Introducing Ellie Basi

Airsports Insurance Bureau (AIB) the specialist insurance broker of niche and high net worth insurance products, are delighted to announce our new team member, Ellie Basi.

Ellie Basi


Ellie joins our busy sales team, having just completed an Art Degree at Cardiff University.  She will now learn every aspect of a predominantly personal lines insurance broker, including motor insurance, travel and home.


A delighted Ellie said: “I’m really pleased to have been given this opportunity in a successful growing business to start my career.  I was recommended to the company by my friend Laura and together with my natural interest in cars I can’t wait to get stuck in”.


Ellie was born in Lymington, enjoys drawing and is learning to play the drums. Her claim to fame is attending the audition for the main part in the movie blockbuster, ‘The Golden Compass’ starring Nicole Kidman, Sam Elliott and Ian McKellen. Having stood in line for 8 hours, she was desperate for the toilet and when she returned, had missed her audition slot and chance of fame and fortune!


In other news, Laura Brown has been promoted from our administration department into a sales role and will join Ellie throughout their training.

Laura Brown

Laura joined the business in February. Her hard work and effort, combined with her natural passion for customer service, has seen her very quickly take the next step up in our business.


Kirby De-Gray Birch commented: “Laura has been an asset and given 100% from day one. She’s picked up the role incredibly fast and with her inquisitive personality, was soon taking on more responsibility.  She’s been a real credit to herself and deserves the opportunity to further develop her career”.


At AIB we take pride in the quality of staff we recruit. We nurture and develop talent, with the tools and resources needed at their disposal.  Our consultants are able to build strong professional relationships with clients and insurers alike. They are encouraged to reach their full potential, including taking further industry education qualifications in a rewarding but demanding environment.

Paraglider Achieves Guinness World Record

Those of you who enjoy paragliding will no doubt be interested to read that an estate agent by the name of James Du Pavey from Market Drayton has featured in the Guinness World Records for the  “Fastest journey from Land’s End to John-O’- Groats by powered paraglider”. His airborne trip took place from the 8th to the 9th July 2019 and took 1 day 12 hours and 19 minutes.

He actually took off from John O’Groats on the 8th July 2019 at 3.30am completing the trip in just over 36 hours. During the epic journey in the paraglider he reached a height of 10,000 feet. Unfortunately, he had to make three emergency landings but was unharmed. Obviously he needed to stop on a number of occasions to refuel during the 870 mile trip.  No doubt somewhat concerningly, his engine ceased to function when he was a mere six miles from Land’s End but he still made it. He was ably supported by a two man ground crew during the lengthy trip.

You will be pleased to read that James Du Pavey has raised more than £12,000 for the Donna Louise Hospice for children and young people that is located in Stoke on Trent as a result of this paragliding world record breaking journey. Those monies will obviously be put to extremely good use by the hospice.

We are sure that our paragliding clients will no doubt like to join the staff here at AIB Insurance in congratulating James Du Pavey for such a wonderful achievement. He must have been absolutely exhausted by the time he eventually came down to land for the final occasion at the end of the journey.

If you are looking to get into paragliding for the first time or are a veteran, why not get in touch with us here at AIB Insurance on 02380 268 351 and one of our experienced team will be pleased to discuss your insurance needs in relation to this airborne activity and obtain a competitive quotation for your perusal without any obligation.

First Underwriting Ltd Joins Our Panel

Here at AIB Insurance, we have an extensive panel of closely vetted insurance partners enabling us to tailor-make policies for our valued customers. We are pleased to announce that we have recently added another partner to our panel – First Underwriting Ltd.

First Underwriting was established in 2011 and has built a reputation for providing a high level of service along with a quality range of insurance products through select insurance brokers like us. Its main insurance partner is Accredited Insurance (Europe) Ltd that is apparently excellently rated by AM Best that provides credit ratings for the insurance industry worldwide.

First Underwriting is supported by NSM Insurance Services that is apparently one of the biggest specialist broking and underwriting groups located over in the United States of America. It is said that NSM Insurance Services is backed by a company listed on the NYSE called White Mountains Ltd.

First Underwriting Ltd’s specialist range of motor insurance policies include cover for the likes of prestige cars, fleet motors, rural vehicles, passenger vehicles and vans. As you can see, it provides cover for a wide range of motor vehicles.

In addition, it can also arrange buildings and contents insurance for a range of property types including, premium – covering standard risks, premier – covering unusual risks and speciality – covering long term unoccupied and residential lets.

Motor insurance claims are dealt with by its partner WNS Assistance and household insurance claims by its partner Claims Consortium Group.

We are extremely pleased to say that our experience to date when dealing with First Underwriting has been nothing but positive. The company’s staff are quick to respond to enquiries at every stage of the insurance process from initial quotation, setting up the policy to dealing with renewals. We are sure that our working relationship will benefit all concerned but, in particular, our valued clients.

Average Burst Pipe Weather Related Insurance Claims Exceed £10,000

Winter is upon us and we have already seen temperatures fall below freezing on occasions here in the UK. Therefore, perhaps it is an appropriate time to mention about protecting your household pipes against the cold weather.

According to information published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), you may find it rather concerning to read that the average amount of a burst pipe insurance claim due to adverse weather conditions exceeded £10,000 in 2018. This is a sizeable sum and a claim of such magnitude has no doubt caused a significant amount of damage whether it is to property, contents or both never mind the potential distress and upheaval to the owners of the premises.

The ABI has very kindly made some recommendations as to what action you can take to lower the possibility of your pipes getting frozen over the winter period: –

  • If you have one or more taps that drip when turned off get them repaired.
  • Check in the loft that any water tanks and water pipes are suitably insulated.
  • Make sure your heating is set to come on periodically even if you are away for a short break.
  • Make sure that you are familiar with where your stopcock is situated in your home.

If a pipe freezes then you should take the following action according to the ABI: –

  • Any contents such as clothes and furniture should be moved away from the pipes just in case one of the pipes bursts.
  • Do not try to remove ice using the likes of a blow torch or a hammer as this may damage the pipework even more.
  • Turn off the mains water at the stopcock until the pipes have defrosted.

If a pipe bursts, according to the ABI, you should: –

  • Remove any possessions to a safe place.
  • Turn off the stopcock, drain the water supply by turning on the taps, and turn off the water heating and central heating.

In the unfortunate event that you do suffer water damage, get in touch with your insurer as soon as possible.

Almost 10% Fall In New Van Sales In November

So far, 2019 has not been a good year for the motor trade industry overall with the figures for the number of new vans sold in the UK not helping matters. Regrettably, for the third month in a row, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the number of new vans sold has dropped in November 2019.

In the above month, new van sales all up to 3,5 tonnes fell by 9.6% when compared with November 2018. In November 2019 the figure was 26,238 yet in the same month last year the figure was 29,035. The biggest drop in percentage terms was in new van sales in the category up to 2.0 tonnes with a fall of 24%. On a positive note, the number of pickup sales rose from 3,876 in November 2018 to 4,541 in November 2019 – an increase of 17.2%.

On a year to date to November 2019 basis, the number of new vans all up to 3.5 tonnes sold rose to 338,227 from 331,776 for the same period last year. That is a small rise of 1.9%.

In November 2019, the top selling new vans were the Ford Transit Custom at 3,046, Vauxhall Vivaro at 2,452, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at 2,321, Ford Ranger at 1,946 and the Ford Transit at 1,758.

For the year to date basis to November 2019, the top selling new vans were the Ford Transit Custom at 48,912, Ford Transit at 24,594, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at 23,931, Volkswagen Transporter at 17,697 and the Vauxhall Vivaro at 16,385.

Let us hope that there is better news in 2020 relating to the number of new vans being sold here in the UK.

If you are looking to insure a new van or a used one for that matter then why not give us a call on 02380 268 351 and speak with an experienced member of our team. He or she will discuss your requirements in detail and then arrange a bespoke, competitive quotation from our closely vetted specialist panel of insurers without any obligation. We look forward to being of assistance.

The Implications Of Your Vehicle Being Modified

Whether you are buying a brand new car from a dealer that has had some extras added, purchasing a second hand vehicle that has been modified in some way or are modifying your existing car, you need to be aware that you must notify the insurance company you either have or want to arrange cover with. Whilst many of the major motor insurance companies will be happy to provide you with cover, there are some modifications that may mean you need to arrange insurance with a specialist provider.

If you do not notify the insurer of any modifications you could find that, in the event of a claim, it is declined by the insurance company leaving you with a bill of possibly many thousands of pounds to have to find the funds for yourself.

The British Insurers Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in partnership with Ageas has produced a Report On Modified Vehicles document that makes for interesting reading and could prove quite an eye opener for a lot of people. The report can be viewed via the website but below we mention some of the highlights.

Some insurers take the view that a modification to a car is where the manufacturers’ standard specification has been altered in any way with this also including optional extras that have been fitted to the vehicle either by the dealer or the manufacturer of the car when it was brand new where it results in its appearance, attractiveness, value or performance being improved making it more appealing to thieves. Other insurance companies take the view that a vehicle can be classed as modified if any changes have been made to it since it was originally supplied by the manufacturer of the vehicle.

As an example, if you had expensive leather seats fitted as an optional extra and this increases the value of the car then you should notify the insurer. Most insurers would cover this extra but may result in an increase in premium. However, if you had something fitted or done to the car that improved engine performance then you should be aware that not all insurance companies will consider covering the vehicle so it may be necessary to try to source cover from a specialist insurer. In this case, not only may you have to pay more for the cover but also you may be subject to a higher excess. If you had locking wheel nuts added then it would be a good idea to notify your insurer with most insurance companies finding such a modification acceptable and it is unlikely your premium would increase.

There are so many potential modifications such as a rear spoiler, special paintwork, a badge stating that the performance has been increased, suspension changes, wider wheels and tyres, larger speakers, roll bars, flared wheel arches, engine chip, exhaust system changes and uprating the brakes to name but a few.

If you are considering making any modifications or adding extras to a vehicle or you are aware any have been made or fitted then inform the insurance company or broker no matter how minor they may seem. If you are buying a used car then ask the person who is selling the car if there have been any extras added or if it has been modified in any way. Make sure that any modifications are noted on your insurance documents.

You will be pleased to hear that here at AIB Insurance we have many years experience in arranging specialist cover on modified vehicles. So, why not give us a call on 02380 268 351 and speak with a knowledgeable member of our team who will discuss your requirements in detail and do all that he or she can to source suitable competitive cover.

Kitsune Insurance Added To Our Panel

We are pleased to announce that Kitsune Associates Ltd has been added to our closely vetted panel of motor insurance providers. The business has come a long way since it was established as recently as 2016 and forms part of the Brightside Group.

Kitsune Associates, by pure coincidence, is located close to our offices and has a team of individuals who have many years’ experience in the manufacturing and underwriting of insurance products for the motor sector. It is currently focused on car and commercial vehicle products with the aim of producing products that are priced competitively and offer value to the customer

In adding Kitsune Associates to our panel, we believe this will prove to be of benefit to many of our customers looking to insure their motor vehicles as the more options that we have in terms of insurance providers the better for our valued clients.

Kitsune Managing Director Trevor Bowers said “We know and have worked with the team at AIB previously and have always been impressed with the work they do in the Non-standard motor market. We look forward to working closely with the team and joining their panel of carefully selected insurers.”

AIB Branch Manager Kirby De-Gray Birch commented: “We were extremely pleased with the quality of product and professional service we saw from the team at Kitsune Associates. This wasn’t a surprise as our management team have known Trevor (Kitsune Managing Director Trevor Bowers pictured) both on a professional and personal level for many years and even locked horns on the cricket field regularly in the 90’s.”

“They are passionate about providing a high-quality service at a competitive price and together with Bruce (Kitsune Underwriting and Pricing Director Bruce Coxwell), they have assembled an exciting team.  Whilst it is early days in our partnership, we are sure that we have made the right decision in adding them to our panel. We look forward to a long and successful business relationship with them for the benefit of all concerned including, of course, our valued customers”.

To find out more about Kitsune read here:


October Sees Fall In New Car Sales

The motor trade industry has been going through a tough period for quite a long time so it is disappointing to hear that the number of new cars sold here in the UK in October 2019 has fallen for yet another month.

In October 2019, the number of new cars registered amounted to 143,251. In the same month last year, the figure was 153,599. That is a reduction of 10,348 equating to a drop of 6.7%. The sale of new cars for the private sector dropped by 13.2% from 69,225 to 60,083 in October 2019, new fleet car sales saw a minimal rise of 0.3% from 79,703 to 79,912 and the sale of new cars for the business sector dropped significantly by 30.3% from 4,671 to 3,256.

It will probably not be a surprise to read that the sale of new diesel cars dropped by 28.3% from 48,381 in October 2018 to 34,666 in October 2019. New petrol car registrations also dropped by 3.2% from 92,348 to 89,371. Interestingly, the market share for registrations for new alternatively fuelled vehicles in October 2019 was 9.9% compared to 6.9% for the same month last year.

When you look at the figures for the year to date to October 2019, it is also disappointing. Total new car registrations were 2,005,522 compared to 2,064,419 for the same period to October last year with this being a drop of 58,897- a fall of 2.9%.

The top 3 selling new cars in October 2019 were the Ford Fiesta – 5,138, Nissan Qashqai – 4,084 and the Volkswagen Golf – 3,976. The top 3 selling new cars on a year to date basis to October 2019 were the Ford Fiesta – 69,702, Volkswagen Golf – 50,468 and the Ford Focus – 49,517.

Whilst writing, it is worth noting that the number of used cars sold here in the UK for the third quarter of 2019 was 2,076,382 compared to 2,057,457 for the same period last year – an increase of 18,925 equating to a rise of 0.9%. On a year to date basis to 30th September 2019 the number of second hand cars sold was 6,130,762 whereas for the same period last year the figure was 6,182,547 – a drop of 51,785 equating to a fall of 0.8%.

The top 3 selling used cars in the third quarter of 2019 were the Ford Fiesta – 90,428, Vauxhall Corsa – 77,101 and the Ford Focus – 75,093.

The above figures can be found on the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) website.

If you are looking to insure a new or used car, whether it be for the first time or your existing cover is shortly due for renewal, why not get in touch with a friendly, knowledgeable member of our team here at AIB Insurance on 02380 268 351 who will be pleased to discuss your requirements and obtain a no-obligation, competitive quotation from our extensive, closely vetted panel of insurers.

AIB Joins BIBA – The Interview Everyone Wanted

Insurance Business recently interviewed our Risk and Compliance Director, Karen Manley, read the full interview below:


Can you tell me a little bit about your company?

AIB has an interesting story since its inception in 1993.  Originally it was created by the BHPA (British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association) to provide travel, third party damage and equipment cover for its members whilst flying abroad whether it be a hang glider, sky diver or paragliding pilot.  At the time the BHPA were struggling to find an insurance provider that understood its members unusual insurance requirements, and with an active pilot involved in the insurance industry Airsports Insurance Bureau was created as a limited company.

The BHPA sold the business in 2004, largely due to the increased compliance and regulatory requirements to insurance specialists and it has evolved into a niche personal lines and high net worth specialist with links to various enthusiast clubs, garages and financial institutions.  We also have a number of commercial insurance brokers who refer their personal lines business to us but still have strong links to the BHPA providing specialist airsports for members today.


Can you outline how the decision to join BIBA came about and how long have you been thinking about joining BIBA?


The company I worked for previously was a member of BIBA and I was a committee member of SE region compliance forum.  I found it useful to maintain and share best practises and I found the regulatory benefits and networking particularly useful.

Joining BIBA is part of AIB’s ongoing commitment to supporting good practice and an important step in our passion to promote the interests our clients in the provision of good sales advice.

As BIBA maintains a dialogue with the government, the FCA, and the ABI, specifically in their role acting as the voice of the insurance industry in the UK. Our business will gain a head start on learning about new legislative proposals, policy developments, market changes and developing trends.

Thus, ensuring that AIB can react with marketing strategies and business plans in a timely manner assuring our clients gain the benefit of the highest quality of advice and receive genuinely positive outcomes for their insurance needs.


What do you consider the key opportunities associated with your BIBA membership?


BIBA works closely with the FCA to help ensure a fair, equitable and workable regulatory regime for the broking industry, thereby keeping their members updated on matters affecting the industry, including regulation, legal issues, through their website, email alerts, conferences, workshops, seminars and subject specific working groups and panels.

BIBA is an excellent benchmark to understand the current thinking within the insurance market.

The regulatory benefits, and the technical support through the templates played a part.  As did backing the voice of the industry.  Networking with likeminded individuals and companies to achieve best practise and common goals, especially with the uncertainty and ramifications of Brexit.


Are there any particular BIBA events that you are looking forward to?

Lots!  Although a small company we intend to be active members of BIBA and I am looking to attend the compliance forums to understand current topics, but I have historically found the Webinars particularly useful.



Do you feel that such memberships are necessary for brokers in the current climate?


It’s not necessary but it’s important that we as broker support the insurance market.  Ultimately Biba are the voice of the industry and when debating points with the FCA on various consultation papers surely it makes sense to stand shoulder to shoulder with our industry colleagues, especially in these challenging times?


What are your plans for development in 2020 and beyond?


We are very lucky.  We are well supported by some of the UK’s leading insurers who believe in what we do.  We also enjoy a management team that want to grow aggressively for the long term, looking after our insurer partners and clients along the way.  We expect another year of significant growth especially in the non-standard motor market and high net worth arena, where buying on-line is more challenging but training and developing the team, with as many resources, including Biba, at our disposal is key to our success.

Airsports Insurance Bureau Join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA)

BIBA is the UK’s leading general insurance intermediary organisation. They represent the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers with over 2,300 members including 98 of the UK’s top 100 firms. Their members handle about half the value of all UK home, contents, motor, travel, commercial and industrial insurance policies.

Karen Manley, Risk & Compliance Director of Airsports Insurance Bureau, says: “AIB has seen and continues to enjoy significant growth despite these challenging times both within the insurance industry and externally. Biba play a fundamental role within the insurance broking profession.  We look forward to working alongside BIBA and this membership will be a benefit to our growing business”.

Airsports Insurance Bureau is an independent Insurance Broker approved and regulated by the FCA. We are an established personal lines insurance broker, founded in 1993. With a panel of over 30 insurer partners we have a passion for insuring high net worth and niche personal lines clients.  Our staff are UK based and our offices are located in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

Ten great reasons why you benefit from using Airsports Insurance Bureau Ltd (AIB) a BIBA broker:

  • have access to a wide choice of products from the majority of insurance markets
  • can give advice on suitable insurance protection
  • can represent the client in claims settlements
  • are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • can give risk management advice by identifying, measuring, managing and controlling risk and where appropriate can give advice on health and safety, fire prevention and premises security
  • provide clear information and documents
  • have their own professional indemnity insurance protection providing customer confidence
  • clearly state the costs of the policy including any fees they may charge
  • give fair treatment to customers in the event of a complaint, with the additional assurance of the Financial Ombudsman Service
  • eligible customers are protected by the Government-backed Financial Services Compensation Scheme

You can locate AIB on the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) website via