Brokers look for alternatives following Premium Credit outage

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Exclusive: Brokers have been seeking alternative premium finance partners as backup in the wake of the Premium Credit outage.

The outage, which saw brokers unable to access Premium Credit’s website for renewals or new business, lasted from Sunday 16 September to Wednesday 26 September.

The system went down as the result of an unspecified “cyber incident” although it is understood no customer data was lost.

Mark Foley, managing director of rival premium finance provider Prem Fina, said the firm had picked up additional business as a result of the outage.

“We’ve had a noticeable increase in enquiries,” he said. “The ones that we are in the contract stage are asking to get onboard as soon as possible.”

“You never want to see this happen to a competitor because it hurts the industry as a whole, but it has certainly benefited us.”

Foley said many enquiries involved brokers looking for alternative premium finance providers in case the main provider went down.

“It was quite a long period it was down,” he added. “That has made brokers focus on the fact they are exposed if they have just one key dependence. This scared a lot of brokers who were reliant on one.

“A lot of them are saying they want an alternative provider.”

Matt Hodges-Long, managing director at Continuity Partner, said it made sense for firms to reduce points of failure.

“If a firm has a dependence on a single supplier, if there is the option to switch to a dual supplier arrangement that’s going to make you more resilient than not,” he said.

Purbeck Insurance was one of the brokers affected by the Premium Credit outage. Keir Cox, senior underwriter, said the firm had already had plans to switch provider to Close Brothers.

“We had designs to switch to them anyway,” said Cox. “I’ve always found their platform a lot easier to use.”

Close Brothers declined to comment on whether it had seen a similar uptake in customers.

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