Beware Brokersure

As a new broker I was attracted to the insurance industry partly because of the high ethical standards that are said to underpin the market and the way business is conducted within it. As a new entrant, I thought your readers might be interested in my experience.

Despite our best efforts, including joining the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC), putting staff through the FIT course and the CII and investing £30,000 in a state of the art call centre, we had found it impossible to arrange an agency with insurers, most of whom did not even offer us the courtesy of a reply.

We finally decided that, to get started, our best option would be to trade on the system and signed a contract with it that was to be reviewed after three months.

But, although we were providing 600 quotes per week, we were finding sales hard to come by, as the system was totally uncompetitive. Of the 600 quotes that our ten sales staff were achieving, only 2.5% were converted to sale.

Many of our quotes were out by more than £100, some were closer to £1,000. We contacted Joe Gallacher our local HML/Brokersure rep and invited him to come in and speak to us to see if he could help.

We were very honest and told him exactly what was happening and asked if he could do anything to improve our rates. We told him we had released a few of our staff until things improved and he appeared sympathetic to everything we had to say.

His visit was on Thursday, and on the Saturday (two days later) we received a very brief letter from Mr Boot, the managing director of HML, informing us that our agency with Brokersure was cancelled forthwith due to the "potential exposure we suffer for relatively new companies".

This happened just four weeks after we had started trading on the Brokersure system.We were informed by our lawyer there was nothing he could do as, in addition to the Brokersure contract, we had also been required to sign a contract with HML marketing, allowing them to withdraw agency facilities at a moment's notice.

I write to advise other brokers to beware Brokersure and HML and expecially Mr Boot, as he quite literally lives up to his name.

Alex Couper

Managing director

Cheaper Car Insurance Services