Lousie Knowles

7 questions with Louise Knowles from A Plan Insurance 

1. Tell us about your typical Monday morning?  Monday morning starts the same as every weekday morning for me. I arrive in the office first and make sure everything looks neat, tidy and presentable. I have to ensure that the previous night’s electronic data transmission ‘passed’ with no errors then change the tapes over in our server ready to store the forthcoming days data. Due to confidential client information all our data is stored on a secure server and the tapes are removed from the building so that if the worst was to happen, the data would be readily available to use in another branch. I then check for any missed calls from the previous evening and allocate the work load out among my staff. We follow up previous quotes, make courtesy calls to ensure new clients have received their documentation, and deal with any incoming calls and clients who visit the branch.    

2.  Can you explain about Aplan Insurance and what you do? A Plan is an independent insurance broker with 79 branches all over the UK. As a group we can insure pretty much anything from your standard personal lines policies, commercial and liability, landlords and travel to the more obscure such as horse boxes and quad bikes. We pride ourselves on our combination of competitive premiums and excellent customer service, which is how as a business we have grown so much. We have a large panel of different insurance companies that provide us with competitive rates and schemes.     

3.  Tell us something interesting about you or your organisation. Our staff are all required to sit their Certificate of Chartered Insurance Institute (Cert CII) exams so that they are able to give clients professional advice, which is something we feel puts us above our competition. We operate face-to-face in branch or via the telephone to deliver a personal service and provide a policy catered to the clients requirements. Our service is not available on any comparison websites this may be why we are rated 4.4 stars on the Review Centre website (http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews231192.html)

4. What’s hot news in your industry? Due to Government changes Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) has increased from 6% to 9.5% in recent months. This means that insurance premiums will be increasing this year which makes it the perfect time to shop the market and give A Plan the opportunity to quote your insurances to see if we can save you money.  

5.  Where are you finding new customers in the Sevenoaks area? When a branch is first launched residents in the local area will receive a door-drop mailing offering them a £50 voucher if they take a policy through us, or £50 if we cannot compete with their current policy; win-win for the client but also proving that we are confident that we can provide competitive premiums! We also attend a number of networking events on a weekly basis and are currently in the process of sponsoring different sports clubs within the Sevenoaks area to try and integrate ourselves in the community. Many of our new clients come from word of mouth once others have experienced our personal service.    

6. What advice or services can you offer Sevenoaks Chamber members? For Chamber members we offer the £50 voucher offer if they take a policy through us or £50 if we are not competitive against their current policy on a like for like basis. We can then offer a £25 M&S voucher per non-Chamber member they recommend to us, along with half-price legal cover across all personal lines insurance policies. If their company then sign up to our ‘Employee Benefits’ scheme they could be entitled to even more discounts on our already competitive premiums! (Further details of this can be provided if required)

7. If you were in charge of Sevenoaks for a day what would you change or improve? I would introduce ‘Sevenoaks Day’. This would be an annual celebration of all things Sevenoaks where local businesses, families, sporting groups come together in the town centre (with traffic diverted for the day) and people can sit at tables sampling local produce, playing games and enjoying performances from local bands, dance groups and street entertainers.