Franchise Interview: Aaron Hodson

Franchise Interview: Aaron Hodson

Since its founding in 1986, Coversure has earned a reputation for insurance broking excellence. Our group of over 90 independently owned and run offices have helped thousands of customers get great value insurance cover backed by outstanding levels of service. Be they business customers looking for fleet, liability or landlord insurance or private individuals looking for travel, car or home insurance, our dedicated teams will always go the extra mile to ensure that they get the cover they need for an affordable premium.

Many of our offices have been established for years and have a loyal client base. Others though are relatively new and to succeed they have had to see off stiff competition from online-only providers. The industry as a whole has been retreating from physical offices in recent years, citing changing customer demand and costs as reasons why they can no longer provide a personalised, face-to-face service. Coversure, however, has consistently bucked this trend and has continued to open new offices in order to offer more and more communities the honest, independent insurance service it needs.

One such office is Coversure Castle Donington which despite only opening its doors in 2018, has grown to become a leading member of the Coversure family and has just become a finalist in the UK Broker Awards 2020 in the ‘New Broker of the Year’ category. We asked its founder Aaron Hodson what he thought the secret of his success was of and of his plans for the future.

First off, congratulations on being shortlisted for ‘New Broker of the Year’ at the UK Broker Awards 2020. It must mean a lot…

Thank you, yes, absolutely! To have been recognised so early into our business’s history is a testament to our ongoing efforts and success.

Q. You’ve only been in business a short while but have already written over £800,000 of cover and have staff, what’s the secret of your success?

For over 23 years I’ve developed strong relationships with our underwriting partners. I came to my office with extensive experience in the industry and a clear intention to provide the best possible service. The secret ingredients were knowledge, relationships and strategy. We are service-orientated which results in a high level of recommendations from our clients, leading to a growth in our client base.

Q. What sort of business do you tend to write? Have you developed a speciality as yet?

Having access to the Coversure network means we can access all corners of the market. We’ve focused in on business and commercial clients in the construction and logistics industries in the main, though my personal specialities are fleet and commercial combined.

Q. The market has been moving more and more to an online-only service. You obviously think there is value in a physical office, why is that?

We’re a service business and many of the policies we offer require specialist help and advice. Having the ability to speak to someone face-to-face is still important to many customers. While everything is becoming more digitally led, an online question set can only ask questions rather than answer them in a way that is relevant to particular client’s circumstances.

Q. As a fledging business lockdown must have presented some real challenges. How did you cope? Did Coversure make it easy to make the switch to remote working?

I think I was able to adjust and adapt – juggling the demands of 2 young children at home (8 and 3) certainly presents its own challenges – but we have been able to maintain growth and have kept a ‘business as usual’ mindset throughout. Coversure supported the transition in several ways and the team at head office have always been on hand to assist and whenever required.

Q. Now that we’re coming out of lockdown, have you seen requests for quotes starting to rise?

Over the last few months enquiries have still been coming through from existing client recommendations. We have also noticed an increase in local enquires for clients that have decided to start up their own new businesses.

Q. Are you optimistic for the rest of the year – do you anticipate seeing your business continuing to grow at such a brisk pace?

Yes, I am optimistic; we forecast strong growth and I want to see that translate into a further climb up the Coversure league table – up 37 places in the past 12 months and we want to keep that momentum going!

Q. What’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone considering becoming a Coversure franchise holder? I’d assume you’d recommend becoming one?!

I would definitely recommend being a franchise holder. I loved making the move and the support I received from Head Office to facilitate this was outstanding. I enjoy being in control of my own destiny, making my own decisions and seeing ideas develop and flourish.

The one piece of advice would be, get in touch with Coversure’s Franchise Development Team to start your journey and become your own boss too. You won’t look back!

Q. And finally… where do you see your business in five years’ time? A lot of Coversure offices have been on the mergers and acquisitions trail over the past couple of years. Do you have ambitions to become the owner of a number of offices or are you looking to continue to build on Coversure Castle Donington’s success?

We plan to become a top 10 Coversure franchise within 5 years. We are looking at the possibility of future acquisitions and aim to follow in the successful footsteps of offices like Bromsgrove, Kidderminster, Leyton, Hull, Keighley and Poole to name but a few.

Thank you, Aaron, and very best of luck for the UK Broker Awards in September.

Like to Become a Coversure Franchise Holder?

If you have at least three years’ insurance broking experience, have an entrepreneurial, customer-focused attitude and would like to own your own Coversure franchise, then we’d love to hear from you. You can find out more about becoming a Coversure franchisee here.

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