Member of the Month: Michael Ratcliffe MBE, Ratcliffe Underwriting
For Compass Member Michael Ratcliffe MBE, the only vocation for him is life as an insurance broker. He started his career in the industry with Commercial Union Insurance in Gloucester in 1965, setting up his own brokerage, M R Ratcliffe Consultants Ltd, in Cheltenham in 1976.
The business has expanded to include Ratcliffe Underwriting, which acts as a wholesale distributor and has helped hundreds of brokers, including Compass Members, to place risks in the transport sector.
“As far back as I can remember I wanted to be an insurance broker and it has always been a passion of mine,” Michael says. And since day one, Ratcliffes has specialised in the placement of all covers relating to the transport industry. They currently have connections with more than 350 broker partners, around 60 of which are Compass Members, and they are now BIBA’s dedicated Transportation Scheme broker.
Michael adds, “We want to do what we can to help other Compass Members. I’m a firm believer that we work hard and do all we can to support other independent brokers. We can help Members to place both the straightforward and the more complex transport and haulage risks, which in turn supports their clients, as well as the transport sector, and in turn grows our book of business – it’s a win-win situation.
“We have over 40 years’ experience in the transportation sector specialising in arranging insurance cover for companies operating in the haulage and logistics space. These companies range from the single vehicle owner, to the 150-plus vehicle fleet operators. We are uniquely placed, and all our staff have extensive industry knowledge and can call on their years of experience in the sector to meet and often exceed brokers and clients’ needs and expectations.”
The recent withdrawal of the of Gefion Insurance licence by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority has meant that there is a volume of business looking for a stable home and Ratcliffes are ready to assist fellow Members with this. Michael told us that Ratcliffes “is open for business” and available to help all Members for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 to place any cases they have involving vans and HGV’s of any size, whether this is due to the current Gefion situation or indeed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
For those working in the transport sector Michael says, “It can be a thankless job! Take the Coronavirus pandemic, when van and lorry drivers were going up and down the country delivering goods during the lockdown without complaint. They are some of our country’s unsung heroes and I enjoy doing all I can to help them.”
And, it’s not just helping the haulage sector and fellow brokers that Michael is passionate about. For the last 16 years, he has been Chief Executive of the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce. He has also dedicated a large part of his life to setting up a number of charities, something which was recognised when Michael received an MBE in 2018. His charity work includes the founding of Caring for Communities and People (CCP) in 1988, which helps homeless 16 to 25 years olds and families in the South West to get back on their feet and equip them with essential life skills; The Isbourne Foundation in 1995, Gloucestershire’s foremost wellbeing hub, with specific programs which support people in their wellbeing and mental health; and IT Schools Africa in 2004, sending refurbished computers to schools in East Africa – currently educating over five million school children. “I believe it’s important to support good causes given the opportunity and it makes life so much more rewarding” explains Michael.
If you would like to find out more about how Ratcliffes can help you and your clients, Compass members please contact your BDM. Alternatively, you can visit Ratcliffe’s website or get in touch with Ratcliffe’s Broker Development Manager, Adrian Blay, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01242 544 544.