7th October, 2016

Tim Larden, Ladbrook Insurance has written a blog post for us on the positive experience of working with Nova Member Agbrigg and Belle Vue Community Association.

“Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house down!”

Those words were ringing in my ears when Eileen from Agbrigg and Belle Vue Community Association visited the Ladbrook Insurance stand at the Nova Sector Showcase event at Lightwaves earlier this year.

As a charity insurance broker, we are used to all manner of activities and risks but when Eileen approached me, it did set a challenge. Eileen explained that her group had only found one insurer that would provide any cover because the community building they run, on the site of Woodcock Street Allotments, is not of traditional construction but in fact made from straw bales!

The group run the building which is used by local groups, including an Alzheimer’s Support Group and Eileen works hard to keep this community asset available. I arranged to visit the site to fully understand the nature of construction and put me in a better place to discuss the risk with insurers.

Insuring a non standard property can be tricky and it is essential to get it right. Armed with information, pictures and some enthusiasm, we discussed the risk with three insurers and persuaded all of them to offer a quote. Ansvar, a third sector specialist and one of our largest partners were keenest to help and provided the best offer.

Tony Cambridge, Senior Underwriter at Ansvar Insurance said;

“This type of construction is unusual and reasonably rare but we are seeing more modern methods of construction in risks we are underwriting and this straw bale construction is becoming more popular

Commenting on the issues of a non standard property, Tony said;

“The issues we face with a straw bale building is the fact that a loss could be quite significant. Some areas of concern would include storage of combustibles such as fuel or the storage of gas cylinders. Also particularly notable for a non standard build is the standard of any workmanship in any repairs or modification to the Building”

Tony was able to provide an excellent quote for us, leading to Eileen of Agbrigg to say:

“As a community organisation with a unique straw-baled building on an Allotment site to insure we have struggled for many years to find a competitor to the only company that would insure us. Earlier this year I attended the Nova Sector Showcase event and among the exhibitors I noticed an insurance company catering for the needs of the third sector and approached the gentleman manning the stand. Tim Larden was very approachable and sympathetic to our situation and we agreed to meet up nearer the date of our renewal. This we duly did, Tim took pictures and got more background information. Some weeks later we received a very competitive quote with so much more cover than we had had previously. The office staff I spoke to during communications were also very helpful and we therefore took up the insurance package offered. An added bonus is that we are able to pay by monthly direct debit which greatly assists our cash flow. I am pleased to recommend Ladbrook Insurance to other Community groups”.

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