At a glance
- Robert Tuke of Coast Insurance, a specialist broker for all things caravan, motorhome and mobile home identifies the opportunities and challenges in his niche sector
- Flooding a major emerging risk for static caravan parks
- Caravan insurance becoming a more competitive area
Robert Tuke, Managing Director of Coast Insurance, spoke to Zurich Insider to talk about the challenges he faces in his specialist sector – that of caravan, motorhome and mobile home insurance.
Find out below why increased flooding and competition in the niche industry are some of the more pressing issues Tuke deals with on a daily basis.
Q: What lines of business do you specialise in and what are the opportunities and challenges you see there?
A: Coast specialises in insurance for residential park homes, static caravans, touring caravans and motorhomes in the leisure sector of the market. It is still relatively niche but more people are coming into the market and it is becoming a more competitive area.
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Q: Are you on social media? What’s your Twitter handle/LinkedIn profile?
A: Our Twitter account is @coast_insurance. The company isn’t on LinkedIn, but this is my personal profile.
Q: Does the rise of the aggregator model worry you?
A: It doesn’t so much worry me, it more frustrates me. People go on to aggregators and get a very cheap price. The cover they are getting is not the same as going to a specialist broker or niche insurance provider, so customers come to us with a stripped down policy they have found on an aggregator. They can see us as expensive, when actually we have the cover that they need. However, this is not normally appreciated until they have a claim.
Q: What do you think are the biggest emerging risks, and why?
A: From our point of view, it is flooding. Where it used to be a one in 25 years then a one-in-10 year occurrence, it is becoming more regular and you can’t really predict when it will happen or the severity. Areas you never thought would or could flood do.
Q: Is the market hardening?
A: Not in our market, it is still fairly soft. Due to the increase in the number of companies in the market, competiveness has increased – keeping premiums low.
Q: Do you think brokers are recognised enough by the public for the value that they add?
A: No. Quite often customers will go to a direct source and then come back to a broker. If they have had a claim, they may not have had the help and support that they’ve required for getting them through that process. Many people don’t understand the need of a broker until they actually need one.
Q: Rugby or football? And the team you support?
A: Rugby – can’t stand football. Living in Somerset, it would have to be Bath.
Q: Fees or commissions?
Q: What would be the title of your autobiography?
It is still relatively niche but more people are coming into the market and it is becoming a more competitive area
Robert Tuke, Managing Director of Coast Insurance
A: ‘So far, so good…’
Q: Newspaper or iPad?
Q: What is your favourite word, and why?
A: Food. You can’t live without it and there is nothing better than a decent meal.
Q: Can’t get through the weekend without…?
A: An espresso coffee machine.