The Civil Service Insurance Society

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Civil Service Insurance Society'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 The Civil Service Insurance Society 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

The CSIS offices in Maidstone
A vist to Canterbury Oast
Trust by Gill Noble and Chris
Furlong from the charity
The Civil Service Insurance Society was formed in 1890
to provide life assurance policies to civil servants and
ensure that their families would not be left in hardship if
the policyholders passed away. Having moved away from life
assurance, they now work with leading European insurers to
provide home, motor and travel insurance. They currently hold
first place for motor insurance in the Fairer Finance rankings and
are committed to a high level of customer service. CEO Kevin
Holliday tells
The Parliamentary Review
We are a personal lines insurance intermediary, aiming to be the insurance provider
of choice for current and former civil and public servants. We do this by offering
quality products at competitive prices with exceptional customer service and
donating our profits to charity. Founded in 1890 to supply life assurance to civil
servants, we continue to flourish and grow. We now have more than 32,000 civil
and public service customers.
The vision for our creation came from Mr Thomas Bryce, a civil servant in the War
Office. At a time when the civil service pension scheme did not include a death in
service benefit, he recognised that some colleagues were not buying life assurance,
with the potential for many widows and orphans to be left in hardship.
In October 1889, he published an article suggesting an insurance fund to provide
life assurance for “less-opulent civil servants”. Advice from the Civil Service
Benevolent Fund, itself founded only a few years earlier in 1886, led to the
formation of an insurance society – to act as an agent for selling insurance to
»Chief Executive: Kevin Holliday,
Cert CII
»Established in 1890
»Based in Maidstone, Kent
»Services: Home, motor and
travel insurance
»No. of employees: 25
»Moneywise Most Trusted Car
Insurance Provider 2018
The Civil Service
Insurance Society
Highlighting best practice
civil servants underwritten by major
insurance companies. Every British life
insurance office was invited to tender,
resulting in about 100 tenders.
Looking after the customer
We are committed to a high level of
customer service and have been voted
the Moneywise Most Trusted Car
Insurance Provider in five of the last six
years. In 2018, we were also voted the
Moneywise Best Provider for Contents
Insurance and currently hold first
place for motor insurance in the Fairer
Finance rankings.
We work with Zurich Insurance
Group as an underwriter for home
and motor insurance and with other
leading European insurers for travel
insurance. We offer high-quality
products at competitive rates, with no
gimmicks and no add-ons involving
additional costs. A key selling point
is the availability of interest-free
monthly instalments on motor and
home insurance products. Good
value for money is assured, and our
highly trained, customer-friendly staff
talk customers through our product
benefits. We have a strong emphasis
within the office on training and
developing competence, as well as on
monitoring regulatory compliance and
whether we are treating customers
fairly. As a consequence, we have high
conversion rates and market-leading
retention rates.
Achieving wider benefits
We donate all of our profits, mostly to
the associated charity the CSIS Charity
Fund but also to a range of local Kent
charities through corporate social
responsibility grants. Over the 10 years
from 2008 to 2018, we donated about
£7.3 million to CSISCF, previously
known as the Civil Service Widows’
and Orphans’ Fund, as well as £0.4
million to local charities.
CSISCF is committed to providing
financial assistance where needed
to widows and widowers of our
former customers and intervening
where appropriate to assist vulnerable
customers. The majority of its grant-
giving is to a wide range of public
service charities, but it also has a
broad remit to provide support to
charities in areas where many civil
and public servants live and work and
has awarded grants of more than
£360,000 to hospices throughout the
UK in the last five years.
The largest beneficiary has been
the Charity for Civil Servants, which
received £1,125,000 in the same
five-year period. Post Office and BT
charities have also received £689,000
since 2014. Recently, grants have
expanded into care working and
nursing charities, as well as emergency
services support organisations. 2017
was a record year when our donation
to the CSISCF reached £1,250,000.
Chris Daykin hands over
the 2017 donation of
£1.25 million to the
We are
committed to
a high level of
Excellence in insurance delivery
In 2018, we wrote £4.4 million
premiums for motor insurance,
£3.3million for home insurance and
£1.2 million for travel insurance,
making us one of Zurich Insurance’s
largest intermediaries by business
volume, with only 25 staff. Investment
in technology has ensured that our
service delivery is of the highest
standard. Our main customer base is
the over 50s, targeting both employed
and retired civil and public servants.
The team are also trained to identify
and look after vulnerable customers,
and all have been registered as
“dementia friends”, thus providing
help when it is needed by policyholders
and their families.
We are regulated by the Financial
Conduct Authority to provide personal
lines insurance products on a non-
advisory basis. Although originally
we were established to provide
life insurance, and for many years
also had a related company selling
annuities, we no longer market any life
We have built strong relationships with
a number of public-sector retirement
organisations, as well as membership
organisations and trade unions, and
have developed close partnerships with
organisations such as the Civil Service
Pensioners Alliance and the Civil Service
Sports Council, including sponsoring
conferences, award ceremonies, sports
days and other events and establishing
tailor-made travel schemes for
particular organisations.
Trusted partners also include CS
Healthcare, the Charity for Civil
Servants, the Civil Service Retirement
Fellowship and MyCSP, where
knowledge and opportunities are shared
with the support of the Cabinet Office.
Instead of shareholders, we have a
committee of members, to whom the
board is accountable for running the
business. Members are appointed by
government departments and by our
trusted partners.
One of the main challenges we face
is remaining competitive in a highly
populated marketplace. Key to our
approach is our customer focus,
and the contact we have with our
customers helps to set us apart from
our competitors. Beyond this, our
role as a charitable organisation
differentiates us from the wider
As we look ahead, we are targeting
steady business growth, which will
be achieved alongside our trusted
partners, and the renegotiation of
terms with our insurers. This will be the
main focus in the next year or two and
will provide us with a solid foundation
to move into our next period.
Over 10 years
we have
about £7.3
million to the
Here are two typical responses from customer feedback:
The sales consultant was excellent in her approach to the matter in
hand and courteous and friendly with it – a very good member of
your staff. Although I had received cheaper quotes elsewhere, it was
her manner that persuaded me to go with CSIS.”
This is a very competitive company and stands out in the
marketplace. We count this to be a flagship company. Helpful
advice and guidance through the process.”
Winners of the
Moneywise Award 2018
in London

This article was sponsored by The Civil Service Insurance Society. 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 Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster