Northcott Beaton Insurance Brokers have been trading in Heavitree’s Fore Street for over 20 years. Set up by Keiron Northcott and Nick Beaton, originally they specialised in personal lines insurance (your house, your car, travel etc) but as time passed and with the abundance of insurance companies progressing to an online presence, Northcott Beaton diversified and can now claim to be one of the largest and “most loved” commercial insurance brokers in Devon and the region. They still maintain their range of personal lines although this accounts for only 15% of their business.
During the recent downturn in the economic climate, Northcott Beaton can be seen to have grown substantially. Keiron Northcott, Commercial Director, explains "The last two to three years have seen many people and businesses try to save money and time wherever possible, this has triggered a surge in clients going to market for various things, Insurance included. We have been able to re-broke all of our existing policies and, I am proud to be able to say, we are experiencing a 96% retention rate”.
This is an exceptional feat as the industry standard lies at around the 80-90% mark when so many people are ‘shopping around’ for a better deal.
Nick Beaton, Managing Director, continued “We have spent a lot of time over the past 18 months evaluating our own performance and we were ecstatic with our levels of customer service and the desire of all the staff to drive the business forward. One of the areas we highlighted was our software system, which was a little out of date. We have been able to move on to a far superior and ‘intelligent’ system which has enabled us to work in a far more efficient manner therefore reducing the time taken for specific tasks. We pride ourselves on the other areas within our business and this small change has released more of the potential of which, we hope, there is more to come”.
However simple this small change may seem, there is inevitably an amount of ‘pain’ and adjustment to new methods and processes. Keiron Northcott said “It has taken a full year to ensure that all of our clients are transferred successfully to the new system and it is only now that we are starting to appreciate the benefits and importance of trying to keep up with the I.T revolution”.
Despite the temporary upheaval, Northcott Beaton can report a growth of nearly 25% in the last 12 months and the forecast is even brighter as they are set to continue along this impressive upward curve. This is a fine example of how, with strong foundations, built upon exemplary customer service, great staff and a desire for progression, local independent businesses can thrive ‘whatever the weather’!