Where were you in 1989? It was the year Deacon started trading. Fast forward 27 years and it’s amazing to think how the business and the world has changed since then.
The average house price in the UK then was just £61,513. Today it’s £288,000, an increase of almost 370%. Mobile phones had only been around for 4 years - digital didn’t arrive until 1992 - and it was only in 1991 that the World Wide Web went live to the whole world.
As for Deacon, from a start-up team of just five the business has flourished into the 54-strong team it is today. In addition parent company Arthur J. Gallagher, the third largest insurance broker* in the world, provides central support for finance, IT and HR.
Today, Deacon is trusted with more than £13 billion pounds worth of property, from individual Residential Management Companies and more than 300 agents, providing cover for over 88,000 flats in blocks across the UK.
And while Deacon is justifiably proud of winning the Block Insurer of the Year Award in the Property Management Awards 2015/16, managing director Nigel Feast is quick to thank their clients, colleagues and friends, who have supported them along the way.
Whether you are an RMC with just one block to insure, or a management company which has 5 or 500 flats in a block and a property portfolio of 1 or 100 blocks, Deacon can offer an exceptional and comprehensive suite of products.
Their panel of seven leading insurers is impressive, from Aviva to Zurich and Catlin to LV, to name only four. And through its Arthur J. Gallagher connections, Deacon also has access to the full market.
In a sector where each block of flats has its own unique set of risks, it enables them to offer tailored cover at what Nigel describes as ‘sensible prices’.
The biggest credit for Deacon’s success is reserved for the staff. “They deliver outstanding service at every customer touch point and drive the type of innovations that helped Deacon win the Block Insurer of the Year award,” says Nigel.
“Our mission is to better understand the needs of our clients, so that we are in the best position to negotiate the right level of cover and best price with the insurance market – no more, no less.”
Deacon hand-picks the best people to join its teams: claims, operations, customer support, sales, technical, underwriting, project management and communications.
The culture encourages individual development and collective success. It’s the driver behind many of Deacon’s recent and most notable innovations.
AGENTlink is a 24/7 online claims reporting and monitoring service for managing agents. Deacon was the first and remains the only broker to invest in the Xactware suite of software which means some claims and repairs can be authorised within 24 hours.
And then there is CPD accreditation for Deacon’s ARMA recognised insurance training, and the Deacon Toolkit, a range of services for agents which includes white-labelled insurance and risk management guides for agents to use for training and to distribute to their clients. And the list goes on…..
“Winning an award like Block Insurer of the Year 2015/2016 is the icing on the cake,” says Nigel, “but it’s not what drives us to get up in the morning: that’s all down to the quality of character and commitment of the people we employ, and the personal satisfaction gained from a job well done.”