Intellectus Insurance Brokers
Phil and Pete’s journey so far
Phil Bass and Pete Phillips both have broking backgrounds going back to the early 90’s, until joining AXA Commercial Direct within a month of each other in 2007. They set up their own broking business via the AR route in 2014. After three years, they decided to switch networks, becoming a Momentum broker partner in 2017.
Intellectus is a word taken from Latin, meaning understanding. Intellectus Insurance Brokers was formed to address the decline in the face-to-face service offered by brokers and insurers over the past 15 years. With almost 60 years of industry experience between them, Phil and Pete pride themselves on understanding clients and their businesses, as well as comprehending the insurance needs and requirements of both.
Why did you select the appointed representative route?
There were a few key reasons for choosing to go down this route. Firstly, having been away from the broker market for the best part of ten years, we knew that obtaining agencies with key insurers would be difficult without a guaranteed book of business to promise them.
What is important for you in selecting a principal firm?
The principal’s reputation in the marketplace is crucial. Not only do they need to have access to markets, but they need to have the relationships with these markets to get the business placed.
Make sure you meet the team you will deal with day-to-day. Can you work with them? Do they have the knowledge and expertise to manage your customers’ expectations?
Back-office support is vital. The level of service provided by the Momentum team has immediately shown its worth, as we have been able to concentrate on our clients and leave the chasing of insurers for terms and paperwork to Momentum. It also means we can get some time away with the family, leaving Momentum to support our clients in our absence.
In today’s world, it is imperative that you have the right back office software in place for your business. It’s also incredibly important that the network has the resource and experience to support it and develop it to make sure it is fit for purpose.
What lessons have you learned?
We really wish we had done this earlier! There is plenty of space in the commercial insurance market for businesses like ours. The broker market continues to be consolidated and we are regularly coming across local businesses that simply aren’t getting the service or advice they need and are purely being sold on price.
Being part of a network that puts us on a level playing field with the consolidators when it comes to market access and systems, allows us to compete on client service.
How is your working life changed since leaving the corporate world?
This may seem a strange answer, but it is significantly less stressful. There are no weekly team conference calls with management, where you are expected to justify your existence by pledging how much new business you are going to write that week, while seeming to take your existing clients for granted. Working as a partnership, we hold each other accountable, which works very well.