Towergate partners with SchemeServe

As early adopters and innovators in schemes business, Towergate has partnered with SchemeServe, to launch a Combined Commercial and Residential Property Owners’ online quote and buy scheme for brokers.

Underwritten by Modus, the launch is Towergate’s first online combined scheme, administered through a single platform, where residential, commercial and unoccupied property owners’ covers are available for brokers to quote and buy under the same policy.

The scheme is hosted on the SchemeServe platform and has been designed and built to administer the online quotes, policy adjustments, cancellations and auto-generated policy documents, all through the platform. The scheme accommodates single properties or multi-location portfolios, and offers short term period solutions, allowing three, or six-month policies, for Residential risks. It also covers multi-tenure properties (with over 2,000 trades acceptable for commercial properties), as well as both occupied and unoccupied premises. Optional covers, such as terrorism and legal expenses, are also available on the platform.

Sean Neal, Commercial Director and Chief Commercial Officer of SchemeServe, comments: “We are proud to have enjoyed a long and successful partnership with Towergate. For seven years we have been working with them to design and administrate innovative schemes on our cloud-based platform. This latest multi page scheme aptly demonstrates the flexibility and scalability of the SchemeServe platform, and how our Scheme Tailors and Obsessive Support team works in partnership with our clients to build bespoke solutions for specialist needs. We have delivered a solution that enhances the broker proposition and enriches the customer experience. It is a pleasure playing a role in bringing new innovation like this to the schemes market.”

Gavin Hyett, a Senior Underwriter at Towergate, comments: “The Scheme was a complex build, with three risk types, all of which had a different rating approach and captured varying information on the quotation journey. Towergate has been working with SchemeServe for several years and, having built two other Property Owners’ schemes for us, we know they are fantastic at being able to build new schemes for us in a fraction of the time it would take other software houses to do. They worked closely with us and Modus to ensure they delivered on the brief perfectly. The support is excellent too – when we raise tickets they are answered and resolved in a matter of hours.”

Jackson Lee Underwriting takes on BIBA approved Travel Book from DTW1991

Jackson Lee Underwriting has secured the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) endorsed Holiday Travel Plus and Sports Travel scheme, for three years, from April 2021.

The Travel scheme is one of the longest running approved BIBA schemes, endorsed by them now for 20 years. The policies are underwritten by AA rated capacity from Ergo Travel Insurance Services Limited on behalf of Great Lakes Insurance SE, part of Munich Re, and one of the largest providers of Travel Insurance worldwide.

Holiday Travel Plus from Jackson Lee Underwriting covers holidays in the UK and abroad. It provides one of the broadest Travel wordings available on the market for covid related risks, importantly including cancellation cover as standard now on all policies, as well as medical expenses, repatriation and associated accommodation costs. There is a choice of Annual Multi Trip for travelers up to 75 years of age, or Single Trip policies for travelers up to 85 years of age. Brokers can also speak directly to the underwriters if further flexibility is needed – particularly beneficial for brokers right now with clients travelling under unusual circumstances.

Other unique elements of the policy include cover for Motorcycle trips and Cruise Holidays as standard. Independent group travel can also uniquely be covered on one policy, including school trips or family and friends travelling together.

As part of the agreement, Jackson Lee Underwriting is also delighted to announce the appointment of Dipesh Patel as Senior Underwriter. Dipesh has been involved with the BIBA approved travel scheme for many years, latterly at Syndicate 1991 at Lloyd’s (DTW1991), as Deputy Class Underwriter for Accident and Health.

Dipesh has been responsible for the successful and innovative development of the Travel scheme. Now recognized by the industry and government as one of the leading experts in Travel Insurance, Dipesh regularly advises external committees on Travel Insurance matters including the impact of the latest pandemic.

Dipesh Patel comments: “Whether holidaying in the UK or abroad, it is imperative now more than ever that clients get broad and appropriate cover that will respond to unique risks presented by the pandemic. The traffic light system announced by the government in a bid to open up our borders again, means brokers can also now expect to be increasingly busy with international travel quotations. Many insurance policies will now have elements of cover relating to Covid, but there is a huge difference between the wordings currently on offer. My strong advice would be to only offer Travel cover with the most comprehensive wordings.

Clearly the pandemic has been a worrying and challenging time for many, but as we begin to look to the future and open our borders again, we’re in an excellent position to make sure we equip brokers with first class coverage, to give their clients the added reassurance and protection they need to get moving again.”

BIBA members will also benefit from the continuation of the direct relationship with Jackson Lee’s underwriting team for referrals, advice, marketing support and either onsite or webinar-based training.

Jackson Lee Underwriting was established in 1991 and has been the BIBA approved GAP scheme provider since 2012. For 30 years the MGA has specialised in bringing a broad range of innovative niche insurance products to the broker market.

Nick Mohan, Joint Managing Director, Jackson Lee Underwriting, said: “We’re proud and delighted to be leading the BIBA Travel Scheme. BIBA’s continued support of our specialist schemes is recognition of our commitment to the quality of our products and services and our long heritage and expertise in developing niche insurance. We’re delighted to welcome Dipesh Patel to the Jackson Lee family. We’re excited to have his expertise on board and look forward to launching further innovative new Travel policies over the coming months under his expert guidance.”

Consilium appoints Andrew Sommerville Head of Specialty

Consilium, the international (re)insurance broker, part of The Aventum Group, has today announced the appointment of Andrew Sommerville as Head of Speciality.

With 36 years’ Aviation broking experience, Andrew joins Consilium with market leading expertise in Aviation broking. He was previously the Managing Director for niche Aviation broker Grimme Butcher Jones. Prior to that he was at Integro (now Tysers) and spent 14 years with Aon and 10 years with Marsh before that, all specialising in Aviation broking.

Andrew will be responsible for managing and growing all niche Specialty lines business at Consilium, including developing its international Aviation business – an area experiencing significant capacity and market trend changes, and offering huge growth opportunities globally.

David Bearman, Chief Executive Officer for Aventum, comments: “Having a central hub for all Specialty lines will introduce greater collaboration and efficiencies and encourage better cross-sell strategies across our group broking vertical. I’m delighted to welcome Andrew to the Aventum family. His expertise in Aviation will further develop our capabilities in that area. Aviation presents an exciting market opportunity globally for our broker partners and with such market leading expertise on board we look forward to exploring and maximising those opportunities.”

Andrew Sommerville commented: “Over the past 25 years Aventum has established a strong reputation for its expertise in niche areas and various specialist facilities. The Aviation market is a niche sector that merits a significant presence within the Aventum Group. With the combination of increased aviation experience and capability, and Aventum’s focused philosophy, it took little time to consider the synergies and see an exciting future. With the expansion of Aventum’s knowledge and expertise in this area and the use of various unique worldwide placing facilities (particularly in Africa which is experiencing the hardest effect of capacity changes and increased rate trends), we are well placed to deliver on market demands and client expectations. We plan to build the whole Speciality team further and I look forward to maximising its potential within the Group.”

SchemeServe launches the SchemeServe Network

Any Scheme can now be shared freely across the market – huge distribution and profit uplift for Brokers, MGAs and Insurers.

SchemeServe, a leading cloud-based provider of insurance software, has today launched the SchemeServe Network: a collaborative scheme sharing facility which, for the first time, allows any insurance scheme to be shared and replicated by any other broker, MGA or insurer. The Network is tipped to double brokers’ GWP from schemes, and in some cases increase it by a lot more.

The Network is supported by seven leading insurers that specialise in schemes, who have partnered with SchemeServe to create an exclusive panel, providing ready access to new scheme capacity. The insurers signed up to the partnership include AXA, Pen Underwriting, Ecclesiastical, Hiscox, Blink Intermediary Solutions (part of Iris Insurance Brokers), Gresham and ARAG. The new insurer panel, called SchemeServe Partners, connects MGAs looking for capacity for their schemes to insurers with matching appetite.

This latest initiative gives brokers access to a scheme library sharing facility, as well as a panel of willing capacity providers all under one roof, giving schemes owners a massive plug and play advantage. It will also help reduce the time to get schemes products live.

Specialist insurer Ecclesiastical has been working with SchemeServe for many years, and it has built and administrates a number of the insurer’s specialist schemes through its platform. Antony Osborne, Corporate Portfolio Underwriting Manager at Ecclesiastical, comments: “The SchemeServe Network and its insurer panel is a great initiative. Ecclesiastical is a schemes specialist with a broad risk appetite and Schemes is a growth area for us. Supporting initiatives like this creates more opportunity for brokers and insurers to develop successful partnerships and deliver specialist solutions for customers. We’ve been working with SchemeServe for a number of years now and we have been impressed by its agility, innovation and dependability.”

Sean Neal, Commercial Director & Chief Commercial Officer of SchemeServe, comments: “For 20 years SchemeServe has been constantly curious and asking, ‘What If?’. This launch is highly significant, particularly in the current market where capacity is scarce, and brokers will be looking to specialise more to maximise income from niche areas, and insurers will be relying now more than ever on premium income. The SchemeServe Network does all the leg work – every broker – whether an existing SchemeServe user or not, can collaborate and share schemes with each other, giving brokers instant access to new markets and new potential revenue for brokers and insurers, overnight.”

Generalist brokers looking to develop niche specialisms can access ready-made successful schemes almost instantly, also providing them with access to better wordings and often better rates than open market policies. Appointed Representative brokers or Introducers in particular will benefit from instant access to schemes including policy administration, quote and buy, prospecting, client management, and integrated MI with full audit trail and reporting, with delegated authority capacity coming from the host broker. The schemes can also be white labelled under a broker’s own brand and brokers can quote and bind schemes policies through their own website.

The 270 schemes currently registered with SchemeServe range from Commercial Combined to specialist Farming, Pet, Horsebox, Craft or even Hairdressers, covering all imaginable niche insurance schemes. Schemes are added to the Library free of charge for brokers to search and browse.

Sean Neal continues: “This year we have made significant investment in our people and the platform. Always curious and hungry to find new ways of using technology to improve people’s lives, this latest launch is one of many new initiatives we will be revealing over the next 12 months. We have a highly experienced team of developers and web designers with exciting UI and UX capabilities that is transforming the schemes market. We have just celebrated our 20th anniversary, making us an experienced and well established Insurtech, and I’m thrilled that SchemeServe continues to be at the forefront of schemes innovation.”

SchemeServe currently operates more than 270 schemes and £240m of gross written premium via its cloud-based platform. It works with brokers, MGAs and insurers of all shapes and sizes and has long been the platform of choice for those operating delegated authority schemes because it allows them to get schemes up and running in a matter of days and make any updates (rate changes, changes from regulatory demands, or launch new products, for example) quickly and securely.

Direct Insurance Group in Global Restructure & Rebrand

Press Release


The Aventum Group on target to become one of the biggest and best Global (Re)Insurance Groups in the world


4th May 2021:  Direct Insurance, the fast growing independent International (Re)Insurance Group, has announced a global restructure and rebrand to Aventum, to position the Group for the next stage in its journey to become one of the biggest and the best global (re)insurance specialty wholesale businesses in the world.


The combined operations of Aventum now control over $600m GWP with a forecasted, adjusted EBITDA of $31m.


The restructure brings together the Group’s UK and international teams into one combined global insurance group with two distinct businesses – underwriting and broking.  Consilium is now Aventum’s International Speciality Wholesale (Re)insurance Broker, bringing together the Group’s global broking operations, and Rokstone is now Aventum’s International Speciality (Re)Insurance MGA, bringing together its global underwriting operations.  Consilium and Rokstone together are centred under one homogonous brand, Aventum, currently placing over $600m GWP worldwide.


In the UK, Direct Insurance London Market (DILM) will change its name to Consilium, and will be the international broker’s UK operation.  Consilium has further offices in Asia and will be broadening its international footprint in all the major insurance hubs of the world.  Aura Underwriting, iSure, iFarm, Rokstone Construction Risk Underwriters and Novus Underwriting, will all become part of Rokstone.  Rokstone is already one of the world’s largest MGAs, with offices in the UK, Europe, USA, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with plans to explore further territories.


The Group also has robust plans for M&A across the Group with a multi-million-pound war chest and an existing pipeline of acquisitions already in progress.


Aventum is independently owned by Group CEO David Bearman, who comments: “We want Aventum to be a global insurance brand that endures – a lasting landmark in the market.  The restructure and rebrand puts us in a strong position – we are fit, agile, focussed and ready for the next stage in our journey to become the best global (re)insurance speciality wholesale business in the world.  These are not baseless statements of intent – we are determined and we’re well on our way.  We’ve spent 25 years busily and quietly building a number of individual specialty businesses successfully.  Now we’re over half a billion dollars we’ve got serious scale, the expertise and the infrastructure to tackle the next leg of our journey.  Now the time is right to unveil who we are.  We might be at more than half a billion dollars but we’re on an epic journey and the exciting thing is that we’ve only just begun.

Aventum Group CEO

“Aventum is hugely entrepreneurial and not afraid to push boundaries.  At the same time we remain fiercely independent, committed to our culture and our people.  The Aventum Family is on this journey together.  I’m hugely excited about the future – confidently we will explore new horizons and achieve great things for the Group and its clients.”

– ends –

Launch video:

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, celebrated explorer and partner brand ambassador for Aventum:



For further information, please contact:

SJ Wrigley, Spotlight Consulting:  07909546104


About Aventum

Aventum is one of the world’s leading and fastest growing independent Specialty insurance groups, trading more than $600m GWP annually, with 13 offices globally. Through its international (Re)Insurance Broking arm Consilium, and its global MGA operation, Rokstone, it offers clients a range of specialist and niche solutions in all lines of Property & Casualty (re)insurance globally.




SchemeServe snaps up talent

SchemeServe, a leading cloud-based provider of insurance software, has today announced the appointment of two new experienced software technicians.

James McNab has joined from Open GI where he spent 8 years as its Underwriting Projects Team Leader, responsible for onboarding new clients and the development and management of new insurance products for insurers and brokers. James also managed Open GI’s team of five in the underwriting projects team.

Prior to Open GI, James was an account handler for Towergate, a motor underwriter for Ink Underwriting, and was also previously a HNW Client Manager at AON.

Michelle Osgood joins SchemeServe from the broker Eversure. She was previously a claims handler for Stackhouse Poland and prior to that an underwriting assistant for Temple Legal Protection. She draws on a valuable pool of experience from broking, underwriting and as a previous customer of SchemeServe.

Both Michelle and James have been appointed as Wunderwriters at SchemeServe.

Adam Bishop, CEO of SchemeServe explains: “All of SchemeServe’s 10 strong team of software technicians has valuable insurance experience – either as brokers or underwriters, or sometimes both! They come to us not only as experienced technicians, but also with knowledge of the industry which is important – it gives them an understanding of the issues and headaches that brokers, MGAs or insurers face. That’s pretty unique to SchemeServe and really important to us that we talk your language, and that’s why we call them Wunderwriters.

“I’m delighted to welcome James and Michelle. It might sound contrived, but our people really are our biggest asset – they are my main motivation for building this business.”

The two appointments come as part of SchemeServe’s ongoing growth plans and recruitment drive to stay ahead of increased demand for its services and to maintain high service levels. SchemeServe has hired seven new staff since the start of Covid-19.

Wunderwriters are responsible for building and shaping front end responsive interfaces for the insurance schemes on the SchemeServe cloud-based platform. The platform enables clients to launch bespoke insurance products in a matter of days and at a fraction of the cost of the big software houses, without sacrificing on flexibility, customisation or user experience.

Adam Bishop, continues: “Never before has the industry seen such demand for technology solutions capable of driving real practical and affordable change in the industry. SMEs brokers, MGAs and insurers are all taking advantage of the new and efficient distribution and marketing capabilities that SchemeServe has to offer. We are in the right place at the right time with a strong and talented team behind us.”

For further information please contact: SJ Wrigley at Spotlight Consulting: or 07909 546104

About SchemeServe

SchemeServe is a leading cloud-based provider of software to the insurance industry which has grown to operate more than 270 schemes and £240m of gross written premium per annum. SchemeServe is a white-labelled administration, distribution and underwriting SaaS solution for those operating delegated authority schemes business in both personal and commercial lines.

The company’s ‘Wunderwriters’ are all software developers and ex-underwriters. Using SchemeServe they work with brokers to design bespoke white labelled solutions for customers in double quick time.

The SchemeServe philosophy is Remarkable Schemes Made Simple.

Matt Field appointed to the Board at Direct Insurance Group

Direct Insurance Group, the fast growing International (Re)Insurance Group, has today announced that Matt Field has been appointed to the Board as Group Sales & Marketing Director.

Matt has been with Direct Insurance Group since 2016 when he joined as Business Development Manager for the North for its UK wholesale broking business DILM (Direct Insurance London Market). In 2017 Matt was promoted to Head of Marketing & Development. For four years he has been at the helm of the sales and business development teams as well as Head of Group Marketing and UK Sales.

Matt Field comments: “I’m delighted and honoured to be appointed to the Board. Anyone who knows me also knows that Direct Insurance runs through my veins – like a stick of rock. I’ve been with the Group now for just five years, but in that short time I’ve been a part of their hugely exciting journey and can’t wait for the next chapter. Its infectious entrepreneurial spirit drives us all forward – you can’t help but be impressed by the people and the Group’s collective ambition.”

David Bearman, Chief Executive Officer for Direct Insurance Group comments: “I’m delighted to welcome Matt to the Board. He’s a really nice guy. He’s talented, driven and committed to our vision. As a Group we’ve now surpassed the $500bn milestone so we’re well on our way. But for me this business is all about our culture and our people – seeing them grow. That’s why we’re wholly focussed on becoming the best global (re)insurance specialty wholesale business in the world; whilst that might mean we also become the biggest, the primary motivation is always to be the best.”

For further information, please contact: SJ Wrigley, Spotlight Consulting: 07909546104

About Direct Insurance Group

Direct Insurance Group is a one of the world’s leading and fastest growing independent Specialty insurance businesses trading $500m annually, with 13 offices globally. Through its international (Re)Insurance Broking and MGA operations, it offers clients a range of specialist and niche solutions in all lines of Property & Casualty (re)insurance.

Direct Insurance announces multi-million-pound investment in Operations & IT

Direct Insurance, the fast growing International (Re)Insurance Group, has announced a multi-million-pound investment in its Group wide Operations and IT to significantly widen its digital capabilities.

The investment will further develop the Group’s data, analytics and digital platform capabilities across its international operations which last year reached $500m GWP, building on its previous investments in IT and its existing ecosystem. The project will focus on the customer, simplifying internal processes and leveraging data to drive business decisions and a better experience for its partners and customers.

Tom Downs, Direct Insurance Group COO, has been recruited to lead the Group’s Operations and IT function and lead the digital transformation across the Group. A stella hire, Tom has 11 years’ experience of Operations and IT change management as Project Manager at Sompo Canopius and later as Operations Manager at Lloyds syndicate AEGIS. Currently with a team of seven Operations, IT and Project specialists, calling on cross-sector financial services expertise, Direct Insurance is actively recruiting to fill further roles in the team, including a Change Delivery Manager and a Data Quality Manager.

Tom Downs, Direct Insurance Group COO comments: “Direct Insurance is clearly an insurance Group that is aiming for the top. It is hugely entrepreneurial and not afraid to push boundaries. My team feel empowered to bring about real change. I’m excited to explore what our broader digital capabilities will achieve for the Group and its clients.

“As with all change projects, the nirvana comes from achieving just the right balance between quality, speed and cost in relation to all three pillars of systems, process and people. It is important to be prepared to adapt and evolve as you go and to re-evaluate after each phase. Get the balance right, have a clear vision and roadmap, with the right team and full backing from the Board, we will achieve transformational outcomes.”

The multi phased roadmap includes an enhanced pricing tool, a digital distribution platform, and a full overhaul of the Group’s IT infrastructure. It will digitalise the administration processes across the full risk lifecycle (underwriting, claims and finance) and build a rich repository of risk level data which then flows into a new online data analytics function, that it expects will be market leading. Its plug and play platform is an interoperable ecosystem of applications that enables a dynamic, quick, accessible way to write or broke business.

David Bearman, Direct Insurance Group CEO, comments: “Digital Transformation is a key strategic goal for the Group – a cornerstone of our growth plans. For us it’s not about keeping pace – we’ll be going further, using technology to cross boundaries and explore new horizons. Our operating model will maintain manual processes for those in the market that still choose traditional methods, but these will dovetail with our new digital capabilities, streamlining processes and increasing efficiencies. Leveraging data and digital technology will drive more business, deliver a first-class customer experience and bring more value to our clients and partners around the globe.”

For further information, please contact: SJ Wrigley, Spotlight Consulting: 07909546104

About Direct Insurance Group

Direct Insurance Group is a one of the world’s leading and fastest growing independent Specialty insurance businesses trading $500m annually, with 15 offices globally. Through its international (Re)Insurance Broking and MGA operations, it offers clients a range of specialist and niche solutions in all lines of Aviation and Property & Casualty (re)insurance.

Meet the Insurance Press

Interview with Stephanie Denton, Editor, Insurance Post

Spotlight Consulting’s SJ Wrigley talks to Insurance Post Magazine Editor, Stephanie Denton, about challenges for journalists during Covid-19, how the industry has kept her attention for more than 20 years, and her editorial plans for the magazine in 2021. Learn how the insurance industry can work better with the press this year and Stephanie’s answer to the most important question, ‘cheese or chocolate?’



Insurance PR

Berkeley Alexander launches COVID-19 Rent Guarantee & Legal Expenses policy

General Insurance provider, Berkeley Alexander (BA), has today announced it has partnered with Auto Legal Protection Services (ALPS), to launch a Landlord Legal Expenses and Rent Guarantee product appropriate for use during the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Many insurers stopped sales of this type of product earlier this year following enactment of the Coronavirus Act 2020, which amongst other things suspended all possession hearings by the courts, making eviction impossible. In addition, there has been a 70% increase in the UK jobless total and a rise in Universal Credit applications, with predictions for a significant and severe downturn in the world economy over the coming months, leading to concerns within the insurance industry about rent arrears.

Mark Hutchings, Managing Director of Berkeley Alexander, explains: “Whilst the impact of the Coronavirus on the UK public is obviously devastating, landlords too have suffered financially from rent arears and quite rightly are unable to evict non-paying tenants during this period.  However, mediation is still available, and the associated legal costs and rent arears continue to accrue. At the outset of restrictions it was no surprise that many insurers pulled out of landlord legal expenses and rent guarantee products but I’m delighted that in partnership with ALPS we are able to provide this product for our brokers and advisers, giving them a valuable point of differentiation and providing their landlord clients with surety.”

The product is offered on a 12-month policy term. It will pay 100% of rent arrears paid up to possession and has a range of benefit levels and indemnity periods, up to a maximum of £2,500 and for up to 6-months.  The product will also cover the policyholder for legal disputes in relation to the tenancy agreement, pursuit of rent arrears and legal defence cover. It provides mediation and eviction costs up to £25,000.

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, Berkeley Alexander currently provides services to over 3,500 firms in the UK. It provides a wide choice of quality general insurance policies to suit every level of customer need and budget across a range of product types, including standard and non-standard home, mid & high net worth, property owners (both residential and commercial) and all forms of commercial insurance.