Initiatives aim to speed up quotes and improve dialogue with customers

Coface has made efforts to improve broker relations as it looks to grow cautiously in the UK credit insurance market, according to Coface UK managing director Xavier Denecker.

“In August we changed the organisation of our commercial department so that it specialises in brokers,” Denecker said. “Teams in our commercial departments are now completely dedicated to a range of brokers to improve our relationships with them.”

The aim was to speed up quotes for new clients and to improve dialogue with existing customers.

Denecker said competitive pressure in the credit insurance markets was increasing. “We have not returned to the price war before the financial crisis, but there is strong competition on credit limits, policy conditions and so on,” he said. “In this context, we want to grow, but underwrite cautiously.”

Coface UK’s French parent group transformed a first-half 2009 loss of €117m (£97.4m) into a €35m profit in the first half of this year.

The insurance division made an operating profit of €28m compared with a loss of €233m. A single large claim resulted in a first-half loss for the UK division – Denecker said it would otherwise have returned to profit.