The managing director attributes the MGA’s success in Insurance Times’ Five Star Rating Report: MGA market 2022 to investment ‘in our people, our proposition and technology’

For MGA Renovation Underwriting, a specialist provider of private client contract work insurance, 2022 is the first year it has been involved with Insurance Times’ Five Star Rating Report: MGA market.

Therefore, achieving the maximum five star rating from surveyed brokers has been a humbling experience, says the company’s managing director Douglas Brown.

“We are delighted that our brokers think enough of us to want to get involved in the survey,” he tells Insurance Times. “It is a reflection on what we provide, with our service proposition at the heart of what we do. It is humbling really.”

Brown believes there are four areas which MGAs must deliver on to ensure success.

He explains: “Firstly, as an MGA, you have to have a niche and one where you add value. If not, then you are simply adding distribution at a cost to the policyholder and the capacity provider.

“Capability is also important. You need to offer cover for a broad range of risks.

“You also require competence. In 12 years, we have only lost two members of staff, so we have been able to build a real wealth of competence in our underwriting [team].

“Finally, you need to be conscientious. We try to bring about really good outcomes for the end user. If you are harvesting, not helping, you are doing it wrong.

“The advice we provide is consistent and valued by brokers.”

Technology investment

Brown adds that Renovation Underwriting has been focusing on investing in technology in recent years – the company is now reaping the benefits of this work, he says.

“As an MGA, you need to ensure [that] you have technology that allows your most valuable assets - your talented people - to spend their time underwriting and helping brokers, rather than [occupied] with needless administration,” he explains.

“During and since the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen significant growth in the business and it is down to investment - in our people, our proposition and technology.”


Douglas Brown

A forward thinking MGA

Looking to the year ahead, Brown says the next 12 months will be significant for Renovation Underwriting and its relationship with broker partners.

“It will be important as we will be making improvements to our technology platform, which will increase our ability to support our brokers,” Brown explains.

As part of these changes, the company will be offering brokers access to online training about renovation contract work from November 2022.

Renovation Underwriting aims to offer brokers around 700 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) each year via training that shares its speciality knowledge. In the past, this has seen Brown and his team travelling 1,000 miles week to deliver face-to-face sessions to brokers.

Moving forward, however, brokers will be given their own space on the company’s portal, which will allow them to access training that is tailored to their specific needs.

“We aim to supply brokers with the different tools they require to explain to clients what it is they are providing and why,” Brown adds.

For larger and more complex cases, the MGA provides a concierge service, where its staff engage with brokers and the client’s project management team to ensure that cover is properly structured.

Brown says the key to success at his business is to get employees to become more forward looking in their approach.

“All too often in many firms there is a large degree of navel gazing,” he explains. “What you need to do is encourage staff to lift their heads up and become more forward thinking and forward looking.

“If you can deliver that, then the business is better able to identify what brokers and their clients [want] and work more efficiently to create a proposition which delivers those products and services.”

The full Five Star Rating Report: MGA market 2022 will be available in November 2022.