The hardening professional indemnity market has meant huge premium hikes leaving some contractors unable to get the cover they need

When Rachel Stockley, now the founder of Sarrani, helped out a client whose flat was destroyed due to an electrical fire, she had no idea that this would become the premise of her future business. 

Nor did she know it would also influence the business’s name.

Stockley told Insurance Times: “The policyholder was an incredible woman who had been through years of torment, having to flee her home country while pregnant to seek asylum in the UK rather than be stoned to death.

“She then became the target of a group of high-level fraudsters who harassed and abused her for over eight years to try to steal her wealth, but she continued to protect her daughter and to fight for her good name despite all the hostile and negative press, and eventually came out triumphant.”

The name of the female-led London based company founded in 2016 which specialises in property insurance repairs therefore became Sarrani – an amalgamation of this woman’s name and her daughter’s.

Stockley later found out that Sarani spelt with just one ‘r’ means ’protect’ in some languages which reaffirmed its appropriateness for the company’s name.

Now Sarrani is keen to work directly with insurers in a bid to share the firm’s expertise in construction. 

Hardening market

Stockley said one of the problems is the hardening of the professional insurance indemnity market as large hikes in premiums mean that some contractors can’t afford the required insurance.

This has been an ongoing problem with many approved inspectors pulling necessary cover from construction firms causing some like Aedis Regulatory Services (ARS) to file for liquidation in July.

Others issues include insurers not paying claims on time causing issues with contractors’ cashflow, and delaying progress on projects, less experienced insurance representatives misunderstanding the nature of the work involved.

Contrary to this is also the dilemma of contractors overpricing work when they are aware that it is related to a claim.

Top claim

Most of the firm’s work comes from loss adjusters, insurance brokers and property managers across the UK.

Out of the roughly 200 claims it has dealt with, the top claim that Stockley says she sees is escape of water, “People often don’t realise the destruction that can be caused by a large leak, nor how to deal with it effectively to mitigate their loss and prevent further problems occurring down the line.”


Initially Sarrani was founded to protect policyholder’s interests after Stockley repeatedly came across instances where customers had been misled – either by unskilled builders or by insurance representatives pushing for unfair settlement.

Stockley is also part of the push to support women in the construction field, a sector which is predicted to have a shortage of 150,000 workers by 2021 according to the Chartered Institute of Building. When asked what gives her business an edge, Stockley said that it was being a female-led firm.

“There are also often high emotions involved for the policyholder due to the unexpected and extremely inconvenient nature of insurance claims, and these need to be carefully handled to minimise stress while still ensuring all parties are treated fairly,” she added.