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Keychoice selects Howden as preferred partner

Keychoice, the insurance distribution business owned by SSP Limited, has partnered with Howden, one of the UK’s leading independent insurance brokers, to be the preferred provider of Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) for Keychoice members. As well as access to an exclusive, tailor-made PII policy, Keychoice members will also automatically get access to a number of extra services to help run their businesses.

Howden has one of the largest and most specialised Professional Indemnity teams. Its reputation has been established over many years of supporting an extensive range of clients from sole practitioners to some of the UK’s largest firms.

Ron Atkinson, Distribution Director at SSP said:
“The PII market is a challenging environment right now meaning that, more than ever, it is vital to partner with an experienced specialist PII broker. Howden’s strong reputation and specialist expertise in our sector means they are a natural partner to provide our members’ PII.”

Mark Westgarth, Managing Director — UK Regions at Howden says:
“Professional Indemnity Insurance is a significant cost for many businesses and insurance brokers are no exception. At a time when the PII market is experiencing some of the toughest conditions in decades, access to practical advice from an experienced specialist broker is more critical than ever.

He added:
“We are delighted that Keychoice has chosen us as their new preferred broker for PII. We look forward to working with them and their members to help guide them through the current challenging market conditions to ensure firms get the right level of cover at a competitive price. We have one of the UK’s largest and most experienced teams with over 140 PII specialists who have direct access to a wide range of participating insurers and we are always monitoring the position carefully. This makes us the perfect choice for keeping Keychoice members well advised on developments with reference to premium levels, capacity and coverage.”

Keychoice partners with Best Insurance

Keychoice, the insurance distribution business owned by SSP, has partnered with Best Insurance to provide Keychoice members with access to their competitive accident, sickness and unemployment policies and their new Best Accident product.

Best Insurance is known for their wide range and market leading protection policies. The policies are innovative and designed to meet varied customer needs. Their new personal accident product is underwritten by Lloyd’s of London. It has several unique features and a very slick online submission process.

Ron Atkinson, Distribution Director at SSP said:
“I am delighted to be working with Best Insurance to offer our members access to a range of accident, sickness and unemployment policies. With Accident insurance one of the fastest growing segments within the protection market and with the launch of Best Accident Insurance, a huge gap in the market has now been filled for policies that are easy to purchase and comprehensive.”

Stuart Boseley, co-founder of Best Insurance said:
“Best Insurance are extremely proud and excited to be working with Keychoice and its members to help provide their clients with the personal protection they need. There is a massive protection gap in the United Kingdom and forward-thinking groups like Keychoice are working hard to bridge that gap for customers. In our opinion, personal accident or accident, sickness and unemployment income protection are the single most important insurance customers can purchase.”

Keychoice partners with SunWorld to provide one stop travel insurance

Keychoice, the insurance distribution business owned by SSP, has partnered with SunWorld Travel Insurance to provide Keychoice members with access to a competitive travel insurance product.

SunWorld Travel is an innovative online travel insurance facility, designed by DOA, a well-established Insurance Underwriting Agency.

Keychoice members will have access to the SunWorld online broker portal in order to transact travel insurance for single, annual and multi-trip cover, on behalf of their clients. Underwritten by AXA Insurance, the product offers four flexible cover levels with tailored limits (Cancellation, Excess, and Baggage) within each level, enabling brokers to tailor make cover to suit their clients exact needs.

Ron Atkinson, Distribution Director at SSP said:
“I am delighted to be working with SunWorld to provide our members with access to a competitive travel insurance product. As one of the first online travel providers dedicated to UK insurance brokers, SunWorld has used the feedback gained from brokers to design a product that caters for the majority of our members’ needs.”

Matthew Oliver, Director at SunWorld, said:
“We are delighted to be the new Keychoice sole travel insurance provider, we look forward to supporting Keychoice members in placing all types of travel insurance business via our online system dedicated to insurance brokers.”  

Keychoice celebrates 25 years supporting broker businesses

2019 marks the 25th anniversary of Keychoice, SSP’s distribution group. Keychoice has come a long way since 1994 when it was launched at the Ra Group offices in Halesowen, in the West Midlands. Keychoice was set up to create pioneering, cost-effective solutions specifically to help insurance intermediaries. 25 years on they are still doing that, having built a nationwide network of members and creating a distribution business that offers significant potential for brokers and insurers alike.

Back in the early nineties, Keychoice started life with just four insurers and this has grown to over 25 insurer and business partners with a membership base of almost 500 brokers, controlling in excess of £1.56bn GWP. One of the original insurer partners was Ageas, (known then as Bishopsgate) with whom a great partnership has been maintained over the last 25 years. “Our longstanding relationship with Keychoice works because we both have a passion for providing great service.” said Ageas’s Chief Customer Officer Ant Middle. “Although this is a time to look back and reflect on the success we have both enjoyed over the last 25 years, it’s also a time to look forward to our continuing strong relationship.”

Ron Atkinson, Distribution Director said “It’s great that we still have 38 broker members who joined Keychoice way back in 1994, and over 120 members that have been with us for 20-25 years. I think the longevity of our base is testament to how much value Keychoice has brought them.”

Today, Keychoice offers untapped distribution potential that exists by connecting insurers and brokers operating uniquely on SSP technology platforms and continues to focus on increasing value for both members and partners. Valerie McIntee, Proprietor at E H Ranson & Co, who have been Keychoice members from the beginning said “Since 1994 Keychoice has helped us to be competitive with a great selection of insurers offering exclusive products, many with enhanced commissions or discounted rates. Keychoice has always been a great tool to have in our kit bag.”

Another longstanding member is Woodland Insurance in Leeds. They commented: “Keychoice has been very helpful in helping us retain business”. Ian Wallace from Wallace Insurance, another member since 1994, said “Having been a member from the start we have always found Keychoice useful, as it gives us access to a wide range of competitive schemes.”

Over the last few years the team have been heavily focused on growing the insurer panel and introducing a series of new products. In 2015 Keychoice partnered with the RAC to offer exclusive Breakdown recovery products to Keychoice members. This partnership was more recently extended for a further five years, together with the introduction of seven new products.

Keychoice has also developed a number of new partnerships over the past year with a range of insurers and service providers, including LV=, XS Direct, All Broker Services, Global Payments and DAS. There’s lots more to come too, as Keychoice continue to work closely with partners to ensure members can benefit from great products with enhanced rates, which provide significant competitive advantage to help them grow their business.

Keychoice partners with All Broker Services for new Excess Protection offering

Keychoice, the insurance distribution business owned by SSP, has partnered with All Broker Services to provide its broking community with access to an integrated Excess Protection add-on policy through SSP’s back-office systems.

The All Broker Services Excess Protection product provides policyholders peace of mind knowing that after they have been involved in a claim they will not be left out of pocket after paying their excess. The product has an aggregate cover limit, so policyholders can claim as many times as they like up to their chosen cover limit and can also be used in a non-fault claim, provided the third party has failed to reimburse the policyholders excess.

Ron Atkinson, Distribution Director at SSP said:

“I am delighted to be working with All Broker Services to provide our members with access to an add-on product that will help their customers mitigate any exposure to a potentially significant financial impact, at a time when they may least be able to afford it.

“We’ve seen a lot of demand for fully integrated add-on products within the Keychoice community so this is another important step in our commitment to enable our broker members to trade efficiently and provide the best possible service to their customers”.

Wayne Dunthorne, Sales Director at All Broker Services said:

“I am thrilled that All Broker Services has been chosen by SSP as the Excess Protection partner for its Keychoice distribution group and we are looking forward to working more closely with the Keychoice team. This will hopefully be the start of a great partnership with Keychoice to the benefit of its members, providing the first of many sustainable products for the end customer.”

Keychoice and RAC extend relationship with specialist products

Keychoice, the insurance distribution business owned by SSP, is pleased to announce the extension of its long-term relationship with the RAC for a further five years. This will see the RAC continue as its exclusive breakdown partner until early 2024.

The new deal underlines Keychoice’s commitment to nurturing longstanding partnerships with market-leading brands, and the development of additional products through these partners to drive further benefit and value for its members.

Following the success of RAC car, van and bike breakdown, Keychoice is broadening its members’ product portfolio with the introduction of five specialist breakdown products, as well as RAC motor legal expenses and RAC top-up loss insurance.

Keychoice’s broking community has shared that their customers have asked for more commercially-orientated RAC breakdown and motoring products. To meet this demand, brokers who are Keychoice members will be able to offer cover for taxi, motorhome, minibus, courier vehicle and taxi minibus breakdowns. This includes recovery of the vehicle to a single destination anywhere in the UK and onward travel if the vehicle can’t be repaired at the roadside.

With RAC top-up loss insurance, if a customer’s vehicle is written off, they will be paid 25% on top of their insurer’s settlement figure. This additional payment helps to top-up any shortfall in the price paid for the vehicle versus its current market value. This is particularly pertinent for self-employed individuals, for whom their vehicle is their business.

Ron Atkinson, Distribution Director at SSP said:
“I’m delighted to have extended our partnership with the RAC, which is testament to the strong relationship we’ve already built up.

“Keychoice members are set to have access to a total of ten products from a leading brand with an excellent reputation and customer service, and we have a number of other ancillary products in the pipeline. As a result, brokers will have the flexibility and functionality to keep their customers on the road, both for pleasure and business.”

Richard Fuller, Head of Partnerships at the RAC said:
“SSP is a trusted strategic partner, so it’s great to be able to announce a new long-term arrangement with its Keychoice distribution business.

“Keychoice enables us to connect with hundreds of high street brokers at once, all of whom can offer their customers more tailored motor cover. My team and I look forward to working with Keychoice to develop, in partnership, innovative new products that continue to deliver value to its brokers and their customers.”

Keychoice partners with LV= for new specialist vehicle offering

Keychoice, the insurance distribution business owned by SSP, has partnered with LV= to provide exclusive access for brokers looking to place specialist vehicle business with the insurer.

Whether driven by the engineering, aesthetics or noise of their cars, owners of specialist vehicles have a passion that goes beyond the usual commute from A to B. Expanding the Keychoice product range with the insurance scheme from LV= means members can now place the niche business of these vehicle enthusiasts and access a new lucrative market.

LV=’s Highway KC Specialist Vehicle product provides cover for classic cars and motorhomes, including referrals for American cars, modified vehicles and ex-military vehicles — all of which require specialist insurance.

Ron Atkinson, Distribution Director at SSP said:
“Everything we do is aimed at improving life for our members, so I’m delighted they can now benefit from the dedicated underwriting knowledge and expertise required for this specialist scheme business.”

Michael Lawrence, Personal Lines Director at LV= said:
“We are pleased to be delivering specialist vehicle cover through Keychoice, which enables us to reach out to 500 traditional high street brokers in one fell swoop. This partnership provides a single point of access for all brokers to address the insurance needs of vehicle enthusiasts which might otherwise have been overlooked.”

Keychoice brokers to cover non-standard risks

Keychoice, the insurance distribution business owned by SSP, has partnered with Plum Underwriting to enable its broking community to meet the needs of policyholders with non-standard homes.

The partnership makes it easier for Keychoice members to process non-standard risks that they might otherwise have not been able to place. This includes houses that are built from non-standard materials, affected by subsidence or flooding, or unoccupied for extended periods, as well as cases where the owner has criminal convictions, has been declared bankrupt or has an adverse claims history.

As Plum Underwriting has focused on the specialist home insurance market for 15 years, Keychoice brokers can benefit from a highly experienced team of underwriters with extensive knowledge of the risks involved, backed by the security and strength of Lloyd’s capacity.

By joining Keychoice, Plum Underwriting has greater access to regional brokers – a key distribution channel in the UK insurance market.

With all of Keychoice’s members working from a single technology platform, Plum Underwriting has a continuous view of how its non-standard home insurance product is performing. As a result, the underwriting agency can fine tune the product’s performance with existing members, which will drive greater adoption amongst brokers and generate greater volumes of data for further fine-tuning.

To complement this, Plum Underwriting has access to the utilisation team within SSP, who visit brokers on a regular basis. This will ensure its non-standard home insurance product is being used as frequently and effectively as possible.

Ron Atkinson, Distribution Director at SSP said:
“I am delighted to be working with Plum Underwriting, which has once again been rated one of the UK’s top 5 personal lines insurers in the Insurance Times Broker Service Survey.

“The partnership enables our members to offer cover for a range of non-standard properties that mainstream insurers often lack the specialist knowledge to effectively quote for, while benefitting from exclusive discounted rates.”

Simon Lewer, Business Development Director at Plum Underwriting said:
“Joining Keychoice enables us to work with the traditional high street brokers that we wouldn’t otherwise have access to, and efficiently allows us to trade with up to 500 brokers through a single partner.

“Given the proven track record of Keychoice members in writing highly profitable business for insurers, this is a fantastic opportunity for us.”