Regulator approves Folgate license to write primary insurance after four years of campaigning

Folgate Insurance Company Limited has received approval from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to start writing primary insurance, as well as reinsurance.

As a result, Folgate and APC Underwriting have started the process of merging the two companies together, eventually to trade under the Folgate name.

APC bought Folgate from Towergate in 2014 as a company in run-off after Towergate put it there in 2002.

All business written through Folgate will be underwritten by Managing Agent APC Underwriting – in a similar set up to a Lloyd’s syndicate.

“We believe this is the first time a UK insurer has been set up to operate like a Lloyd’s syndicate, by using APC as a managing agent.”

“Folgate’s revival is good news for the market. This revolutionary new structure will give brokers access to a credible UK-domiciled insurer and keep the Folgate brand alive.”

Folgate was granted its licence on 6 June, and expects to start writing small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) business in the UK and Europe in January 2019. All business written will be via brokers in the UK.

Over the next two years, APC will transition its staff, operations and the majority of its business lines over to the Folgate entity.

Ian Russell, APC’s chief underwriting officer, Jon Bates, APC’s chief operating officer and Zoe Spicer, chief financial officer for APC, have joined the Folgate Executive Board.

“It has always been an ambition to move from a Managing General Agent (MGA) into an insurer,” Russell said.

“Folgate has a strong track record as an established insurer with traditional values. I look forward to driving the Folgate business forward, working with a very talented team, whilst maintaining the values established in Folgate’s 138-year old history.”

Growth prospects

“For 2019, we will be putting roughly £26m of GWP through,” Russell told Insurance Times. ”Over the next five years, we will expand that to £60m.”

Folgate will also grow its headcount by 50% in those five years.

Russell also told Times of Folgate’s ambition to start writing niche scheme business, also.

“There’s a lot of brokers out there who have got a nice little niche scheme. £250,000 to half a million GWP. And we are looking for that.”