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History and Development of Copperwheat Barlow

Neil Barlow is the Director responsible for Copperwheat Barlow. He commenced his career in insurance in 1975 at Lloyd's of London and co-founded Harbour Insurance Brokers Ltd in 1995 and Insurance Premium Finance Limited in 2008.

At the end of 1991, Neil formed his business with the intention of creating niche markets for various products. One of his previous clients discussed the problems he was having with obtaining the right sort of insurance cover for his farming activity. As a result of that meeting, Neil managed to put together a bespoke insurance package with first class insurers at a keenly priced premium that suited his business. From that moment, Neil had ventured into the Agricultural market and has not looked back. He was encouraged to assist many other farming businesses in the South East and South West.

With this success, H B Insurance Services Ltd was established in 1992 forming Neil's first farm and estate broking house.

Over the next few years, Neil's marine insurance business expanded and he was still resident in Kent with one office in London and another in Devon. An opportunity arose when he was recommended to a large farming buying group, based in the south east of England. As a result of this liaison, he was able to expand the client base in Kent and Sussex.

As a result of this success, he found his time ever-stretched and the decision was made to pass the farms and estates insurance business in the south west of England to his partner and bring in another specialist insurance broker, David Copperwheat, to handle the day to day running of south eastern account. Hence ' Copperwheat Barlow' was born.

Copperwheat Barlow has enjoyed working for their farming clients over the years and, as a consequence of receiving first class service and competitive premiums, they have remained extremely loyal to Copperwheat Barlow. This resulted in a steady book of business and Copperwheat Barlow is probably now the leading farm insurance broking house in the south east of England.

Copperwheat Barlow has only ever used specialist agricultural insurers to place its business. These have included the likes of the strongest rated insurance companies operating in the United Kingdom today.

With this quality range of security, Copperwheat Barlow's farming and land owning clients have a wide choice in placing their risks without paying over the odds in premium.

In 2001, Copperwheat Barlow became a member of RAMSAK (Ring of Agricultural Machinery of Sussex and Kent) after meeting Angus Campbell, the then Manager of the group. RAMSAK had 450 farming members at the time. Neil rapidly proved more than able to assist members in the arrangement of their insurance requirements and thus the relationship with RAMSAK began. Neil not only was able to sort out the agricultural insurance but other requirements as well in the field of general insurance. This lead to further expansion in the range of insurance services offered.

One such example of the expansion was in the construction industry. Liability insurance premiums for the Roofing and Scaffolding industries have escalated in the 21st Century. Perhaps worse still, the insurance capacity for such cover has greatly reduced. This has left roofers and scaffolders with far higher insurance premiums than had previously been the case combined with a lack of choice of insurance providers. Copperwheat Barlow made a thorough survey of the insurance market available for this class of business.

In 2004, following tremendous efforts canvassing the insurance market, Copperwheat Barlow was successful in devising Public Liability and Employers' Liability cover with 'A+' and other insurance security with, at sometimes, massive savings in premium. Gradually, Copperwheat Barlow was approached by more and more companies requesting help to cover their businesses. Copperwheat Barlow has been pleased to assist steel fabricators, consulting and design engineers, warehouses and packers, management consultants, hauliers, contractors, construction companies and many other trades and businesses in the placement of their insurance covers.

In 2013, Copperwheat Barlow opened its new office at Woodgate Farm Oast, a properly designed office to suit the needs of the business, in a wonderful rural setting just outside Sittingbourne in Oad Street. This has proven to be an ideal location with very good access to the main arterial roads in Kent and the South of England.

In October 2015, Neil was joined by Angus Campbell who had decided it was time for a new challenge after 18 years at RAMSAK, one of the largest Co-ops in the South-East. Angus brought with him a wealth of agricultural knowledge and contacts within the industry and the brief to further develop the farming side of the business.

One new aspect of offering insurance products to the Farming Industry was the development of a new range of products, under the collective title of “AgCon+”, to give real choice to Agricultural and Rural Contractors.

In September 2017, Copperwheat Barlow employed Harry Myers in the role of support to both Neil and Angus.

Neil Barlow visits one of the underweriter's stands at the BIBA [British Insurance Brokers Association] exhibition. Angel Underwriting is a specialist Professional Indemnity and Director & Officers insurer.

Copperwheat Barlow has negotiated some good deals with this company to our clients' benefit.

Copperwheat Barlow's head office based in Borden, Sittingbourne.

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