Prestige Underwriting’s Thatched Home product reaches 5 year trading milestone
This month marks the 5-year anniversary of the first written Thatched Home risk at Prestige Underwriting. Since that day, the book has gone from strength to strength as the MGA established its position as one of the leading Thatched Home underwriting experts in the UK market.
As a leading provider of non-standard home insurance with specialist underwriting expertise of harder to place risks, Prestige Underwriting was delighted to evolve its niche household proposition in 2018 to include Thatched Home.
From the very outset, in what is historically a very volatile market, the specialist Underwriting team were keen to build a product which was sustainable and would work for all parties in the long term. Only recently there has been a couple of high-profile withdrawals from the market which inevitably led to challenging situations for both brokers and policyholders alike.
Underwriting Appetite key to longevity
The Thatched product boasts a varied underwriting footprint and caters for properties that are fully, or partially roofed in a full range of thatch roof constructions including water reed, wheat reed and long straw. Prestige Underwriting’s considered underwriting approach and selective distribution strategy have proved pivotal in helping the business achieve its aims over this 5-year period. While Prestige Underwriting’s quotability on the product sits at a very healthy 85% of all risks presented, the Underwriting team are acutely aware of the demand on occasion for this risk appetite to be widened. The team empathise with the Brokers who sometimes have to turn business away for this reason, however the underwriting stance on this is strong. It is imperative that Prestige Underwriting maintains a careful and considered approach to risk selection, particularly on a product of this nature. The business believes strongly that saying no to 1 or 2 of every 10 risks presented is a far more palatable situation than attempting to quote on absolutely everything, jeopardising performance and therefore the long-term future of the product in the process.
Chris Duck, Head of Property Underwriting at Prestige Underwriting commented –
“Insurance for Thatched Homeowners is notorious for being both difficult to come by and prohibitively expensive. 5 years ago, we set about changing that and I’ve been delighted with our progress since. We spent time with a number of specialists including Master Thatchers and Chimney sweeps to build up a comprehensive understanding of the uniqueness of Thatched properties. We also made sure to listen to our brokers regarding the frustrations which they had with the existing Thatched insurance providers at the time and set about doing things differently. I’m delighted with the progress our team have made and am proud of the product which we have built and to still be going strong after 5 years helping our broker partners and thousands of their customers obtain wide ranging cover at an affordable price.”
Since launching the product in 2018, the Underwriting team have been committed to setting themselves apart from the rest of the market by way of being easy to trade with. One key step towards this was achieved operationally by not requesting manually completed questionnaires or proposal forms. The specialist Thatched Underwriting team take pride in the relationships they have built with the Thatched Broker network and is confident in its commitment to efficiency of turnaround, frictionless trade and a quality product. With consecutive YOY growth since it launched 5 years ago, the continued and further growth of Thatched Home remains a strategic priority for the business, with a commitment to market share expansion.