fighting fires, but at Ratcliffes we care. We’ve demonstrated how we can help business owners. This unlikely hero can advise you in ways to keep premiums low. As well as be more responsible when it comes to business insurance. Here are our top ten tips

  1. Get a camera, implementing a few basic measures, such as a security system protocols, and fire sprinklers, can reduce insurance costs
  2. The price must be right, but it’s not always about the cheapest quote. Consider what additional hidden extras there might be or not be, e.g. Do I need breakdown cover? Is this part of the package?
  3. The true value of insurance is only evident in the event of a claim
  4. Think about who you are talking to and the value of a friendly person steering you through a claim, which, in many cases is not complicated
  5. Insurance people look favourably on those customers who are responsible. To avoid rate rises review your risk management to reduce the need to make a claim
  6. Make sure the information is up to date. Check the renewal policy, has there been changes to your business? It’s in your interest to look through the information, there may be the opportunity to reduce what you pay to protect your business
  7. Paying upfront can help lower costs, or there may be an alternative payment plan in place helping to spread the cost and manage your cash flow
  8. Ask for discounts, and check the details of your policy and what it covers
  9. Make sure you have the right amount of cover, too much and you’re paying over the odds and too little could leave you exposed. A good broker will provide detailed explanation of this
  10. Whilst price is an important when buying insurance, it should not be the main focus. It’s worth considering issues around your whole experience, be it the evaluation of a particular insurance carrier that provides the policy or the claims process

Use someone you trust who has a good reputation, someone who knows what they are doing and has been around a long time. All businesses need to invest to thrive, insurance is no different, the service you receive should give you peace of mind.

Peace of Mind

Next time I’m asked what I do for a living, I’ll just have to whip out my mask and cape, state boldly that I provide protection, ensuring peace of mind. With an insurance motto of Safeguard, Protect and Defend

For truck, haulage, fleet or business insurance call Ratcliffes on  01242 544 515 email: ewanwatson@ratcliffes.co.uk