Specialist Spotlight: Lee Baughan

We recently sat down with Senior Property Broker, Lee Baughan, who tells us how his insurance career began and how the team operates here at Miles Smith. Lee also explores the developments and challenges the property market faced throughout 2023 and his expectations for the year ahead.


Lee’s introduction to the insurance industry

Lee entered the London market through a contact of his father, after moving down from Glasgow in the summer of 1995 and having studied computing and business at Glasgow college of Nautical studies. An informal meeting was arranged with the head of a property broking team and Lee was offered a junior broking role and began his career the following week. He worked at Alexander and Alexander which became a legacy company of Aon.

Lee joined Miles Smith in 2004, and as a Senior Property Broker, his role involves finding solutions for hard-to-place risks for our broker partners.  The property team’s extensive network of exceptionally strong relationships in the London market enables us to place challenging risks on conventional and non-conventional bases.


How the property market has evolved during Lee’s career

The market has evolved in many ways in the last 30 years, particularly with the increase in the number of MGAs in the last 10 years. The majority of companies we trade with are legacies of the relationships we had with underwriters from company markets who have gone on to create their own MGAs. We work with MGAs to complement the majority of business we place in the London company markets and Lloyd’s.


Lee shares the trends he has observed in the property market in 2023 and what his expectations are for 2024

In 2023, the trends were rather stagnant and rates levelled out towards the end of the year. Lee expects some rates to drop at the beginning of 2024 as local insurers will have new budgets. Insurers tend to push rates down at the start of the year, but throughout the course of the year, rates will most likely stabilise and return to end-of-year levels.

Inflationary increases to property values will have a significant impact on premiums at the beginning of the year; rates will stay the same but premiums will continue to increase if inflation continues as it has in recent years.


The biggest challenge facing the broking industry

Challenges vary so it’s not a case of simply picking one as the market changes over time and it’s always interesting to find solutions in different ways. The opportunities are vast and we are here to provide a helping hand to our brokers, be it obtaining support behind a local lead on a conventional quota share basis, a layered structure via the reinsurance market or a 100% solution.


What is the most common type of industry we support and why do you think this is?

As Miles Smith are associated with the Environmental Services Association (ESA) we do have a large waste account, but we place various challenging trades including but not limited to:
•    Food manufacturing
•    Hazardous chemicals
•    Large mills
•    Leisure
•    Unoccupied properties
•    Asylum seeker hotels
•    Cladded buildings

We have a property broking team with a combined experience of nearly 90 years’ in placing complex risks. With our exceptionally strong relationships in the London market, we are always eager to look for a solution for our brokers.


What should clients consider when looking for Property cover?

In the current economic climate, it’s very important that clients are up to date with their property valuations to ensure they are not underinsured in the event of a loss.


Finally, what's your favourite thing about your job?

Lee feels that finding solutions for challenging risks is a really satisfying part of his job. At Miles Smith, we have a great team that are able to provide solutions which other brokers of our size are unable to do. But working with his colleagues in Miles Smith and SRG, is the best part of Lee’s job.


Find out more
To learn more about placing complex Property risks, get in touch with a member of our Broker Relationship Management team here.

Read our recent property case study here, or our previous Specialist Spotlight on New Business Manager, now Senior Broker, Sam Churchman, here.


Talk to Our Team

020 7977 4800



Talk to Our Team

020 7977 4800


Author: Miles Smith

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