Somerville shakes up the competition in sentiment surveys


London, December 2010: Non-standard household specialist Plum Underwriting and high net worth specialist Oak Underwriting have been ranked among the industry’s’ finest in recent broker survey’s.  In November’s Insurance Times Personal Lines Broker Service Survey, which quizzed brokers about the quality of service they receive from insurers, Oak and Plum both featured in the top 10. Oak achieved an impressive third place – an improvement of three places from last year’s appearance in sixth place. Plum also leapfrogged competitors to make its first ever appearance in the survey in ninth position.  It was new entrants such as Plum which prompted the comment from Insurance Times’ research editor Carol Wheatcroft, that: “While the top slots had been held onto by old favourites, it was a handful of new entrants that have really shaken up the competition”. The appearance of Plum and Oak in this survey also meant that the only two MGAs to feature in the top ten were Somerville companies.  Oak also received broker recognition in the previous month’s Insurance Times Commercial Lines Broker Service Survey, being ranked by them in ninth position. In October Oak further achieved an impressive first-time ranking of fifth in the Post Magazine Commercial Lines Insurance 360 Survey, which also questioned brokers about the service they receive from insurers. Oak was ranked in these commercial lines surveys on the basis that both regard premiums above £2,500 as commercial-type policies.  In addition November saw Oak being highly commended by being shortlisted in the inaugural Post Magazine Underwriting Service Awards, in the category of High Net Worth Personal Lines Underwriting Team of the Year.  Somerville chairman Andrew Cross said: “These survey results and award nomination highlight the effort and vision at both Plum and Oak to take strides forward. This is made all the more impressive given the ongoing challenges that current market conditions and economic uncertainty continue to present. But it is most importantly also a reflection of the hard work, dedication and quality of the staff that are driving these companies forward and I would like to thank all staff involved for their part in brining about these tremendous results.”