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It may not be as glamorous as selling the latest Swiss mechanical masterpiece, but helping customers protect their treasures with insurance is a valuable service that jewellers need to master. Grant Phypers, who is business development office at international insurance brokers and underwriting agents for the watch and jewellery trade, tells WatchPro why insurance shouldn’t be considered a luxury. 

WatchPro: Why does Primassure see the watch industry as having a lot of potential in insurance terms?

Grant Phypers: It is a relatively unknown industry for a lot of insurance companies at the moment. Watches, especially those classed as luxury brands are seen as a ‘higher risk’ and from past losses, watches have featured heavily. However we have a fantastic Lloyd’s market that write some big names within the watch industry on a worldwide basis so their knowledge and experience is virtually unrivalled. Physical security and operating procedures are always to a good standard when it comes to watch retailers & brands so we don’t see this as a problem for obtaining the cover required and at the right price. We also feel this is an area which needs a specialist broker, someone focused and who knows the industry and Primassure are very well positioned to fill that need.

WPWhy should watch retailers and watch brands be interested in working with Primassure?

GP: We have always prided ourselves on the fact we work very closely with each one of our clients, making sure that they have the cover they need, the service they deserve and at the right price for their business and the risk to the underwriter.

All those working for Primassure are very well experienced in what they do. We have a fantastic team in the UK (small but perfectly formed) who know what they are talking about, care about what they do and offer a level of expertise in the area in which we specialise that will only benefit anyone willing to work with us and hopefully we can add value to what they already do well. We believe in a partnership with our clients, its about relationships and we have spent the last 10 years since the company was formed working hard to achieve this where some of our larger competitors still fail to provide.

We consider ourselves different form our competition in the UK and are always looking to bring ground breaking products to the industry. For example ‘No Claims Bonus’ for this class of business and ‘Hold-up’ training courses were both pioneered by Primassure. So we are in a great place to work with retailers and brands within the watch industry to provide them with expert advice, cover that is comprehensive, which can be tailor-made to their needs and specific requirements. Plus, combined with two excellent Lloyds markets supporting what we do, we feel these are good reasons why retailers and brands would want to work with Primassure.

Having Swiss providence and ensuring what we do is well oiled and efficient also catches people’s imagination and a good tool to break the ice, especially with those Swiss watch brands! We have also spent the last two years developing relationships and opening up networks within the watch industry and now we are starting to see some return on our investments.

WPHow have the last 12 months gone for Primassure in the UK?

GP: Our management team was significantly strengthened in January 2016 and since then Primassure has implemented a number of innovative initiatives, including wider and more cost-effective policies placed in Lloyd’s of London, which now include cover for loss or theft of keys to the premises, safe or strong room, costs for a security guard to patrol the premises in the event of an alarm malfunction and invalid payments cover.

We have also introduced Primassure Plus, a point-of-sale scheme, which provides immediate worldwide cover without an excess/deductible to purchasers of valuable jewellery and watches and a Refer and Earn scheme which enables our current clients to refer other members of the jewellery trade to Primassure.

All of this, combined with our wealth of experience and continuing high standards of service is continually strengthening the position of Primassure within the jewellery, watches and luxury goods industries.

WP: What changes in attitude (if any) have you noticed from companies within the watch industry towards insurance?

GP: It’s very early for us to say in turns of changes in attitude. It’s not a question I have directly asked those I have met so far, but needless to say that in building relationships with watch retailers and brands its all about who you are, how you relate to people, if you’re genuine and genuinely interested in what they do, that you have a passion for watches from design/look right the way through to the movements and how each watch is made, what goes in to producing a watch of distinction, rather than just seeing businesses as ‘cash cows’.

It’s also about how you can help them, what you can offer them that is different from what they already have. People can see through you so it always pays to be yourself, to learn about your target audience and their products. This has enabled us to get in front of some influential people, to be a part of emerging bodies that want to see the watch industry in the UK flourish and of course we want to be a part of this exciting time both for men and women’s luxury watches.

WP: How much are you looking forward to attending the WatchPro Awards again this November?

GP: My colleague and I had a wonderful evening last year at The Globe, a unique environment to hold such an event, so coupled with meeting some great people on the night and enjoying the food and wine in a relaxed atmosphere, it was a great platform to connect and talk about what we do and to find common ground.

This will be the second year of the WatchPro Awards and with any emerging event you learn an awful lot about what was good and what needs improving and building on that success so with moving the event this year to Northumberland Avenue I can only envisage an even greater evening for WatchPro and all those attending.