Former Brit and QBE head will bring business to brokers

Simon Cooter’s arrival at Covéa Insurance as commercial lines director is a strong signal from the French mutual that it is on the path towards serious commercial lines growth in the UK market.

Following the creation of Covéa Insurance in October 2012 through the merger of MMA and Provident, the company has made several rapid appointments, securing an abundance of talented individuals.  

New chief executive James Reader unveiled seven of his new board of directors in November 2012 and the company has since hired two new business heads and taken on eight apprentices.

The appointment is a natural progression for Cooter, whose previous roles at RSA, Brit and QBE have focused on building commercial lines business.

At Brit, he was responsible for spearheading the company’s adoption of e-trading initiatives, having recognised changing consumer habits, thereby bringing the huge potential of the SME market to the forefront of the company’s aims.

Covéa has said that Cooter’s appointment marks the completion of its executive team, and the move looks set to pitch the ambitious company firmly into the commercial lines arena.

However, a focus on commercial activity represents new territory to Covéa’s constituent parts, Provident and MMA. In the past, both companies were overwhelmingly engaged in personal lines motor business, although before the formation of Covéa, MMA was pursuing commercial motor business more assiduously.

The commercial drive is good news for brokers who have enjoyed productive relationships with MMA and Provident, which both had a strong focus on the broker channel, and Covéa appears to be continuing to favour intermediaries. In a statement, Cooter said: “I’m looking forward to leading the formulation of the commercial lines strategy and ensuring that we have a proposition that brokers and their clients can’t ignore.”