Underwriting agency aims to take second place in specialist rural insurance market

Agricultural underwriting agency Rural Insurance has hired nine new staff as part of its ambition to become the UK’s second largest rural insurer.

Three of the new staff come from Towergate subsidiaries and two previously worked at Arthur J Gallagher.

Paul Burton has joined Rural as chief operating officer from his own venture, Pobi.

Matthew Washer has become the company’s technical director after spending more than eight years with Australian insurer Insurance Australia Group.

Richard Armitage has joined Rural as senior motor underwriter after nine years with Towergate-owned agricultural underwriting agency AIUA.

Nicola Sharp has become farm underwriter at Rural after 12 years with Towergate-owned BIB Underwriters.

Graham Westerman has joined Rural as underwriter for farm combined and farm motor business. He previously worked at AIUA.

Shane Mustill has returned to Rural as development underwriter after leaving last year to work at AXA Farm Schemes.

Lee Coupland has become Rural’s regional sales manager for the North East, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. He joined from Gallagher Heath, where he was development executive.

Aidan Lennon will start at Rural this month as a motor underwriter. He joins from Towergate Underwriting appointed representative Oyster Risk Solutions.

Finally, Will Simpson will leave his current role at Gallagher in July to become Rural’s regional sales manager for Scotland and Ireland.

Rural managing director Ian Barclay said: “Our aim to be the number two specialist rural insurance company in the market means we need to hire the very best talent available.

“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.”