What does Safe&Secure do?
Safe&Secure is a master broker for general insurance. Our unique selling point is that we use our Derby call centre to sell and process buildings and contents cases on behalf of brokers. Importantly, as we only have Financial Services Authority permissions for GI we do not cross-sell to brokers’ clients.
How are you finding your new role?
I’m enjoying working with a business that makes decisions quickly and is dynamic. The GI market via brokers is massively underdeveloped and with the right proposition there are some brilliant opportunities for ourselves and our supporting partners.
Weren’t you a professional football player at York City FC?
Yes, from 1986 to 1989. My claim to fame is playing in a reserve team game and man-marking Brazilian international Mirandinha who was playing after recovering from injury. We were 5-0 down at half time and he scored four of the goals. Enough said.
How did you make the leap from football to finance?
I was never going to be good enough to regularly turn out at Anfield or Old Trafford so I was looking at alternatives when I bumped into a friend I had not seen for a while. He was a sales manager at Pearl Assurance and recommended me for a role which I accepted. I served my financial services apprenticeship there from 1991 to 1996 as an adviser and then as a sales manager.
How Does GI differ from the mortgage market?
Distribution is different, with providers selecting fewer wholesalers as their routes to market. Paymentshield, Assurant and Select & Protect dominate panel positions with networks, and also work with directly authorised brokers. Due to competition from comparison websites wholesalers are modifying their propositions so that more providers are evident.
Do you think mortgage brokers are selling enough insurance?
No. I know from talking to one network that in a recent week when over 1,800 protection policies were sold only 120 buildings and contents policies were taken out.
I know commissions are lower than with protection deals but the brokers best placed to prosper right now are those with regular and strong passive income streams.
Interview by Natalie Martin