Market news

28 September 2020

For this edition of Cover Notes I wanted to give you an idea of some key areas where I believe CLM will be able to assist you win business over the remaining months of 2020. These are areas where we know we have support from the market and are well placed to deliver for you.

To give you a steer on some of these hot topics, we have updates on Construction from Steve Stenlake; and Motor Fleet from our own Darren Grodent in collaboration with Adam Marsh, Head of Agency and Development at one of our key markets, DCL.

Paul Montgomery, Broking Director

Construction update 

Unlike the last hard market, the wheels haven’t totally come off in the construction sector. We are seeing a push for rate increase and on average, if a risk is not too problematic, we are seeing around 10%.

Rates for Contractors All Risks haven’t moved yet, but no doubt these will follow. We are finding that underwriters are being pickier on what they will write and, more than ever before, the quality of presentation and information provided is important.

That said, with our binders and new markets such as Convex we are well placed to tackle most construction risks.

Steve Stenlake, Account Executive, Construction

Motor Fleet update 

In addition to DCL there are a couple of other key players for us for the rest of the year. Both Capulus and Markerstudy are keen to pick up new business. Both are looking haulage and couriers for us and Markerstudy will also look at most things from car and van fleets through to coaches.

Like the construction sector rates are pushing forward, but at what we hope is a manageable level for clients. With key markets like Capulus and Markerstudy and of course DCL we are confident that we can find homes for most challenging cases.

These will be key areas for CLM in the remaining months of 2020 and areas where we believe we have solutions to assist you.

Darren Grodent, Divisional Director, Fleet

Back on the road to recovery? A view from Fleet insurer Direct Commercial

After an initial rush at the back end of March the business very quickly adapted to people working from home and the offices being closed. The Chelmsford office re-opened as soon as Government guidance allowed in August; London followed on 2nd September and we have slowly started to carry out underwriting appointments again. Whatever comes next, we are well placed to be able to adapt and respond. For now, our office in London will continue to be dedicated to New Business.

As Covid-19 began to have an impact, it was clear a great many of our policyholders were going to be affected and a decision was made to review each and every request for vehicles being laid up on a case by case basis; whilst this involved more work for our underwriters it did mean we were able to tailor decisions to suit individual policyholders rather than have one formula and hope it would work for all.

Indicators are that we are very quickly going to reach pre-Covid-19 levels of enquiries and through those enquiries we will continue to grow at the fantastic rate we have enjoyed in recent years; this may well be pushed on further by what appears to be a fast hardening market. Whilst the fleet market isn’t hardening as much as other areas (Property and Professional Risks) there certainly appears to be an upward trend in rates. Rate uncertainty will no doubt lead to more risks going to market and I suspect this will also fuel greater interest in our premium stability plan, T20, as Brokers and Policyholders recognise the opportunity to protect themselves during these turbulent times.

Whilst DCL have always been known as a market for Couriers and Hauliers, we will in fact, quote most occupations and I suspect we will be found to be competitive on a great deal more than people may expect. The guys at CLM trade well with us here at DCL and have a good understanding of our appetite, products and where we can assist you.

At DCL we are keen to promote to clients alongside their brokers our ‘fraud busting’, ‘claims reducing’, ‘driver managing’, camera product, Camatics (34% average claims costs reductions when installed!) and the three year premium stability scale (not forgetting the excess waiver…) I would like to think things are going very much in the right direction.

Adam Marsh, Head of Agency & Development at Direct Commercial

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