A NORTH Shore insurance broker has doubled in size and has its sights set on Preston – thanks in part to the work of a new division dealing with specialist situations including kidnap and cyber crime.
Rowlands and Hames, based on Dickson Road, is experiencing double-digit growth, despite the difficult economic climate.
Managing director John Isles, (pictured), said: “We’re growing at between 10 and 15 per cent which doesn’t sound that much – until you consider we’ve been through a recession.
“Our income is based on clients’ income, but we’ve managed to increase our product lines to help move the business on.
“We’re going to expand into Preston because we’re running out of room, and also out of staff.”
Those extra lines that the firm have gone down include insurance against kidnapping, against cyber liability and its fallout, and product recalls.
“People don’t think it is but insurance can be so interesting,” said Mr Isles.
“We’ve a division that does the weird and wonderful.
“Kidnap insurance used to be for the likes of miners and oil workers, then people working for non-governmental organisations and charities.
“Now we provide it for the likes of people working in Iraqi Kurdistan and India, an ATM installer working in China and a hedge fund operator in South America to name a few.
“And we cover businesses for cyber liability – lots of business owners don’t realise they need it but if your site is attacked and then passes viruses on to others, it can be the end for you.”
The firm also deals in credit insurance – a vital tool to protect income for firms supplying goods or services to others.
Mr Isles said: “It was a lack of credit insurance that saw the end of Woolworths.
“Everyone insures things like their buildings and contents – but why not their balance sheets.
“It’s protection against going insolvent.”
Mr Isles joined the firm – which has been going in various guises since the 1920s – in 2004 and has seen the company double in size.
With 3,000 insurance brokers across the country, the firm can also boast it is one of just 80 to be given chartered status.