A Gretna-based insurance company is proving it can take on national and online competitors by expanding its team to cope with increasing trade.
Comparison websites and online insurance firms may have revolutionised the insurance industry, but CSW Insurance Brokers believes there is still a firm place in the market for brokerages.
The business which is now celebrating its 33rd year, has recently taken on two new members of staff, and is also preparing to take on its first apprentice.
Managing director Craig Williamson says that personal service still counts for a lot even though quotes for apparent ‘cheap’ insurance are just a mouse click away.
“A broker is working on your behalf and using their experience to protect your assets, help you make the right decisions and negotiate a great price. Your home, your belongings, your business are the things you have worked your whole life to accumulate so it doesn’t pay to make rash decisions about protecting them,” he said.
Nicola Williamson, Craig’s daughter and fellow director adds: “Although we are a local, family business, we are also part of the ‘Broker Network’, an organisation which links 550 members across the UK – so our clients get the clout of a national company, but the personal service of a local, rural broker”.
“That’s why we have just been able to win a large commercial client who had selected CSW rather than a national-level competitor due to the personal touch the company is able to offer.”
CSW’s team of seven staff has grown in recent weeks with the arrival of Fiona Boyle as sales office manager and Kayleigh Bell as insurance sales administrator. The company will also be taking on its first apprentice and giving them full training.
CSW anticipates further growth, and as such, recently refurbished its office on Annan Road with a view to ensuring it had room for around nine staff if needed.
Craig, who also served as chairman for Gretna FC for seven years, always has one eye on the future. “We’re constantly planning and developing, and with Nicola having worked her way up through the ranks, I can be confident the business will always be in good hands. I set this business up from nothing 33 years ago, and I’m certain we’ll be here in another 33. Effective succession planning and having the right staff in place is essential. I’m proud to say we have an excellent team – we put time and effort into getting it right. Our people make the difference.”
Craig’s wife Wendy also works in the business as office administrator, and completing the team is Kari Armstrong, insurance account handler, and insurance account executive, Louise Gardham, who works with CSW’s large agricultural client base.
Together they have recently been celebrating winning the Best Professional Service for Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland’s Business Awards.