Meet Account Director, Andy Brooks, who recently spoke to us about his career, developments in the motor insurance industry and his current role in the Motor Fleet Renewals team at Miles Smith.
Andy’s journey into broking and his current role at Miles Smith
Andy traces his career back to familial inspiration as his godfather, a founding member of Sedgewick Payne (now part of Marsh), ignited his curiosity in insurance and broking. In 1978, fresh out of college, Andy embarked on his insurance journey at National Provident Institution (NPI), later transitioning to broking at a Honda Motorcycle dealership, a Lloyd's Syndicate, Bowring (now also part of Marsh) and eventually joining RL Davison in 2002 who were later acquired by Miles Smith in 2011.
As Account Director, Andy oversees the Motor Fleet Renewals department, leading a team of six. The team are responsible for securing renewals, marketing cases in Lloyd’s and the London Market, negotiating terms with insurers, rebroking if necessary and ensuring the longevity of client partnerships.
Adapting to market changes
Andy reflects on the transformation of the motor market, noting a decline in the number of Lloyd’s motor syndicates over the years. Greater emphasis has also been put on technology in the form of cameras, telematics and the growth in electric vehicles (EVs). The aftermath of Brexit, Covid-19 and geopolitical tensions has led to a continuance in non-conventional strategies including carrying higher deductibles. The impact these events have had on inflation has reshaped risk management priorities in an attempt to cut costs. First Notification of Loss (FNOL) has also become pivotal, minimising claim costs through swift reporting.
2023 trends and 2024 expectations
Since the pandemic, the industry has witnessed premium hikes attributed to inflation, increased repair costs and challenges specific to EV claims. As car technology develops, the cost to repair them increases, and Andy has witnessed this becoming more of a prevalent issue in recent years. Increased used car values and theft related claims in the UK have also played a part in the rising rates. An EY report observed that motor insurance premiums rose by 25% in 2023 and are expected to rise another 10% this year*. After speaking to various fleet insurers, Andy believes this could be up to 15% in the sector.
Throughout 2024, Andy anticipates a heightened focus on risk management, with clients embracing higher deductibles and fortifying vehicle security. Beyond 2024, the advent of self-drive vehicles is poised to introduce further complexities to the motor insurance landscape.
The biggest challenge facing the broking industry
On the wholesale side, Andy identifies the proliferation of M&As and networks as a prominent challenge. As brokers shift allegiances, the landscape becomes more consolidated, potentially limiting the brokers' scope. The need to adapt to these changes while maintaining effective client service remains a significant challenge.
Excelling in high-risk industry solutions
The teams at Miles Smith are heavily involved in the hazardous goods and waste and recycling industries. The Motor Fleet Renewals team excel in placing risks in these areas because they have: • Exclusive products • Specialist carriers • High limits of indemnity • Good policy wordings • Prompt claims support
In placing Motor cover, Andy stresses the significance of prioritising the right coverage over cost considerations. Particularly for the high-risk industries we work with, ensuring adequate cover and claims support is paramount, exceeding the allure of budget-friendly policies.
Finally, Andy tells us what he enjoys most about working at Miles Smith
With many years in the industry, Andy values relationship-building and teamwork at Miles Smith. The positive work environment in the Motor Fleet Renewals team is enhanced by the support each colleague provides. He praises SRG’s High Potential Programme (HiPo) for identifying future leaders, citing Motor Fleet Renewals Manager, Simon Moore's, most recent promotion after a decade of growth within Andy’s team. This reflects our confidence in developing knowledgeable and trustworthy individuals.
Find out more
To learn more about placing complex Motor risks, get in touch with a member of our Broker Relationship Management team here.
Read our previous Specialist Spotlight on Senior Property Broker, Lee Baughan, here.