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Following the news and events at Unity (Scout Insurance Services)


Our New Junior Account Handlers

With Unity (Scout Insurance Services) continuing to grow its business, we also look to grow our staff. Therefore we are delighted to promote two members of staff to our new Junior Account Handler roles.

Ushuaia Escobar has successfully completing her apprenticeship at Unity and passed her Certificate in Providing Financial Services & Certificate in Customer Service. To recognise this she has been promoted to Junior Account Handler.

Rebecca Garrard joined Unity in August 2016 as Office Administrator and has recently been promoted to the position of Junior Account Handler. She has been involved in Scouting and Guiding throughout her life and is currently a leader of a local Guide Unit in Lancing.

They are both thoroughly excited to be progressing with Unity and looks forward to the many challenges that may come their way while in their new role.

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New Commercial New Business Account Handler joins our charity team

Dan Carter is looking forward to his new role as Commercial New Business Account Handler working in the charity insurance team. Having a strong insurance knowledge from arranging cover for Scout and Guide groups, to begin with he will be targeting smaller and medium sized charities.

He has recently picked up his golf clubs again and joined Hillbarn Golf Club so he’s really looking forward to the better weather to arrive so he can play without wearing 6/7 layers.

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Norman Murchie joins our Insurance Team

As Unity (Scout Insurance Services) continues growing its business, and support for Scouting and the charity sector, we have taken on a new Senior Commercial Account Handler.

Norman Murchie joined Unity in November 2016 as the Senior Commercial Account Handler from a large national broker where he specialised in multinational clients. He brings a wealth of insurance experience and will contribute significantly to the growth of our charity team. He will be the primary support for the client executives and will spend the majority of his time servicing The Scout Association’s Headquarters insurance.

Norman really enjoys his music and has a large vinyl collection of several thousand, which is still growing!

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Insurance Premium Tax Changes from 1 October 2016

Following the announcement at the 2016 Budget, the standard rate of UK insurance premium tax (IPT) will be increasing by 0.5% from 9.5% to 10% and will come into effect from 1 October 2016.


  • Travel insurance policies and engineering inspection contacts will continue to be subject to VAT at 20%.
  • Policyholders based in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man will not be affected by these changes.

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Insurance Act 2015 - Changes from 12 August 2016

The Insurance Act 2015 is a new legal framework affecting every business insurance policy placed, renewed or amended after 12th August 2016. Business insurance includes charities and therefore Scout Groups as well as commercial businesses.
It modernises insurance law and aims to make recovery from insurers simpler and fairer in the event of claim. 

What does this mean for you?
Critical changes for customers centre on the new duty of fair presentation.  The Act specifies what you as a customer must do for a presentation to count as fair. There are two key elements:

1. Reasonable Search’

  • The customer must make adequate enquiries within their organisation to identify and verify information relevant to the risk(s) concerned.
  • These must include all relevant knowledge of the ‘senior management’ of the organisation and those involved in buying the insurance (including the broker).
  • Reasonable enquiries must also be made of any relevant third parties involved with the organisation, including external consultants, contractors and anyone insured by the policy.

2. ‘Clear & Accessible’ presentation of risk information

  • This addresses the clarity of presentation and how able insurers are to assess the risk. ‘Data dumping’ of large amounts of information without signposting is unacceptable.
  • There is also an additional requirement to adequately highlight unusual activities and/or known areas of concern that could affect the risk.

What do Scout Groups need to do differently?
From 12th August 2016 Scout Groups will be required to ensure that their procedures for buying insurance are compliant with the Act. Here are six key steps can help achieve this:

  1. Ensure clear understanding, of the risks being insured and the cover that is required (which determine what information is relevant).
  2. Document the process of compiling and checking risk information, recording any concerns or shortcomings.
  3. Develop draft answers to the key definitions in the Act to ensure search is broad enough:
    • Who counts as ‘senior management’?
    • Who is ‘responsible’ for insurance in your Scout Group?
    • Who else has relevant information (whether internal or external)?
  4. Clarify sign-off requirements.
  5. Speak to your broker to understand your requirements.
  6. Start the process early enough to accommodate the additional checks required and to ensure that all information is presented clearly.

How Unity (Scout Insurance Services) can help
With over 80 years’ experience at presenting Scout risks to insurers, our expert account handers can help you gather and present the risk information in a compliant way. 

All of our insurance proposal forms available on this website are compliant with the Insurance Act, so in effect there will be little change directly affecting Scout Groups.

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New addition to our New Business Insurance Teams

As Unity (Scout Insurance Services) looks to continue growing its business, and therefore increase our support for Scouting, we have increased our staff numbers, by taking on three extra New Business Account Handlers.

Arwenne Rolle and Chris Willett have joined the Scout and Girlguiding insurance team, while Mark Flanagan joins the charity insurance team.

Arwenne has 10 years’ insurance experience in both sales and underwriting. In her spare time you’ll generally find her at the gym or singing but not necessarily both at the same time. She loves the outdoors, out on her bike taking photos. When she was younger she wanted to be a vet and then a fighter pilot in the RAF, but is now looking for her career to take off with Unity.

Chris has a financial services background having previously worked for a leading UK bank. He wanted to support a north London football team winning trophies, but ended up as a Spurs fan. He also enjoys cricket and watching Sussex Sharks.

Mark has been employed in the Insurance industry for twelve years working for several national brokers. He has two young sons and enjoys spending time with his family.

Their wealth of knowledge, added to that of our existing teams, will benefit Scout Groups, Girlguiding Units and other charities looking for great cover at competitive prices.

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Find us on Facebook
You may already be following us on Twitter: @ScoutInsurance and @UnityIns
Did you know, Unity now has its own Facebook pages, where we’ll share news, insurance and risk advice and events we are attending? 

Find us at


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Martin Linaker joins as Charities Insurance Development Manager

We are delighted to announce that Martin Linaker has joined Unity Insurance Services as Charities Insurance Development Manager.

Martin brings 10 years insurance experience in commercial broking, including developing new business with charities, museums and schools, following his first career in the Army. His new business development role involves establishing large corporate charity relationships, bringing these clients to us and developing the overall charity market place strategy and direction to accelerate our growth in the sector. Martin has been a volunteer committee member of a museum charity for 30 years.

He is looking forward to engaging with members of the Scout Association, who can help by introducing him to the insurance purchasing decision makers of other charities in which they are engaged. (For more information of insurance we arrange for other charities, see our Insuring other charities webpage.) Remember, Scouting benefits from Unity's other chariy insurance, as all our profits are returned to Scouting.

He will be an excellent addition to our great team at Unity.

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Unity continue their support of The Children & Young People Now Awards

We are pleased to celebrate youth charity excellence by continuing our association with the Children & Young People Now Awards for a third year.

CYP Now Awards 2016

The Children & Young People Now Awards have become the gold standard for everyone working with children, young people and families. These awards provide a great source of pride and recognition for all those who better the lives of others.

We will again be sponsoring of The Children and Young People’s Charity Award. This award recognises charities that have made the most impressive contribution, at a local or national level, in improving the life chances of children, young people or families.

For details of the awards, go to www.cypnowawards.com.

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Fiona Frecknall joins our New Business Team

Fiona celebrated 25 years dedicated service with The Scout Association in June 2015. This month Fiona has joined our Scout and Girlguiding New Business Team. Over the years Fiona has seen many changes to Scouting but her passion for Scouting has not changed, this is shown within her dedication to seek out the best insurance deals for the Movement. As Scouting and Guiding continue to grow, so does Unity.

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New addition to Unity’s Scout and Guide New Business Insurance Team

Dan Carter joined the new business team in December. He has strong background in sales. Dan is very keen on the gym and follows football closely, unfortunately he supports Manchester United!

His wealth of knowledge, added to that of our existing teams, will benefit Scout Groups looking for great cover at competitive prices. As Unity grows, we plan to return additional profits from our insurance business back to Scouting to help the movement develop.

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They’re Hired! Our New Apprentices

It is not just Scouting that is becoming more Youth Shaped, we are too.

Linked to Scouting’s vision of youth-shaped Scouting and empowering young people, we have introduced an apprenticeship programme. Having completed their A levels, our first two apprentices are Will Perry and Ushuaia Escobar.

Ushuaia has joined Unity’s charity team. She studied travel and Spanish at A level and is a fluent Spanish speaker. She is keen to learn more about the charity sector and insurance.

Will has joined the Scout and Guide Insurance team. He studied Maths, Law and Economics at A level. He has coached basketball teams and enjoys numerous sports including table tennis and archery.

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New additions to our Scout and Guide Insurance Team

With the increase in customer numbers and our passion for supporting young people’s charities, we have increased our staff numbers.

Matthew Johnson joined the new business team in May 2015. Matt’s expertise is in property insurance and he has worked for a large international broker. Matt is keen on football and manages his local team.

Faizul Ali joined Unity in July 2015 as Senior Account Handler.  Faizul learnt his trade with one of the largest UK insurers and specialised in property and speciality risks. In his spare time Faizul helps to run a multi-faith youth club to promote social integration within his local community.

Their wealth of knowledge, added to that of our existing teams, will benefit both our existing clients and those that need new quotations, looking for great cover at competitive prices.

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Insurance Premium Tax Changes from 1 November 2015

Following the announcement at the summer budget 2015, the standard rate of UK insurance premium tax (IPT) will be increasing from 6% to 9.5% and will come into effect from 1 November 2015. 

What does this mean for you?

New Business

  • All new policies taken out on or after 1 November 2015 will attract IPT at a rate of 9.5%. 
  • If we provide a quote before 1 November where we know that cover is required on or after 1 November the quote will include IPT at 9.5%. 
  • If we provide a quote before 1 November showing an IPT rate of 6% then this rate will only apply up to 31 October 2015.  If you take out cover after that date IPT will increase to 9.5%.


  • If your policy is due for renewal before 1 November 2015 a rate of 6% IPT will apply.
  • If your policy is due for renewal on or after 1 November 2015 your renewal premium will include tax at 9.5%. This rate applies even if the renewal invitation is sent to you before 1 November 2015.

Mid Term Adjustments (MTA)

  • Any alteration made to your policy after 1 November 2015 which results in an additional charge will incur IPT at 9.5%.
  • Any alteration made to your policy after 1 November 2015 which results in a premium refund will incur IPT at the rate originally charged. 


  • Refund premiums arising from cancellations made after 1 November 2015 on policies taken out or renewed before 1 November 2015 will have IPT refunded at 6% (i.e. at the original rate).
  • All cancellations on policies with inception dates after 1 November 2015 will have tax refunded at 9.5%.

Are there any exceptions?

  • Travel insurance policies and engineering inspection contacts will continue to be subject to VAT at 20%.
  • Policyholders based in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man will not be affected by these changes.

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Fiona’s 25 years dedicated service to Scouting Insurance

Fiona Frecknall celebrated 25 years dedicated service with The Scout Association on 23 June 2015.

Since starting as a clerical assistant back in 1990, Fiona has progressed to the role of Senior Account Handler specialising in marine and travel insurance and handling Property and Equipment claims. Fiona has been arranging travel insurance for Scout trips in the UK and overseas for 25 years and has organised insurance for six out of the last eight World Scout Jamborees. She has settled thousands of Property and Equipment claims since 2001.

Fiona also takes the Unity Insurance Services market place stall out and about to Scouting events including the last five Gilwell Reunions. Fiona shares her 25 years knowledge, advice and valuable information with our customers.

Fiona says “In all my travels for Unity I am never disappointed by the continued warmth and friendliness of all the lovely Scout Leaders I meet. It’s such a pleasure to put a face to a name and stand there and have a chat about what they’ve been up to and share my knowledge with them.”

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Free Small Event Insurance
for your Scout Events and Equipment

From 25th March 2015, if your Scout Group is covered under our annual Scout Property and Equipment Insurance policy, you will be able to get short period cover for events and equipment free of charge*.

Unity (Scout Insurance Services) is pleased to announce that from 25 March 2015 our Scout Property and Equipment Insurance annual policyholders can extend their policy to include events and/or equipment cover *free of charge.

Free Insurance Cover
The *free Small Event Insurance can include up to 15 days of cover (per event) for:

  • Event cancellation and abandonment for any Scout events in the UK; and/or
  • Equipment you may use, hire or borrow

Each up to a maximum sum insured of £7,500 during the event period *free of charge.

*Subject to Scout Property and Equipment Small Event Insurance Endorsement terms, clauses, conditions, exclusions and warranties.

Easy to arrange online
Our Scout Property and Equipment Insurance annual policyholders must notify us of the details in advance to arrange cover and obtain a schedule of cover.

From 25th March 2015, cover will be easy to arrange online with no paper forms to fill in.  Simply:

Plus Scout Groups will get the same in-house claims expertise that they receive for any claims made on their annual Scout Property and Equipment Insurance policy.

To find out more, visit our Scout Property and Equipment Small Event Insurance Endorsement webpage.

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Unity’s continued support of youth charity excellence

Supporting youth charities has always been a core mission for Unity.

The Children & Young People Now Awards have become the gold standard for everyone working with children, young people and families. These awards provide a great source of pride and recognition for all those who improve the lives of others.

We are pleased to continue our sponsorship of The Children and Young People’s Charity Award.

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Shortlisted for Insurance Company of the Year
at the Better Society Awards 2015

Unity Insurance Services is delighted to have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Charity Times Better Society Awards 2015 in the Insurance Company of the Year category.

Better Society Awards 2015

We are thrilled to be in the finals against such strong competition and that our work providing high quality solutions to charities’ insurance issues has been recognised by such a prominent awards body.

The inaugural Better Society Awards has been designed to recognise the efforts that companies make in order to help create a better society for all. The winners will be announced at the Awards Gala Dinner & Ceremony on 14 May 2015.

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Unity to provide insurance for National Citizens Service Programme

The National Citizens Service (NCS) is a programme for 15-17 years olds which combines physical activity, self-reliance and community spirit, to develop selfconfidence and citizen skills in young people.

NCS Trust, the organisation behind this major initiative needed to ensure the programme is run with the best insurance in place for its programme deliverers to help achieve their aims.

Unity Insurance Services is delighted to have been selected to supply the insurance for deliverers of the programme. Our collaboration with the NCS Programme is yet another example of recognition of our specialist knowledge of youth charities risks.

For more information visit our NCS webpage.

Unity supports Youth Charity Excellence

Supporting youth charities has always been a core mission for Unity. To show our support of the sector this year we are pleased to sponsor two great awards:

Updated Insurance: An Insomniac's Guide

An old favourite updated. “Insurance: an Insomniac’s Guide” is an essential, easy to read booklet to help you understand how insurance applies to Scouting.

This updated version now includes additional information on:

  • Why Scout Groups need insurance, and the types of insurance.
  • Advice if you need to make a property and equipment or travel claim.
  • Our role in Scouting.

As well as updated information on insuring your buildings and minibuses, plus what to do if things do go wrong.

Download your copy here.

Don't forget we have also produced a straightforward guide for people who are new to dealing with insurance in Scouting: “Insurance: Where do I Start?”.

Unity (Scout Insurance Services) has moved
A new address, cheaper call costs for our customers, but the same expert advice.

As the official insurance broker of The Scout Association we’ve come a long way in our 80 years of managing your Scout insurance needs. To help support the new Scouting 2018 Vision and strategy, we felt the time is right to also re-invigorate the Unity (Scout Insurance Services) operation.

Over the first weekend in August 2014, Unity (Scout Insurance Services) moved to new offices. Our new address is:

Suites 10 & 10A The Quadrant
60 Marlborough Road
Lancing Business Park
West Sussex, BN15 8UW

 Our post is being redirected, so anything sent to our old address will still reach us.

We have also changed our phone numbers, moving away from the old 0845 to 0345 telephone numbers to make it cheaper for you to call us. 0345 numbers cost no more to call than a geographic (01 or 02) number and are usually included in inclusive minutes packages and discount schemes.

So from Monday 4th August 2014, the number for all your Scout insurance questions is:

Telephone: 0345 040 7703
Fax: 0345 040 7705

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Karen’s 25 years dedicated service to Scouting Insurance

On 22 August 2013 Karen Stockbridge celebrated 25 years dedicated service with The Scout Association.

Back in 1988 when Karen joined as Office Junior, Scout Insurance was a department within HQ. Karen has progressed to the role of Senior Account Handler and Product Champion for the Property & Equipment Scheme.

Over the years Karen has seen many changes both in Scouting, such as girls becoming members, and insurance. Scout Insurance is now a wholly owned subsidiary of TSA trading under the name of Unity and has expanded its client base to include Girlguiding and other charities. The range of products has increased from the original two products, Property & Equipment and Marine to the full spectrum catering for the needs of today’s Scouting.

Karen says “I wouldn’t have lasted this long without my love of the job and working with a good team”.

Girlguiding Property Managers Conference

Girlguiding held a one day conference at their London HQ on 8th June 2013 to give advice and guidance to property managers from all around the UK.
Unity ran workshops to three different groups on property and equipment insurance and risk management of sites.

New Partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Unity is delighted to be working with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards (DofE) to provide Minibus Insurance for DofE Leaders, Co-ordinators, Managers and Volunteers.
Peter Schooling, DofE’s Commercial Director says “The Scouts and the DofE already have a long association, so I am delighted that we have a new reason to talk about this relationship now that Unity’s short term minibus hire cover is made available to DofE Centres and groups.”

Find out more at: http://www.dofe.org/en/content/cms/dofe-shop/marketplace/unity-short-term-min/

Working with Surrey Youth Focus

We are delighted to have been appointed by National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) and Surrey Youth Focus to assist their members with insurance.
Unity has negotiated unique discounts for Surrey Youth Focus members on their charity’s insurance.
Find out more at: http://www.unityinsuranceservices.co.uk/surrey-youth-focus/

NCVYS Youth Participation in Action Conference 2013

In April, Unity attended NCVYS’s Youth Participation in Action Conference at The London School of Economics.

Follow Unity on Twitter

Unity has embraced digital marketing through twitter by establishing its own twitter site.  This provides a new medium to share news and is proving very powerful.
For news and advice follow Unity on Twitter: @ScoutInsurance and @UnityIns.

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Highly Commended Award for Unity at Insurance Times Awards 2012

Unity Insurance Services was recognised by the insurance industry for its Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons insurance initiative in 2012.
At the Awards ceremony on 4 December, Unity was presented with a highly commended award in the category UK Broker Innovation of the Year.
Judges said that despite being a smaller organisation up against hundreds of big rivals, we showed “innovative thinking, punching above our weight and setting standards”.

Insurance Times Awards 2012

NCVYS appoints Unity Insurance Services for help their members with their insurance

Following on from the successful acquisition in 2010 of Girlguiding’s insurance contract for their membership, 2013 has seen Unity develop further partnerships with other leading youth organisations. We are delighted to have been appointed by National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) to assist their members with insurance. 

Unity joins the Third Sector Insurance Working Group

In 2012, senior representatives from voluntary sector umbrella bodies, government and the insurance industry established an insurance working group following a recommendation from Lord Hodgson’s report ‘Unshackling Good Neighbours’ to address issues and sector concerns to make it easier to run voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises (VCSE).
Unity was amongst a small number of insurance companies invited on the VCSE Insurance working group to assist the sector seek solutions and make recommendations.
David Tyler CEO of leading voluntary organisation Community Matters, and chair of the VCSE Group states “Unity’s contribution to the group was particularly valuable, especially in relation to the insurance of work with young people and adventure activities. Unity’s specialism in this area helped both the other insurers and the VCSE sector to understand that these insurance products needn’t be complex, bureaucratic or unaffordable.”

Addressing to Charity Finance Group (CFG)

Unity’s Managing Director, Hira Choudhury-Inns and Steve Peck, Programme Director of The Scout Association jointly addressed the Charity Finance Group (CFG) 2012 annual conference in London with a talk on managing volunteers and ensure a successful partnership between an organisation and its volunteers.

A right royal appointment – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons

On 4 June 2012, charities, voluntary organisations and local community groups around the UK celebrated the Queen’s impressive 60 years on the throne by lighting beacons.
Unity played its part as the official insurance partner of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons Ltd, organisers of the whole beacon lighting event. We were selected because of our specialisation in the charity and voluntary sector.
As well as offering insurance cover for the Jubilee Beacon and other events, we also provided essential risk management and safety advice to event organisers.
As a result of this initiative hundreds of charities and voluntary groups were able to take part in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Unity sponsors charity award at The Institute of Fundraising National Awards

Unity was delighted when it was asked to sponsor the best Business-Charity Partnership at The Institute of Fundraising National Awards 2012.
At the awards ceremony in July hosted by Natasha Kaplinsky, Unity’s Managing Director, Hira Choudhury-Inns, presented the award to the winners WWF-UK for the Sky Rainforest Rescue.

Working with one of Europe’s leading Minibus Insurers

In 2012 Unity has taken over QBE Europe Limited’s direct Scout and Girlguiding minibus business.
Existing Minibus Plus policies taken out by Scouts and Guides directly with QBE are being transferred to Unity on renewal. They will keep their policy with QBE, but will be administered by us.
This move highlights our standing in the minibus insurance market for Scouts and Guides, and enables us to grow our business in this area.
Matthew Porter, Underwriting Manager at QBE says “This partnership brings together two organisations who are experts in their areas, QBE in minibus insurance and Unity in servicing Scouts and Girlguiding, which will benefit the policyholder in every case.”

New staff helping us to grow

Unity has taken on two new members of staff to grow our charity business. This will enable Unity to put more money back into Scouting.

Lucy Rumming joins us as Business Development Executive. Working closely with Lucy is Sophie Mariner, who is our new Senior Commercial Account Handler. With both Lucy and Sophie coming from specialist charity insurance companies, their knowledge and expertise will help us win more new customers. We are delighted they have joined the Unity team.

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