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Renovating the Classics
“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart”

– Vincent Van Gogh

Renovation Underwriting brought something different to the market. It created a larger marketplace and every time it met an obstacle it created a solution. The “we can, we do” culture is something of which we are immensely proud because it’s that which drives the creativity that has made this group of people market leaders.

Underwriting risks is an art. It takes passion, determination, and a purpose-driven desire to do the right thing by our brokers and their clients. Van Gogh summarised our ethos perfectly when he said…

“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.”

We really couldn’t have said it any better.

Renovating the Classics Launch Event

On Tuesday 26th March 2024, over 80 guests joined us in London at the Victorian Bath House for our exclusive “RTC” launch event. With the meaning of “RTC” a closely guarded secret, our guests had little idea about what would be revealed on the night.

Renovating the Classics launch event, March 2024

RTC was revealed as Renovating the Classics – a new series that takes world-famous art and introduces an entirely new renovation twist. It’s a tongue in cheek celebration of the human-centred creativity that sits at the heart of Renovation Underwriting and has enabled us to give many yesses where others said no.

Welcome drinks were followed by a passionate speech, delivered by Managing Director Douglas Brown, in which he urged the gathered insurance industry leaders to celebrate and discuss the importance of continued creativity in our industry – not typically known for creativity.

“While some see creativity as a tool, we use it as an operating system. It’s an integral driving force behind curating the best service, products and cover. Not only that, but working together to overcome problems through creativity helps teams build closer connections, trust and collaboration. 

Our best days at work are the ones where we overcame great hardship, dug ourselves out of a hole, shared the pain but also the elation of delivering the goods.”

Calling on larger organisations to ensure that creativity and innovation are not lost to AI, he urged guests to have the courage to stand up to shareholders and analysts and to make a difference to their profession, their clients and the people who work within it.

“Small companies innovate because they will die if they don’t. Bringing that urgency to a bigger business is about reframing our goals to make them infinite, taking things beyond the next quarter or the next year, because fiscal goals are an abstraction, they are not compelling and they are not why people come to work in the morning.”

Guest feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Few had anticipated that the event would reveal a new, playful artwork series. It was certainly something that the market hasn’t seen for a while and created quite a stir!

Introducing the first four “Renovating the Classics”

Notre Dame Screams

118 cm × 104 cm (47.2 in × 41.6 in)

On 15th April 2019, a structural fire broke out in the medieval roof space of Notre-Dame de Paris. Despite the firefighters’ brave and quick actions, the cathedral’s spire collapsed and most of its roof was destroyed.

The Notre-Dame fire raises two critical factors; firstly, many things can, and do go wrong during renovations. And secondly, having adequate renovation insurance in place is key – something Notre-Dame did not have.

We naturally have strong principles and a passion for what we do, but it’s our continued creative thinking that has not only meant yesses where others have said no – we’ve also been able to protect people’s most valuable assets when it’s at its most vulnerable.

A Seat at the Table

72 cm × 90 cm (28.8 in × 36 in)

Rather than follow the trend of depicting card players as rowdy, drunken gamblers in taverns, when painting The Card Players series, Paul Cézanne featured stone-faced tradesmen instead.

Just as they were integral to his work, they are to ours also. Unlike other underwriters, we actively take a seat at the proverbial table to engage with the policyholder’s project professionals and contractors.

It’s this level of commitment, expertise and collaborative training that not only helps provide better cover and boost brokers’ confidence, but continually improves renovation knowledge within our sector.

Mitigating a great depression

92 cm × 140 cm (36.8 in × 56 in)

Grant Wood’s iconic American Gothic painting depicts rural Iowa at one of the most challenging times in history – The Great Depression – when more than 273,000 Americans lost their most treasured possession… their home.

From our inception we’ve been driven by our mission that no one should lose their most valuable asset when undergoing property renovations. The biggest threat to this is the common myth that renovation works are covered by an existing policy or the builders’ own insurance policy.

We’ve seen first hand the impact this can have on the homeowner’s asset, finances, and mental health. As a result, we’re committed to creating better ways to mitigate and protect everyone against renovation risks.

…with all our heart

95 cm × 102 cm (38 in × 40.8 in)

Since the very beginning our three pillars have meant we’re not only the most Capable and Competent underwriters in our field, but also the most Conscientious. However, there is a fourth C… ‘Creativity’ – an integral driving force behind curating the best service, products and generating solutions to complex challenges.

When we started Renovation Underwriting, we had no idea just how deeply we would feel about doing the right thing by our brokers and their clients.

Van Gogh summarised it best when he said; “I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart” We really couldn’t have said it any better.

Keen to learn more about Renovating the Classics?

If you missed our launch event, please head to our stand at BIBA this May where one of the collection will be on display.

Fancy owning a Renovating the Classics original? Keep an eye out for details of a charity auction.

Get in touch to share any other questions or feedback, we’d love to hear what you think!

Renovating the Classics launch event