Grantham Journal Big Interview: Top insurers treat customers like family

Mark Bates, centre, receives the Judges' Excellence Award from Nigel Rivers of sponsors Pentangle Engineering, left, and Grantham Business Club's Stuart Pigram.
Mark Bates, centre, receives the Judges' Excellence Award from Nigel Rivers of sponsors Pentangle Engineering, left, and Grantham Business Club's Stuart Pigram.
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At the Grantham Journal Business Awards, specialist insurers Mark Bates Ltd won the surprise Judges’ Excellence Award.

They were also runners-up for Business of the Year, Employer of the Year and business development director Alex Wade was named Employee of the Year. Mark Bates told the Journal more about the company.

What services does Mark Bates Ltd offer?

We provide tailor made schemes for the over 50s and disabled. We are market leaders in protection for mobility scooters, adjustable beds, riser chairs, stairlifts and hoists, and number one insurance cover providers for those who employ carers through the government funded direct payments scheme. We are adding to our ever increasing portfolio with the imminent launch of an over 50s buildings and contents package that removes excess payments and guarantees to beat your current premium, and a pre-paid funeral plan.

How did the company start? Mark Bates Ltd was formed in 1994 to run alongside an existing business offering schemes for electrical goods.

The idea of forming a separate company was to branch out into different marketplaces, specifically the elderly and disabled, and allow this part of the business to form its own identity. As I mentioned at the awards I myself am fast approaching this market and saw it as an ideal opportunity to offer the outstanding levels of service to a sector of society where it is most needed.

And you seeing increased demand with the ageing population?

The UK’s increasing average age means the requirement for specialised cover and customer service has become more prevalent. Our customer base has grown significantly so the standard of service we offer has never been more important. We now employ nearly 60 staff, who give customers the time, care and attention they need. This is a big part of why the business has gone from strength to strength.

How did it feel to win?

I was completely taken aback - it was one of those moments where I had to try and rewind what had just been said. I felt overwhelmed and astonished by the warmth of support and kindness from the audience. It was easy to praise my wonderful team of staff, and as I said on the night I am really proud of all of them. Our company really goes the extra mile to look after its customers and its ethos is to treat everyone as they would their own parents or family, as that way we can make a real difference to the way the elderly and disabled acquire their insurance. I am very excited about how the company is progressing. We are at the very forefront of development for new and innovative products needed by local authorities relating to the provision of care to our ever ageing population, and are in talks with government departments to ensure necessary protection for mobility scooter users. And we are in the process of relocating our two sites into one new office on Londonthorpe Road overlooking Belton Park Golf Club, so it’s very busy and exciting times ahead!

To contact Mark Bates Ltd call 01476 591104

See upcoming Journals for Big Interviews with all of the winners.