The first easing of the national Covid-19 measures took place this week, with children finally returning to school after weeks away from class.
With thousands of businesses now getting ready to open next, a Southport insurance firm is urging people to ensure that they have the right cover in place before they do.
Birkdale Insurance Group opened on Hoghton Street in Southport town centre in 2020. The firm offers personal and business insurance for competitive premiums through a large panel of insurers.
Run by local people and situated in the heart of the town centre, customers can be assured of the personal touch with real people rather than struggling to get hold of someone on the end of a phone many miles away.
Director George Wall said: “Birkdale Insurance Group has built our market leading reputation and loyal customer base on strong, long-standing relationships and mutual trust.
“We know the insurance market inside out, we train our advisors continually, and we listen carefully to our customers.
“Simple, honest and straightforward communication is key and you’ll find us responsive and reliable. Insurance may not be top of your shopping list, but it is vital, so we will make sure the buying process is smooth and straight forward.
“Our advisors are available face-to-face, on the phone and via email and will use plain English and jargon free language.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects, including personal and business insurance.
Last year thousands of businesses in the UK were shocked to be left out of pocket when a group of insurers initially refused to pay out loss of earnings through Business Interruption Clauses totalling £1.2billion. The insurers involved attempted to say that the unprecedented circumstances of Covid were not covered.
The issue subsequently went before the Supreme Court, which ordered the firms to pay up. But the judgment still did not mean that every Business Interruption Clause was paid out.
Birkdale Insurance Group says it is vital that firms and home owners ensure they have the peace of mind that they have the correct policies in place as lockdown measures ease.
George Wall said: “Even if people are mid-way through their current policy, we would invite them to either call up, or when lockdown measures ease to call in, and have a chat.
“We can have a look through your policy for you and make sure you are covered for exactly what you need, especially after the changes that have happened over the past year.
“Lots of people wait until the last minute just as their policies are running out to seek a renewal but it makes more sense to look ahead, make a plan and to be better prepared.
“As a local company based in Southport, it’s easier for people to come and see us and put a face to a name, and to make a relationship with someone they trust, rather than dealing with someone they will never meet over a phone.”
Many people in the region will know George well already.
He said: “We opened our new Birkdale Insurance Group premises on Hoghton Street in July last year, but I have been working in the insurance industry in Southport for 20 years.
“I began working as an apprentice at TS Uttley in Southport and then spent 11 years working for County Insurance, eventually heading up their call centre team.
“We thought that this was the perfect time for setting up something new and local. There are so many businesses locally and they all need insurance.
“They need somewhere in town where they can come and find a friendly face and find the right insurance policy for them with the best value.
“With our experience we know all the insurance companies, all the schemes, we can really help businesses and local people to get the right deals for them.
“We just need to get our name out there to let people know.”
2020 was a challenging year for a new company to set up.
George said: “It has been tough setting up during a pandemic! We initially thought it would last for a couple of months and then we’d come out of it. I imagine a lot of other people thought that too.
“We thought our location on Hoghton Street was the right place for Birkdale Insurance Group to be. We wanted to be right at the heart of town and right at the heart of Southport’s business hub, with all the solicitors, accountants, mortgage brokers and other professional services around us.
“Now is the best time to review your insurance. A lot of people were hit very hard when some insurers refused to pay out on Business Interruption claims when the Covid-19 pandemic happened.
“We can help local businesses and local people to find the right cover and the right price as well.
“It is all very well just saving money but if you are not covered correctly, then it can kill your business.
“We are available online and by phone now but once lockdown restrictions ease we would love people to come down and have a brew with us in our office.
“We want people to sit down and get a feel for who they are dealing with, and to see how we can help you with whatever you need.
“Birkdale Insurance Group is 100% committed to helping you find the right insurance policy for you as an individual or your business. We don’t expect our customers to be passionate about insurance but we are!
“After all, when you really need it, insurance is so important to repair your home, your car or your business losses – all things that YOU are really passionate about.”
- Birkdale Insurance Group is situated at 14-16 Hoghton Street, Southport, PR9 0PA.
Call: 01704 336900