Doughnuts, comedians, engagements and personal training sessions. What have insurance employees been getting up to during lockdown and what does Biba’s executive director have a passion for? You heard it here first…

How many reps coach?

With most firms working from home during the pandemic, Direct Insurance Group was one of the first broking and underwriting groups to announce permanent flexible working for its 150 employees. But with this shift to home working comes less social contact and feelings of isolation for some. To keep staff morale up and maintain a sense of togetherness, despite only being virtually connected, the firm set out to do various activities with its staff.

For example, it hired comedian Lee Nelson to host a quiz night on Zoom for all staff and their families. The company also ran a doughnut decorating competition where it sent staff freshly baked doughnuts, decorations and icing. The winner Phil Wood’s entry is featured below. And for staff that have children, their kids were asked a series of insurance related questions such as “where does mum or dad work?” to provoke amusing responses and compile a video. In fact, one very intelligent nine-year-old knew their parent was an underwriter but said the job just entailed sending emails. Direct Insurance has also provided all staff with access to a one-to-one personal training session via video. A good way to work off those doughnuts, they do look appetising though.

First place doughnuts

Credit: Direct Insurance, Phil Wood 

Biba loves ‘micro mobility’

Biba are most definitely fans of ‘micro mobility’. You’ve heard about Biba’s chief executive Steve White’s passion for e-scooters. But it turns out the firm’s executive director Graeme Trudgill is also a fan of another type of vehicle – racing cars.

Trudgill said that ever since his father took him to Brands Hatch as a child, he has been a real “petrol head” and subsequently began collecting and photographing model racing cars.

He has travelled the racetracks of the world - from Silverstone to Spa and Le Mans to Laguna Seca - looking for that perfect picture. Along the way he has amassed quite a collection of souvenir model cars; from F1 to Ferrari’s he has them all. If you are ever on a video call with the executive director, they feature quite prominently in the background - can you spot them?

cars_Biba_Graeme Trudgill

Credit: Graeme Trudgill, Biba

Love in lockdown

News of an engagement broke during lockdown. Romero Insurance Brokers associate director Daniel Atkinson proposed to his girlfriend Jenny and she said yes!

Associate Director Daniel Atkinson and  fiancée Jenny on their recent engagement_Romero

Credit: Daniel Atkinson, Romero Insurance Brokers

A little black book

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Insurance Cultural Awareness Network (iCAN) published what it referred to as ’The Little Black Book of Anti-Racist Resources’ to help drive awareness of racism in the insurance industry. The online booklet has been designed with black pages and white text. It lists books such as journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge’s masterpiece Why I no Longer Talk to White People about Race, which shot to the top of the charts during the Black Lives Matter protests.

It also lists podcasts, articles and films to help educate the insurance industry, its members and individuals about race. It has been endorsed by the likes of the ABI, with Huw Evans retweeting the booklet. He said: “I will be using this guide to broaden my understanding and I hope others in insurance and the long-term savings market will do so [too].”

iCAN booklet

Credit: iCAN