Maidstone and Bristol offices opened

ABC Insurance, part of the LV= Group, has opened branches in Maidstone and Bristol which will target the commercial SME market.

ABC now has four trading branches, following the opening of Croydon and Sheffield earlier this year.

Phil Bunker, managing director of ABC said: "ABC’s SME business insurance strategy is to develop a number of broker facing branches in key locations across the UK. We are fortunate in that LV= already has office space in many of these locations, enabling us to set up a low cost network quickly. This was the case with our Bristol office, where LV= already has a substantial operation.

“Our branch offices are looking to form close relationships with forward thinking, commercially oriented brokers that see the value of unique prices, tailored service and enduring relationships. I believe that LV=’s strength and stability is a key selling point in today’s unstable market.”

The Bristol office is headed by Andrew Lake and will serve ABC’s commercial brokers across the South West and South Wales. Andrew joins ABC from Towergate where he was key account manager for the South West.

Prior to this he worked at Zurich, Norwich Union and Gan.

Lake will be joined by Max Hooper as regional sales executive. Hooper has held business development, underwriting and broking positions with Towergate, Hill House Hammond and Nat West.

Chris Jones also joins ABC Bristol from Fortis as an Underwriter.

The Maidstone office will service brokers in Kent and East Sussex. David Verrell and Trevor Staples have been appointed as underwriter and senior underwriter respectively.

Verrell was previously a senior commercial underwriter at NIG in Maidstone.

Trevor Staples also joins from NIG where he was a Commercial Underwriter. Prior to this he was with Norwich Union and Prudential.

Regional sales executive, Colin Janes, will transfer from Croydon to head up sales at Maidstone.

ABC currently underwrites commercial combined and private car insurance. In 2008 ABC will expand this product range, initially with the launch of a range of SME package products.