A FOREST TOWN family firm has more than weathered the financial storm thanks to its customer service ethos.
Midlands Insurance Services is the creation of Geoff Needham and son Chris, who set the company up after both working in the commercial insurance sector.
Initially planned and run from a bedroom in the mid-nineties, it is now a well-established presence on Clipstone Road West, and home to a staff of eight looking after thousands of clients.
Although Geoff retired five years ago, the firm is still headed up by Chris, with his wife Jenny the business development manager. She explains how the firm has been able to thrive despite the tough times over the last few years.
The company is a commercial insurance broker business, providing advice and cover for firms.
They sort out a range of policies including public liability insurance and cover which protects assets.
“We do a demand and needs assessment for the client and then we go out to market to find the best policy we can,” explains Jenny.
But how has the company also been able to survive the rise of internet cover comparison sites?
“Our aim is to make sure you have cover which when you make a claim you get a pay out - because people buy insurance on the internet and that may be cheap but in some cases it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.”
Some of the businesses that come to Midlands Insurance Services who have had internet policies have not been insured at all, she says, because of the small print.
“Some people don’t read the policy wording, or don’t understand the issues underpinning insurance. Because we understand the policies, we know we are giving a client the right cover.
“If someone wants to buy a car or home policy on the internet, that can be suitable.
“But the risk is people perhaps think ‘because I buy other types of cover from the internet then perhaps it’s just as straightforward to buy my business policy from there too’.”
Having a physical office is still important for an insurance business, she adds.
“It’s very important having a door - people feel alienated by call centres and the internet. When dealing with insurance it can be complicated and you need to offer good advice.”
The firm is also sanctioned by the Financial Services Authority to offer advice - something which will not apply to some call centre staff.
Adds Jenny: “We really believe in business networking and it’s important the business community provides a united front.”
Midlands Insurance Services won the business card prize draw at the January meeting of the Tuesday Club, entitling them to a free profile feature in Chad.
The next meeting of the Tuesday Club takes place at West Notts College on 7th February at 6pm.
For more details about the group, contact Chad editor Tracy Powell on Mansfield 456789 or Graham Parker on 07977 448 306.