Santander is one of the top 2 mortgage lenders in the UK. In November 2006 the Hood Group was invited to tender by Abbey (who were subsequently bought by Santander) to provide a general insurance solution for their intermediary mortgage channel.
Strategically they required a general insurance solution that would add value to their intermediary services, satisfy the end customer expectations and generate a new revenue stream.
The Hood Group was successful in this tender process and was subsequently appointed at the beginning of 2007. Project teams from both sides were assigned comprising representatives from the relevant functions. The scheme went live as planned on the 27th April 2007 and has since delivered significant volumes and subsequent income to Santander.
A key deliverable for this client was the build and deployment of a point of sale system to enable intermediaries selling Abbey mortgages to also sell general insurance. We also developed the system that manages the registration of new intermediaries to allow secure access to the point of sale system. These front end systems link to our main Sirius back office system to ensure the correct management of commission payments. A suite of bespoke MI was also scoped with the client and was successfully delivered at launch.
A dedicated team was recruited to manage the support of intermediaries which is ring fenced from other group functions. The team provide the intermediary support through telephone and e-means. Sales and marketing expertise was mobilised from within the group to provide support to Santander in areas of intermediary promotion including road shows and seminars.
The group provides the following services:
Initial policy fulfilment including branded welcome packs
Premium collection and subsequent reconciliation of the commission to the client and intermediaries
Mid-term adjustments and policy queries
Claims handling up to the agreed levels of delegated authority from the insurer
Complaint resolution and logging as agreed with the client
A degree of branding is provided across a range of customer touch points. All of which has to satisfy our client’s corporate guidelines.
The scheme is managed at a senior level within the Hood Group with representatives from the functions of sales, marketing, operations and compliance regularly meeting with Santander‟s counterparts to review progress of the scheme.
The group takes a pro-active stance in scheme development. This was evidenced during 2009 when we initiated the strategy of moving from a solus insurer arrangement to a panel. We were addressing a key issue faced by intermediaries selling general insurance in that a panel insurer arrangement would often be favoured over a solus pricing model.
Having initiated the change we were subsequently instructed by our client to deliver an insurer panel to support their proposition and this was delivered and launched in January 2010. The proposition enhancements directly influenced the annual growth in new general insurance sales in 2010 against the backdrop of a challenging mortgage market.