It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that commercial underwriting can be a very complex and sometimes difficult thing to do. That's precisely why at LV= Broker we make sure we have only the best people working in our teams. Across the UK, our people are located in nine offices and between us we have over a thousand years of experience at our customers' disposal. That's a lot of commercial policies we're used to dealing with!
In the last nine years, we've managed to successfully grow our commercial business from nothing to £264m in gross written premiums, and in 2016 alone we launched six new commercial products, secured 24 portfolio transfers and new schemes and achieved Chartered Insurer status for our underwriting teams.
These achievements are no mean feat and I believe part of the reason why we managed to accomplish all of this is down to the fact we have a strong local presence across the UK.
For me, local presence equals local knowledge. Our branch network - which is located all across the UK - enables us to provide a dedicated, knowledgeable service to our brokers with underwriters who are able to use their local knowledge to provide the best possible quotation. Our employees in the network are empowered to deal with over 95% of the enquiries they receive without onward referral, which allows us to provide a first class service to our brokers. What's more, I strongly believe that our values also differentiate us from the competition, keeping us focused on putting the customer at the centre of everything we do. We also support local communities, a good recent example being our minibus giveaway where we donate minibuses to deserving charities.
Having said that, there is always more we could be doing to ensure we're offering a great underwriting service to our customers, which is why we're constantly looking at ways of improving it. Whether that be by increasing our front line skills through training and empowerment, or by enhancing and developing our digital platforms. Recent examples of the ways we've improved our service is the changes we've made to our underwriting licences, whereby we're giving greater autonomy to the branches or introducing mid-term alteration functionality to our online fleet system. We're also introducing new Motor Trade Combined systems allowing us to provide enhanced service, better documentation and a much improved customer journey.
A service is only as good as the people providing it and while we're happy with where we are now, no company should ever be complacent and we will continue to always do what we believe is best for our customers.
Paul Miles - Commercial Underwriting Manager