UK General is working to take 10% of the schemes market

UK General is pushing ahead with its new Smart Schemes programme, as it aims to capture around £150m premium in schemes over the next three years.

UK General has tailored part of its business towards grabbing around 10% of the £1.5bn schemes market. The focus on schemes is being led by chief operating officer Michael Warren.

Sales director John Bibby said that Smart Schemes, a low-entry scheme facility, allowed brokers to personalise elements of cover to build the products they wanted.

He said: “The market for sub-£100,000 schemes has grown rapidly as the big providers standardise their product sets and increasingly refuse to touch any sub-seven figure scheme.”

Bibby cited as an example of the programme its helmet and leathers add-on product for motorcycle brokers, which allowed the broker to increase average earnings per policy by more than 40%.

“Another broker with a large number of let property policies in place with a variety of insurers was given a let property Smart Scheme, which included net rates, delegated authority and their own branding,” Bibby said.

“The result was an increase in quote conversion of 22% and an increase in average retained commission of 14%.”

Bibby added that some brokers are already exploring ancillary insurance opportunities, where scheme products can open up-sell and cross-sell revenue streams.

“The trick is to offer the right product to the right person at the right time,” he said.

“Brokers are very well placed to hit the right person at the right time, but quite often do not have the right product.”

Bibby said that gap insurance on motor vehicles – covering the difference between a pay-out and the cost of replacing a vehicle new for old – is another product that brokers could exploit.

He said: “Gap is available as a Smart Scheme and can double the broker’s commission while still being significantly less expensive than a motor dealer product.”

UK General's schemes team has expanded into new portfolio areas such as commercial let property, tradesman, domestic appliances and home emergency.