Travel specialist plans to diversify into other specialisms

Travel operator specialist Touchstone Underwriting is undergoing a major revamp as it aims for £50m in gross written premium over the next three years.

The managing general agency has already taken on board six underwriters from sister company Arnold Fisher, and is on the hunt for new recruits as it looks to expand GWP from £10m to between £40m and £50m.

As well as offering tour operator insurance, Touchstone is throwing open its doors to allow brokers to place business with its other specialisms – including combined commercial, office packages and unoccupied properties.

Previously, only its sister company, London-based broker James Hallam, has had access to those products.

Managing director Alan Roe said the company was aiming to give a fast response and high-quality service to its brokers.

He said: “If there is one thing I would like to get into Touchstone, it is rapid response. For SME-type business we are looking at a bare minimum turnaround of 48 hours.

“The idea is to have a suite of products with underwriters that will write business specifically for brokers.”

Roe said Touchstone would also be making a significant investment in IT. An online direct presence was being planned so that brokers could place business more quickly and efficiently.

Touchstone, which started business in 2007, has a range of capacity providers, including RSA in the tour operator sector and Aviva and Allianz in the rest of the agency.

Elsewhere in the group, four other staff from Arnold Fisher have made a move to James Hallam.

Arnold Fisher has been fully integrated into James Hallam and Touchstone, both of which are part of holding company Alan Turner.

Last year, Alan Turner, which is led by chief executive Paul Turner – the group founder’s son – acquired specialist broker Landau Manson, owner of hotel insurance brand Gauntlet.

It also acquired Essex-based corporate and personal lines broker Peter W Edwards &?Co.