SAIFInsure: a new beginning

words: Brian Hart

Apologies to any Star Wars fans for borrowing the phrase ‘A new beginning’ above, but it feels very appropriate for the launch of the new SAIFInsure.

Some 23 years ago, I founded SAIFInsure in partnership with SAIF and its Executive at the time with the hope and desire to build an insurance scheme that not only was the broadest in terms of its coverage, but founded on the SAIF principles of a first class personal service being provided.

One of my proudest achievements in some 37 years in the insurance profession was being able to lead SAIFInsure to become one of the two largest insurance schemes for the funeral profession in the UK.

I have seen the funeral profession change quite considerably while my own profession has seen similar changes with consolidations between companies. The one element that is a constant in my mind at least is the need for the personal service and the ethos of care.

I have always been sure that the correct way to provide a service is to care for the people you are trying to assist, and I have endeavoured to get to know the people behind the companies as often as possible to ensure that what is given is what they need.

While I never aspired personally to run my own business, it did become clear to me over the past year or so that the best way to safeguard the interests of my clients was to ensure that the decisions made that affected them and the service being provided to them were within my control and that of SAIF.

Unicorn IB Ltd (the IB stands for Insurance Brokers) was formed to ensure that SAIFInsure and the membership will continue to receive the same core values that I started with 23 years ago and I believe that with the support of SAIF and the membership once again, this will be achieved.

The SAIF Executive Committee has fully endorsed the new SAIFInsure Scheme under the stewardship of myself and my company, and it is my intention to build and grow the scheme with your support and to ensure that you all receive the best service possible.

The new scheme

Unicorn has developed a scheme with leading underwriter Aviva, one of the largest and best known insurers in the UK – for those of us old enough, it was formerly named Commercial Union and Norwich Union.

The main cover elements are very much as before, as you might expect. I wrote all of the other covers historically and these include:

  • Buildings/contents/machinery/stock, etc
    Loss of revenue/increased costs of working
    Goods in transit/glass/money
    Employers/public and products liability
    Fidelity guarantee/machinery breakdown
    Loss of licence
  • One key new area of cover is that of cyber insurance. While funeral directors would rate as among some of the least likely trades and professions likely to be affected, the risk still exists.

    Accordingly, the new combined insurance wording includes cover for third parties where your own systems and records might have been affected and their information released or affected. Wider cover for your own cyber damage is available upon request.

    Service of a personal nature

    Many of you will know me or know of me and I would welcome the opportunity to meet as many of you again as possible, either at the National Funeral Exhibition (NFE) (I will be on the SAIF stand for the duration of the exhibition) or at one of the regional meetings – I intend to be present at as many of these as possible.

    Should you wish for me to come and visit you at your premises, I would be happy to do so, at a convenient time to you. Aviva, working alongside SAIFInsure, intends to do all it can to support SAIF and its membership going forward in terms of coverage and competitive premium rating.

    Aviva has been advised about how important service is to the membership so will supply prompt repairs with people who understand the hearses and limousines you operate, fast windscreen replacement and replacement vehicles on a like for like usage basis.

    The next step…

    I have received lots of messages of support from a great number of you over recent months and many have asked if I might look after their insurances by means of a letter of appointment.

    You may well have heard that SAIF receives commissions from the business which SAIFInsure provides. I’m delighted to be able to confirm that this will be the case going forward as the money raised goes to pay a variety of important member benefits and services such as the free professional indemnity cover and legal expenses cover and helplines, as well as the costs of the Education Day, NFE and regional meetings, among others.

    Accordingly, what I would ask is that all of the members and those who formerly placed their insurance covers with the old SAIFInsure send me copies of the insurance schedules so that I might contact them at the right time for their renewal. These should be sent to and feel free to contact me on 0203 603 4194 or call 07740 577651.

    Finally, a thank you in advance for your kind support and I very much look forward to working with you all and building the new SAIFInsure.

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