Premium Choice

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Premium Choice's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Premium Choice is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Managing Director for
Underwriting and Business
Development RichardDornan
Premium Choice is an insurance brokerage which specialises in
packages for non-standard risks. Based in Wolverhampton, it
offers coverage for young or convicted drivers, those with poor
claims history, vans, classic and military vehicles alongside a variety
of other niche market areas. Over its 20-year journey, it has come
to employ well over 180 people, many of whom are insurance
experts with unique or unconventional skillsets. Managing Director
for Underwriting and Business Development Richard Dornan
The Parliamentary Review
about Premium Choice’s specialist
approach and how it informs what their team do every day.
We’ve always maintained a niche approach for providing motor insurance to our
clients. When clients struggle to obtain insurance at a competitive premium from
direct insurers, often for something specialist or unorthodox, we come in.
Over the past 20 years, we have moved away from acquiring new business from
Yellow Pages and magazines to become a broker that attracts clients by way of
market-leading technology which significantly reduces the risk of fraud. We also
protect and benefit our clients with the use of price comparison sites and specialist
recommendations, which result in more competitive premiums for a wider audience.
We use a customer-focused mission statement for our employees, which states and
represents the key values we use in our work. We boil it down into seven distinct
points, known as CHOICES:
»C – customer-centric – customer satisfaction is at the forefront of our objectives
and achievements
»H – human – we treat customers and one another with respect and deliver a
personalised service
»O – open – we are honest and transparent, and involve others in our work
»I – innovative – we apply original, creative thoughts to reach solutions that inspire
»C – collaborative – we are equals, and we work as a team towards a common goal
by sharing our ideas and celebrating our successes
»E – energised – we are positive and enthusiastic in our approach to making progress
»S – specialists – we are professionals and leaders in our field who inspire and
empower others
This philosophy means that we treat our customers fairly, provide solutions for those
with unusual and difficult circumstances and look after our loyal, existing clients by
offering discounts and lower premiums where possible. While a computer-generated
quotation often suits many people, it often doesn’t allow clients to provide context
and finite details, which could enable them to achieve a better result.
»Managing Director for
Underwriting and Business
Development: Richard Dornan
»Founded in 1999
»Based in Wolverhampton
»Services: Specialist insurance
»No. of employees: Over 180
»Provides motor insurance for
a variety of niche groups and
Premium Choice
Constantly developing,
training and growing
We are always working on new and
evolving product lines to widen our
footprint across the industry and provide
more solutions to more customers.
In line with this, we pride ourselves on
training every single member of our team
to be more proficient across every side of
the business. We deploy customer care
programmes to cross-train all members of
our team, negating the need to pass clients
around from department to department,
which in turn cuts waiting times.
We also believe passionately in developing
the talent of the future and creating
tomorrow’s leaders. Last year, senior staff
members undertook external management
training, and we have four dedicated
development officers who are deployed to
assist both new starters and existing staff.
In 2019, we will celebrate our 20-year
anniversary. Over the past two decades,
we have remained privately owned by the
same two individuals, and we believe that
this has gone a long way towards enabling
us to create and maintain a professional,
courteous and respectful company culture.
Competition from all angles
Motor insurance is one of the country’s
most competitive industries. There are
over 30 million private motorists in the
UK, and all of them need insurance – as
such, we have a greater need than ever
to be innovative and forward-thinking
at all times. With such choice across the
market, customers are shopping around
more than ever; consequently, we make
it our mission to ensure a smooth process
and excellent service at every juncture.
This extends, in particular, to
transparency. We all want claims paid
without any further surprises down the
line, but this appears to be an issue
in the industry – some insurers have
received bad press when it comes to
repudiating claims. To solve this, we
advise policy validation at the start of the
process – which, in many cases, helps
the claimant to avoid an unpleasant and
unexpected outcome.
Uncertainty with compliance
legislation and European
Last year was challenging on the
compliance front, namely with regard
to GDPR and the FCA’s Insurance
Distribution Directive at the centre of the
industry’s attention. We anticipate that
this year will bring much of the same,
with the Senior Managers Regime coming
into force for brokers and intermediaries.
With the Ministry of Justice planning
reforms in 2020, premiums may also
be affected for the year ahead. The
insurance market has always been prone
to fluctuation, but the tail-end of the
2010s has been especially saturated with
new legislation – and we just don’t know
whether or not this will continue.
Uncertainty is the real challenge we
face, and this isn’t exclusively limited
to domestic legislation; Brexit may well
affect the cost of parts and cars if entry
tariffs are imposed. Insurance policies
will need to be revised if drivers are no
longer allowed to freely travel between
EU countries as they currently do; early
indications seem to suggest that journeys
may be more fragmented and toll road
charges may well increase. Without
clarity or guidance from the government,
however, the industry just cannot
prepare for these potential outcomes.
Remaining positive is key
Although this uncertainty affects all of
us, we can’t let negative headlines and
fearmongering ruin our lives. The UK loves
its cars and its drivers, and people will
always need insurance, no matter who or
where tomorrow’s customers might be.
We will do everything we can to keep
premiums competitive. We believe that
passing external costs like increases in
insurance tax or car prices on to customers
isn’t good for business, and we will do
everything we can to avoid that. We’re
prepared to avoid these costs where
possible, and we will continue working in
partnership with both our customers and
stakeholders to deliver the level of service
that people have come to expect.
Premium Choice’s
Wolverhampton offices
We have a
greater need
than ever to
be innovative
and forward-
thinking at all

This article was sponsored by Premium Choice. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister