May 4, 2012

Bankstone News learned something new this week. Apparently insurance is a people business. Uvavu – sorry, yes them again – nothing personal, honest – splashed out this week on a spectacularly yellow cover wrap for Insurance Times to inform the world of their radically original strategy of becoming “number 1 for brokers in every region.” 

A giant typographically composite number one on the yellow front cover highlights visually some of Uvavu’s broker-pleasing attributes and aspirations, including having no fewer than 32 ‘trading locations”, two “national trading centres” and six “key hubs”. A map on the yellow back cover shows you where they all are. 

Brett & Randall’s Aswin Mistry is on the inside front cover declaring “I want to work with people I know and trust and who can make things happen every time.” In a yellow panel with the amply-consonanted headline “Ummms over” Uvavu appear to confirm that they will soon be able to give Mr Mistry exactly this, thanks to “upskilling and realigning” their underwriters across all regions of the UK. More this below.

The most extraordinary part of the exercise, however, is the yellow article on the inside back cover, in which Uvavu’s ‘Head of Trading, Midlands’ Jo Thoy makes the startling claim referred to above about insurance being a people business. 

“Sometimes we think a computer can do it,” she says non-specifically, being careful to avoid the long words and complicated sentence structures that insurance brokers find so confusing and alienating. “But it can’t,” she concludes, firmly and succinctly. “People can.” Yes, because “After all, it’s a people business.” Jo – or whichever lacklustre copywriter put these words in her unfortunate mouth – has discovered that brokers want quick decisions. 

“We’ve got nearly 3,000 years of underwriting experience sat here in the Midlands,” she avers, conjuring up the arresting notion that if you stood (or indeed sat) all of Uvavu’s Midlands underwriters end to end they’d stretch back 150 generations to the age of Egypt’s 20th Dynasty. “What’s more,” Jo reveals, “we’re stripping back our processes”, which is surely sure to lead to those “quicker decisions” brokers seem to be so keen on all of a sudden.

In a paragraph headed “It’s a people business,” Jo declares the twin aims of getting Uvavu people into brokers’ offices and getting broker people into Uvavu’s regional hubs, where “our experts are on hand to get round the table and,” like a shirt-sleeved politician or a Mitchell Brother, “get things sorted.” Music to ears of Mr Mistry, no doubt. Uvavu can do all this because “We understand that we are in a people business.” 

There’s plenty more in this vein, thick with talk of “joining everything up”, “putting the right people in the right places” and “putting the right specialists where they’re needed most.” But by now you’ll probably be eager to read it for yourself. And so you should.


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