3rd May, 2019

Ulster Business May 2019: Bringing trust and expertise to the fore

When Vincent McIvor and his co-founders decided to go out on their own with a new insurance business, it was about getting back crucial family values and offering decades of expertise and local knowledge.

Amet Insurance Solutions is a Northern Ireland based business working as a leading local expert, operating between brokers and insurers, handling the claims and underwriting for policy holders across a range of sectors.

It brings a century of experience to the table between the founders and management team, building trust and bringing top-end local knowledge to the fore. In little over two years, the business has grown to a team of 11 and will add new staff later this year.

“It started with myself, and three other guys who had all worked together, previously. Three years ago, we decided to move on and try and do our own thing,” Vincent says.

“We are an MGA (managing general agent). That means we offer our service and expertise to an insurer that wants to enter a market they don’t have access to.

“We underwrite and handle all the claims on behalf of partner insurers. We deal directly with the market and the policyholder.

“We wanted to get back to our values, and we saw a gap. We offer local decision-making and expertise for underwriting and claims handling. We know that business in Northern Ireland continues to rely on building relationships and that’s exactly what we aim to do. We want to be seen and are seen as the experts in our field and the trusted partner to go to, to ensure the best coverage and service that the policyholders require.

“We deal through the brokers 99% of the time across both our commercial products, motor and liability.  For example, brokers would submit details of their clients, we underwrite and offer the best policy that fits that business.”

Vincent formed the business alongside Mark Price, who specialises in liability, Simon Rotherham, in motor underwriting and David Boyle, a specialist in IT who has developed the firm’s own system.

Amet Insurance underwrites on behalf of Liberty Insurance part of the highly respected and well trusted global insurer, the Liberty Mutual Group, and has certainly added value to the market here. They manage the entire process for clients. “The claims come directly through us, and we handle those on the insurer’s behalf also.

“We are proactive from a claims management point of view. And it’s the service which is one of our strengths, and why we decided on doing this ourselves.”

It’s one of just a few companies doing what it does in Northern Ireland, and offers up a full package under one roof – from underwriting, claims and IT, each managed locally.

Amet works across a range of Northern Ireland business sectors, according to Vincent. “We are very sector focused. We work with companies in transport and logistics, and passenger transport – that’s from a single vehicle, right up to the largest haulage fleets in Northern Ireland. There’s very little we don’t do.”

That also includes the construction sector, food processing & distribution and manufacturing. “We are very focused on those sectors, getting involved with the trade bodies, and making them aware of what we can bring to the table.

“It’s about understanding the needs of each sector, and bringing forward a suitable solution.”

“For us, the expertise which we bring from an underwriting and claims perspective adds enormous value to the insurer, the broker and the policyholder. We are very proactive and, with our strong network of adjusters and solicitors, we are able to handle things very quickly.”

One of the advantages Amet offers is having the access to an insurance giant such as Liberty. “The Northern Ireland market is different from the Republic and GB markets, and our relationships really help that,” Vincent says.

“One reason which motivated us to set up ourselves is that we wanted to be the best claims service in Northern Ireland, and we are either heading towards that or are already there. We are coming from a position of strength.”

For Vincent and the team, it’s about being trusted and dealing with claims in the best possible way for its clients. “We are working with brokers that we trust, and those which have a similar mentality to what we do. Our service and accessibility allows the brokers and policyholders to trust us also, and our claims service speaks for itself when claims inevitably occur.

Amet is looking at growing the business organically, and building on the strength and success of the company so far.

“There could be new markets, and we are looking at other products,” Vincent says. “Those products could be something which complement what we have already, the ability to offer our policyholders a full suite of products suitable to their sectors remains the ambition.”

And that growth will happen across Northern Ireland, but the firm may also expand into the Republic of Ireland and elsewhere in the UK.  “Whatever the future brings for Amet, we remain agile as individuals and as a team to adapt, embrace change and continue to build lasting relationships with out partners and our policyholders.”

Source: Ulster Business May 2019