Tradition has it that pearls mark a 30th anniversary, and we are proud that Knightsure has earned its place as a pearl in the world of commercial business insurance. Such a milestone is a great opportunity to share more about our history and some of the highlights we’ve enjoyed along the way.
Life before Knightsure Insurance
It’s fair to say that Tony is an accidental insurance expert having been picked out of a line-up at the tender age of 16 when he went along for his first job at West Midlands Gas Board. Happily, his career flourished as he moved from the gas board to Legal & General. Here he learnt the fine art of commercial insurance underwriting.
Eventually insurance brought Tony to Zurich Insurance in Portsmouth where a fairly meteoric rise through the ranks followed and at the same time, gaining his Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute. He has lived on the south coast ever since.
Next, Tony took his commercial insurance expertise to a Hampshire-based general insurance broking firm where he led their expansion into the commercial world. When that business was eventually sold, Tony took the decision to set up Knightsure, a family-run firm focused on providing excellent advice, support and policies for businesses of all sizes.
Knightsure was born
Taking the plunge in 1990 to set up Knightsure was a natural step for Tony and his wife Linda, who worked alongside him until she retired through ill health in the late 1990s.
As specialists in commercial insurance they provided a level of service and expertise that wasn’t available from larger broking firms. This led them to build a loyal customer-base, many of whom are still clients 30 years later.
Over the years the business has gone from strength to strength, embracing the introduction of the FSA – which later became the FCA – and all that it meant for the industry, utilising new technologies to improve and streamline processes, whilst always supporting both the insurance industry and the local community.
Tony’s most memorable claims
An unwavering determination to support their clients through their hardest times, means Tony has often found himself in unusual situations.
Not least in 1996 when a zoo’s tropical garden suffered serious storm damage resulting in the potential escape of their beautiful birds. However, instead of taking flight these stunning creatures sat high in the rafters above, watching the chaos below!
In actual fact, that storm resulted in a sizeable claim with a final settlement to the tune of £350,000. This allowed the zoo to carry out repairs and preventing serious financial repercussions.
Fast forward to 2000 and Tony could be spotted wading through knee-deep flood water consoling the distraught head teacher of a Hampshire independent school, as they surveyed the damage in front of them.
Following serious flooding, Tony helped the school navigate the claims process, including dealing with the loss adjusters to negotiate the settlement. Thanks to his expertise and unwavering dedication to his clients, a settlement of £750,000 was secured. The school was so delighted with the resulting new building that they named it after the insurance company!
A voice of authority
But it’s not all about memorable claims.
Over the years, Tony has often generously shared his knowledge and experience within the local business community, including a BBC interview representing the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce talking about the state of the economy, and as a stalwart member of local networking groups.
It’s fair to say there are many businesses out there who were either paying too much for the wrong cover, or in the worst case, being completely uninsured! Never one to skimp on his work, Tony’s helped many businesses to rectify this situation – often saving them money into the bargain!
Similarly, he is a well-known voice of authority within the insurance sector. In 2015, Tony was a panellist at an Insurance Times conference, on the subject of cyber insurance – an issue that has the potential to impact on any business that uses a computer (i.e. all of them!).
More recently, Tony took a role on the British Insurance Broker Association’s, Small Business Advisory Board (SBAB). Through this forum, Tony has helped brokers achieve success in their businesses, implement new legislation and remain compliant in their business.
Charity and awards
Of course, there is also a lighter side to insurance and Tony has always sought opportunities to support his local community and charities.
Within the industry, Tony’s hard work over the years has seen him recognised for awards including; winning an Insurance Times Award for Excellence in Commercial Insurance Broking for his innovative use of electronics in the business in 2014; and being shortlisted for Modern Insurance Magazine’s ‘Above and Beyond Customer Service’ award in 2019.
You might not know that Tony is a first-class quizzer and a font of general knowledge. So much so that, after reaching the semi-finals in 2012, in 2013 he beat 800 other brokers in the industry Brokermind competition, hosted by John Humphrys.
And his specialist subject?
The life and times of Tony Hancock
A keen supporter of local charities, when Knightsure came of age in 2011, Tony took part in a number of fundraising activities raising a fabulous £3,000 for Naomi House Charity.
On the subject of supporting charities, in celebration of our 30th anniversary, Tony is planning a fundraiser for The Rainbow Centre https://www.rainbowcentre.org/ , of which he is already a 100 Club supporter.
If you have any ideas of challenges you would like to see Tony tackle to raise much needed funds for this amazing local charity, please let us know! He’s open to anything relatively safe and has already agreed to wear the shirt of his most-hated football team if someone’s prepared to make a worthwhile enough donation!
Look out for more information on this as many plans are currently on hold whilst we focus on taking steps to tackle Covid-19. As you can imagine, Tony’s busy helping concerned clients understand how their businesses are affected and how their insurance policies can help them.
To share your ideas for fund raising challenges, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject: Tony’s Pearl Anniversary Challenges