For this week’s Member in Focus we talked to Richard Walker, Head of Product and Digital at Binnacle Insurance about what they do, why sustainability is so important to them, and how Play it Green is helping them on their journey.
To start, why don’t you tell us a bit about Binnacle Insurance and what you do?
We’re a specialist provider of insurance to the leisure industry, primarily under the Compass brand where we’re one of the leading insurers of Holiday and Residential parks and their customers. We insure over 1,200 of those parks and tens of thousands of caravan and lodge owners across the UK and have recently launched new products for Touring Caravans, Motorhomes and Travel insurance for holidays booked on parks in the UK.
We pride ourselves on our passionate and experienced people and as a small business we very much embrace the family vibe.
What made you choose a Climate Positive Workforce with Play it Green?
A combination of the industry we exist in and the one we serve. Insurance is heavily impacted by climate change with floods and storms often costing the industry billions of pounds in claims. Given where some of our parks and customers are located (by rivers and the coast) we have a very real incentive to tackle this problem.
Our industry can be very traditional and paper based, and our business was no different so wanted to address that but in a way that was less focussed on costs and more on our people and giving them choice and an opportunity to make a difference.
What has the reaction been like from your staff?
So far very good, the weekly tips are great and people have really started to embrace this. But we know we’ve still got some way to go and we have some plans for the rest of 2022 to further this.
You also decided to add plant a tree for every policy that switches to paperless. Why go that extra step?
This is where we can have the biggest impact, every customer who receives their documents in paper means 10 to 15 pieces of paper across 2 or 3 different ‘packs’ and that’s before the footprint of posting and delivery. So removing that as a footprint will be a real positive for us and again it gives the customers the chance to make a positive difference.
Why was it important for Binnacle to take steps to become more sustainable?
As we’ve said, our customers and policyholders are impacted in a very real way by climate change. In 2021, 50% of all the claims we paid were for weather related incidents such as floods, storms, and water damage. It’s not just about reducing costs for us, although that helps, it is about doing our bit towards the wider social good and being a responsible business.
You provide specialist coverage for the holiday home and park industry through Compass Insurance, do you think this is an area where sustainability in particularly important?
Absolutely, many of our customers are already very active and have green initiatives in their businesses already. The industry is also very focussed on sustainability, and we work closely with the BH & HPA who are active in this area.
Do you have anything else planned to continue your sustainability journey?
The business is on a ‘path to paperless’ and so there are various initiatives to support that both internally and with our customers.
We’d love to find a way to reward and incentivise our customers for being more sustainable themselves and that’s an area we plan on looking at.
Are you planning to use our free Net Zero Framework to help you aid this journey?
Yes, absolutely! We’re still at the early of our journey and want to take advantage of as many tools as possible.
What does the future hold for Binnacle more generally?
2022 is a big year for us in terms of growth, the Leisure industry and the U.K. holiday part of that is booming and with the products we have we expect to be very busy.
On top of that, we’re planning to expand our footprint into other areas of leisure such as golf courses and marinas which have an obvious link with what we do already.
So the theme overall is very much about growth and development.
You can visit the Binnacle Insurance Services Forest Garden here. In just three months they have planted 2028 trees, offsetting 156 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
As a Play it Green business member, Binnacle is planting trees to balance the carbon emissions of its entire workforce, reducing their footprint with weekly tips and through our Net Zero Framework, and is regiving 10% to their chosen charity, Mind.
If you’re also interested in becoming a Climate Positive Company, Play it Green can provide you with all the tools you need to support you on your journey.