One way the insurer intends to fulfil its ambition is to ‘be helpful’ to brokers

Charity-owned specialist insurer Ecclesiastical is planning to double the size of its art and private client book within the next five years, according to Sarah Willoughby, the insurer’s art and private client business director.

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, Willoughby confirmed that she has “lots of ambitions” for Ecclesiastical’s art and private client division – her primary aim from August 2022, however, is to double the size of the book, based on gross written premium (GWP).

Despite acknowledging that GWP would be the metric used to measure the division’s planned growth over the upcoming years, the insurer refused to disclose its current GWP for the art and private client book, or reveal its targeted GWP.

Strategy for growth

Willoughby joined Ecclesiastical six years ago from Oak Underwriting, to head up the art and private business. Over her tenure so far, she has already seen her team grow from 10 employees to 24, based across London and Manchester.

Her staff includes art historians, high net worth claims specialists, risk experts and surveyors.

To achieve her goal of doubling Ecclesiastical’s art and private client GWP, Willoughby told Insurance Times that she “will be looking at what we want to do to work with brokers and clients - whether it be additional products, evolving [the insurer’s existing art and private client product] again [or] offering a more enhanced service”.

She added that the insurer is “constantly trying to improve [its] product proposition” by reviewing the products themselves and policy documentation.

A further facet of focus is how quickly the insurer will be able to turn around quotes for both new business and renewal, as well as the access it can provide to underwriting decision-makers, Willoughby added.

She will also be concentrating on the ways in which Ecclesiastical can “be helpful” to its broker partners, assisting them to respond to clients’ queries and questions.

This includes providing articles and podcasts for brokers that will share the insurer’s knowledge on topics such as jewellery, watches, fine art, subsidence, escape of water and security.

This body of content should support brokers to “have a conversation with their own clients, to help them look after their client”, Willoughby added.

She continued: “It’s all about help, guidance, advice that comes as [part of] the whole product proposition.

“It’s not one thing that helps you get to be double the size you want to be.”