Mark Barlow, MD of IFM Insurance, tells unLTD how in uncertain and challenging economic times his company is acting as a ‘good barometer of current business sentiment’

Tell us about IFM insurance?

IFM Insurance Brokers have been based in Sheffield for over 40 years providing insurance advice to many local businesses.  As a chartered broker, we support these firms by making sure they have the right protection in place so they can trade even if the unexpected was to happen. Whether it’s creating an insurance programme for a manufacturing firm across multiple sites or dealing with a goods in transit claim, our clients know that they are in safe hands every step of the way.

What are the main insurance challenges your clients face?

As a local broker, we are a good barometer of current business sentiment and every day we speak with business owners from all industries and sectors across Sheffield.  In these uncertain and challenging economic times, protecting a business and its reputation is vital for any business owner.  In the event of a claim being made against you or your business, it’s crucial to have the right protection as this could be the difference between staying solvent and going out of business altogether.

Sheffield firms want a broker who is going to be a business adviser and not just talk to them about insurance. So our team at IFM always spend time trying to understand what the key challenges and issues are that affect a business today and in the future.

What are the emerging risks Sheffield firms should be aware of?

Sheffield firms are now exposed to ever changing risks, whether it’s stringent regulations, progressive technologies or the changing needs of customers and employees.  This means there is huge demand for advice from a broker who is professional and independent. GDPR, for example, has created many questions on how firms process, handle and store any personal data.

Cyber crime continues to be a growing threat to all businesses in Sheffield and the tactics employed by hackers are becoming more sophisticated. However we are seeing more firms taking out cyber insurance to help protect their brand reputation and profitability.

The ramifications of Brexit are significant and firms want advice on preparation. The issues are wide-ranging, from the delivery of goods on demand, stockpiling, driving in Europe and the impact on supply chains to name a few.  Although we can’t always promise to know exactly what is going on, our role is to make sure we have the most up to date information and to leverage our insurer relationships to help our clients.

What do your clients say about IFM?

IFM saved our business from going under following a large fire loss at our factory.   We couldn’t have dealt directly with the insurer ourselves and even if we could, it was almost certain that our claim would have been turned down.

We have always relied on the professionalism of IFM to ensure our insurance cover meets the demands of the business. They ensured that our insurance policy performed exactly as you would expect when you make a claim.

Tony McNeill, Managing Director – Antiquity GRP Ltd, Sheffield

How can Sheffield firms get in touch with you?

We’d love to hear from you and learn more about your business.  Please call Jamie Harvey on 0114 268 4606

 IFM Insurance Brokers Limited
1st and 2nd floor
Parkway Works
Kettlebridge Road
S9 3BL

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