Partnerships

Working together is at the heart of Guardsman’s approach.

‘Did you know that Guardsman was the first company to offer market-leading furniture protection plans? These plans have been expertly developed over the years as the market and consumer demand grows. As a regulated insurance product, Guardsman recognises the importance of regulatory adherence and oversight so that the product and our retail partners meet the requirements of the FCA. Regulatory focus is now an intrinsic part of the insurance world, including the furniture protection plan market, so we have to embed it into our everyday work and protect everyone we partner with in the industry,’ says Lyndon Willshire, Guardsman commercial director.

‘The FCA ensures stability in the market, but also protects customers from making wrong or ill-informed decisions with their insurance purchases, so our job is to make sure every single person who buys a protection plan through our retail partner buys the right product, at the right price to meet their needs.

‘Retailers look to us as the industry experts to provide them with the tools and support and help them navigate through new processes such as the FCA principle of Consumer Duty and its importance in the retail environment. It’s our job to ensure how they can ensure that best practice is always performed. We continually ensure our knowledge of the FCA and industry changes is always up to date, so we can prepare for these changes ahead of time and provide the necessary support and advice to the retail market. We don’t just offer this advice to the retailers we partner with, we want to be the voice to the wider market so that everyone is prepared for the changes in good time, and with the most accurate and knowledgeable advice we can give.’

As Guardsman enters its 109th year of trading, Willshire says he is feeling very positive about what’s to come.

‘Working with an A-rated insurer really puts us in a strong position with our retail partners. It fully understands our business and the direction we want to take it, and having a collaborative approach has allowed us to unlock the potential for our business and for the retailers. Having a strong and stable underwriting partner provides certainty for us, our retailers and the customers.

‘We are also thrilled to be continuing our partnership with HSL, a retailer we have been working with for more than 10 years. It has extended its partnership with us to continue as its supplier for furniture protection plans and ancillary products. It is relationships like this that really put us ahead of the competition: but we are not complacent and will continue to work hard to ensure these relationships are nurtured and are a real partnership.

‘We are in a strong position for 2024 with exciting plans and developments for the business, with the full backing of our significant parent company, Amynta. This would also not be possible without all the team pulling together: from the sales team out on the road training and supporting our retail partners, to the staff at head office working through customer claims, and the networks out there at the coal face, working hard to repair furniture.’

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