Award-winning firm Autoline Insurance Group has appointed Richard Henderson as its new head of agriculture.
The company has also opened a new Agri-Business Centre of Excellence based in Enniskillen and is planning to double its agri-business book by 2019.
Richard, who has worked in the agri-insurance sector for 16 years, has overseen the rapid growth of Autoline’s Enniskillen office since it opened three years ago. Sales grew significantly last year and staff numbers are set to increase almost four-fold to cope with rising demand.
Much of the increased business has been driven by the agri-sector, with farm business insurance and agricultural vehicle policies predominating.
Richard, who also manages the Enniskillen office, said: “Autoline’s agri-sector has been the fastest growing commercial element of the business in recent years and the opening of our Agri-Business Centre of Excellence in new offices in Enniskillen will help build upon that success.
“Our strength has been a combination of bespoke, competitively priced insurance solutions and ready access to agri-insurance experts, both in Enniskillen and through farm advisors based in our Ballymena, Coleraine and Downpatrick offices.
“With an excellent reputation for securing renewals and new business, we expect to achieve 40% growth in the agri-sector alone this year and double our entire agri-business book by 2019.”
The majority of Autoline’s farm insurance products are tailored to individual farm requirements, enabling customers to decide which sections to include, such as property, livestock and personal accident and the type of cover, including storm damage or theft.
In a reflection of modern farming practices another strong area of growth has been the rise in demand for small holdings policies for the increasing numbers of part-time and hobby farmers who keep limited numbers of livestock.
Autoline’s new Agri-Business Centre of Excellence was opened recently by First Minister, Arlene Foster.
Speaking in Enniskillen the First Minister said: “Through well-established industry links Autoline has built its skill base, particularly within the agricultural field.
“I commend the exceptional talent of Autoline’s highly motivated Northern Ireland team. I pay tribute to your commitment to quality and innovation and I look forward to your continued growth.”
Autoline employs 180 across five offices in Enniskillen, Ballymena, Coleraine, Downpatrick and Newry.