Vape Insure are one of the fastest growing Insurance Brokers catering especially for the specific requirements of the Vaping Industry, they guarantee comprehensive cover from their network of ‘A’ rated insurers.
Vape Insure are a team of Insurance professionals who certainly understand the electronic cigarette industry, products and risks associated.
They review and identify the risks facing e-cigarette businesses, provide dedicated account handlers to service each individual account and have a dedicated in house claims team to deal with any claims that arise from cradle to grave.
Vape Insure has been developed by Vapers who happen to work in Commercial Business Insurance. This combination has resulted in a broker who is in tune with the needs of the e-cigarette industry and has subsequently developed pioneering insurance products suitable for the sector.
When Vape insure established & what is the motivation behind the business?
About 3 years ago, I received a call from an electronic cigarette wholesaler who was struggling to source liability insurance and wanted to see if I could help. The task proved to be extremely difficult. Insurers at the time didn’t know anything about e-cigarette products and they didn’t want to write the business. I made it my goal to source the policy and bridge the gap between the Vaping community and the insurance market.
I had worked in commercial business insurance for 10 years and at the time I had developed a niche in the licensed trade sector. Being a vaper myself it enabled me to explain the products and risks associated to insurers and I built a strong relationship from there.
We have been working on insurances for the industry for the past 3 years through corporate insurance brokers Northern Alliance. As our client base has grown we took the decision to set up Vape Insure as a trading style of Northern Alliance Brokers to deal solely with the e-cigarette sector. We set the business up to provide advice and guidance that bridges the gap between the Vaping community and the insurance market.
What is your background & your responsibilities within Vape insure?
I have worked in commercial business insurance for over 10 years and used to be involved in the leisure industry before taking the transition to head up Vape Insure. I used to be a heavy smoker and swapped over to Vaping 4 years ago and haven’t looked back since. One morning I received a call from a client who couldn’t find insurance and I made it my mission to provide a solution to this problem and Vape Insure grew from there.
I am responsible for the day to day running of the business, this includes running a team of internal tele handlers, administrators and claim managers. On top of this we are constantly speaking with insurers to educate them on the industry changes and make alterations to existing policy wordings that might not be fit for purpose further down the line.
What have been the biggest challenges for Vapeinsure over the last 6 months?
Insurers like to look back on historic data to understand how an industry will perform in the future and rate the results accordingly. With any new industry the insurance market struggles to provide capacity, we are constantly working to bridge the gap. We frequently visit London markets to meet product development teams and cascade our knowledge of the sector to pioneer future insurance policies. I don’t think every broker will be going to this extent for their clients.
What is Vapeinsure doing to understand the needs of the E-Cigarette Industry?
We are attending UK and European exhibitions to speak with different vendors to understand the new products coming to market and to also work closely with pharmaceutical development consultants to understand new regulations and how this will implement on insurance products going forward.
The TPD will be enforced in 2016, what are your main areas of concern?
Our main concern is how the e-cigarette market might change. We have no doubt that the market will shrink after the TDP is implemented which could be seen as both a good and bad thing for an insurance broker. Good on the point that it will push out the back street operations and bad that the number of prospective clients won’t be there.
Do you expect your client base to grow once the TPD has been implemented?
Once regulations come in to force, the e-cigarette companies that continue to trade will need an insurance company that can provide the correct policies to suit their requirements and Vapeinsure are ready to answer and find the solutions they need. We expect to underwrite the vast majority of e-cigarette insurance policies in the UK so our customer base can only increase over the coming months.
What is your business relationship with the e-cigarette association EECBA?
Vape Insure have partnered with EECBA who we work with to understand the industry, legislation and TDP. EECBA share our passion for promoting safety, health and quality control and EECBA members receive a host of additional benefits through Vape Insure such as discounted premiums, face to face insurance reviews, discounted business assist products and a free claims consultancy service. We will appoint your own loss adjuster to deal with your claim as part of the service.
Has the ‘Vapeinsure’ voice now been established in the E-Cigarette sector?
No not yet. We have made good in roads in to the market however there is still a lot of work to be done. 2015 is an extremely exciting year for us and our client base is expanding rapidly. We are rolling out our marketing campaign this year and are looking to expand our team.
What has been your biggest challenge heading up Vapeinsure?
If I have learned anything from the challenges I have faced since starting Vapeinsure, is that the business never stays the same, the e-cigarette marketplace is always evolving. Perhaps the biggest challenge for Vapeinsure has been agreeing on the way forward due to the ever changing landscape. One of the biggest challenges I have faced has been to switch off from the business, the nature of our clients’ needs depicts a constant involvement whereby I have to be on hand to give advice as & when is needed.
What policies do you offer to E-Cigarette businesses?
We can offer policies to suit every type of e- cigarette business. Whether you’re a small retailer, e-liquid manufacturer, wholesaler/ distributor we can tailor an insurance product to suit individual business needs. Dependant on the type of business we look to visit your premises, provide a face to face review and highlight any potential area’s of exposure.
The biggest expense is product liability. This market is extremely restricted and only a handful of companies will offer terms all of which are individually rated. We have built very strong relationships with these markets.
How important is it to be correctly insured?
There are still a lot of e-cigarette company owners that need to consider the facts when deciding on the right insurance coverage for their business. It can be a challenge to determine the correct level of risk, insurance needs, as well as contend with the costs. However, it’s essential that e-cigarette companies are correctly covered as the risks involved with not being properly insured can be disastrous. Running an e-cigarette business can mean constantly weighing up costs and the benefits, but business insurance is an investment with benefits that far outweigh the costs. The peace of mind that comes with the correct insurance policy is well worth the expense. After all, no one can predict the future, and anything from a compensation claim to a burglary can cause a small business to close its doors. Luckily, with the right cover, we can ensure that our clients remain on track even if the worst should happen.
Take a look at our interview in the latest edition of @VapourMag : http://goo.gl/Ikw5RC We’re on page 38!