IBDs are unique, but retail insurance policies aren’t always mindful of the risks they may encounter. I found out from director Jon Cockayne what IBD-tailored insurance product 700c has to offer.
Tell us about the core team working for 700c Insurance. What motivated them to get involved in the cycle industry, and to launch this brand?
There are more than a dozen of us on the team, and we are part of an organisation that is 220 in total. We specialise in other niche areas too. Launching 700c was the result of a combination of things. We’re always on the lookout for opportunities, and were conscious of the emergence of boutique, independent cycling retailers. We did some homework and established that the market was a growing one. We came to the conclusion that we could add to what was out there. Given that a lot of our team are enthusiastic cyclists, people were happy to lend their support and ideas over the period of three to four months to ensure we developed a great product for IBDs.
Why did you choose to work with Hiscox, and how have they supported you in making 700c a reality?
They had a preexisting interest in the cycling world – plenty of their employees are keen cyclists, and they run what’s becoming a very well known cycling event biannually. They see cycling as an area where they can differentiate, and talk to the customers to tailor policies to their needs. We already had a relationship with Hiscox, and there was a meeting of minds. They’re an award-winning insurer in the retail market, and a very strong brand. They’re quick to respond to claims. They’ve helped us financially in setting up the website and laying the ground. We also have a relationship with Bikmo in the sense that we share a common interest. If we’re approached by anyone who needs individual bike cover, we refer them onto Bikmo, because fundamentally, we’re commercial insurance providers.
How has diversification of businesses opened them up to different risks, and what do you do to counter that?
IBDs aren’t just shops, nowadays. They provide services that extend beyond selling bikes. Unfortunately, in this day and age, when you do anything, there’s a risk attached to it, and people recognise that they need to do something about that. Fundamentally, an IBD is a retailer, and there are insurance products that could be sold to any retailer, but some need special consideration. It’s about the services offered in-store, from maintaining bicycles to making parts. IBDs do things that aren’t necessarily mirrored by basic insurance. It’s not just about handing over cash, now they work off-site, provide repairs, help out at sportives. None of that is typical of a retailer. We feel our product is very much geared toward creating a bespoke solution for that particular niche. We talk to IBDs about the risks they are exposed to and ensure these are reflected to underwriters so that everything is accounted for. Obviously this varies from shop to shop. That’s why getting to know the customer and their business is vital. Liability cover needs to address all claims attached to a business – IBDs need insurance policies that appreciate every aspect of what they do.