Cornish Mutual reports increased turnover and sustainable growth plans on track

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South West insurer Cornish Mutual has reported turnover growth of five per cent for 2018 as the business continues to deliver on its strategy of sustainable growth.

It is the fifth consecutive year of growth for the company, which as a mutual organisation is run for and on behalf of its approximately 24, 000-plus Members across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

Turnover (or gross written premiums) grew to £23.44 million (2017: £22.31 million) as Cornish Mutual continued its focus on personal relationships, high standards of customer service, fair pricing and supporting the communities in which it operates.

Chairman Ian Pawley took the opportunity at Cornish Mutual’s AGM this week (28/3/19) to praise its Members, and staff for their invaluable and unstinting support.

He said: “In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the role of mutual organisations like Cornish Mutual, with its values and long-term view, have an increasingly important role to play in today’s volatile financial world.

“We are confident that our approach, and our continuing focus on our Members, as well as supporting young farmers across the region, is the right strategy as we continue to deliver against our vision to be the rural insurance provider of choice in the South West.”

It was a busy year for Cornish Mutual which continued its focus on personal service, with its Field Force team visiting thousands of Members across the South West, and welcoming visitors to its Truro headquarters and satellite office, The Barn, near Tiverton.

The company attended more than 60 events throughout the year, including agricultural shows, large and small, and continued to support a wide range of farm business awards in the region.

The total cost of gross claims for the year was £13.83m and while this figure can vary considerably, and indeed was higher compared to the previous year (2017: £12.07 million), it remained almost exactly the average of the past seven years.

When taking into account returns on investments held by the company the result was a broadly neutral year, with Cornish Mutual filing a small loss before tax of £10,000 and concluding the year with Members’ funds of £22.9 million.

Alan Goddard, Cornish Mutual Managing Director, said: “The company produced a pleasing level of premium growth in 2018. Sustainable growth is a key objective of the company and underpins future performance and we will continue to focus on activities which will deliver quality service and at the same time deliver against our ethos and objectives as a mutual organisation.

“We are a values-driven business and we work hard at ensuring we understand the particular needs of our core Membership and the wider insurance needs of the rural community in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

“We also continue to set the highest standards, and once again we were delighted and very proud to have retained our Chartered Insurer status, which acknowledges the competence and skills of our team as we deal with issues and support our Members.”