’We did our due diligence to find the right partner for us,’ says operations director 

Insurer Ecclesiastical has reforged its schemes partnership with specialist finance and insurance broker Shire Insurance.

The two firms had worked together until March 2022, although Shire decided to move to a new partner as it aimed to expand in areas that Ecclesiastical was not pursuing.

Shire currently provides surgery and professional indemnity insurance to veterinary practices, as well as health and wellbeing schemes.

Now that the firm is working with Ecclesiastical again, the insurer will help it grow and develop its schemes offerings.

“There are occasions where we need to be honest enough to admit when we’ve not got it right – and two years ago we lost Shire to another provider due to our appetite at the time not aligning,” Chris Withers, schemes and partnerships director at Ecclesiastical, said.

“Things have moved on for both parties since then and I’m really pleased we’re in a position to work with Shire again to help develop its scheme and grow the business.”


This came after Ecclesiastical identified the schemes space as an area for growth as it set a target to double the size of the business by 2026.

In the last 12 months, the firm has announced new partnerships with Iprism, Brooks Braithwaite, Brokerbility and Towergate Care.

“We’re rightly in the business of celebrating our successes at Ecclesiastical and 2023 saw us secure some really important new business for our schemes book,” Withers said.

And Dan Leyland, operations director at Shire, said he was ”very happy to come back on board with Ecclesiastical”.

“We spoke with several other insurers before we came back and it was really important we did our due diligence to find the right partner for us,” he added.

”It’s about finding someone you can work collaboratively with, with flexibility and compromise on both sides.

“In the past, we’ve been promised things by insurance companies that haven’t happened for whatever reason, but I’m pleased to be coming back to Ecclesiastical. We know how good the service and expertise of its teams is and I’m looking forward to working closely with them once again.”