Growth driven by new broker relationships

Agricultural underwriting agency Rural Insurance wrote gross premium of £32m in the year to 31 March 2014, up 11% on the previous year.

The growth allowed the company to boost earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by 5% to £2m in the year.

Rural attributed the growth to new broker relationships as well as its underwriting expertise.

Managing director Ian Barclay said the company has ambitions to become the number two specialist rural insurance company.

He said “Our specialist expertise in writing insurance for the rural market – which can’t be replicated by most large general insurers – has been the key to helping regional brokers provide what their rural-based and agricultural customers need. A perfect example of this is our specialist Rural Business Motor product.”

Barclay added: “As well as writing business with new broker partners, we have continued to develop our relationships with existing brokers, some of which have been Rural Insurance customers since the company opened its doors 19 years ago.”

Growth plans

Rural plans to “significantly” increase its current market share of about 5%. The company is refreshing its existing products and investing in new areas.

Rural Insurance has also made a raft of new management, technical and sales appointments, which include Paul Burton as the new chief operating officer, while technical director Matthew Washer has joined from Insurance Australia Group.

Barclay said: “We have made a great start on that process by taking on a number of highly experienced and well-qualified people across various roles in the company.

“This is a people business and our new colleagues are a very important addition to the skills and knowledge we have in the existing Rural Insurance team.”