• Who we are

    The NFRN Mutual was established in 1999 offering cover to newsagents and other retailers, providing an alternative to conventional insurance.  We were created by retailers for retailers to provide Members with competitive cover, good service and a sympathetic claims settlement ethos.

    We offer cover for over 4,000 Members but it is how we interact with our Members, that sets us apart from conventional insurance companies.

    We have a dedicated UK-based Members service and claims team. When contacting the Member Service Centre you will always speak to someone who will be familiar with your business, claims and payment history. We are owned solely by our Members making us a Member owned discretionary mutual.

    We are the only cover to work with the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) and both news wholesalers, Menzies Distribution and Smiths News.

    The Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Mutual are available from the Annual accounts Area of the website under Documents section: www.nfrnmutual.com/documents/annual-accounts
    To download the document, simply click the blue ‘download’ link.

  • Why we are different

    The NFRN Mutual is a discretionary mutual and is an alternative to a conventional insurance company. A mutual is a company owned by its members. Any surpluses, (the equivalent of profits in more conventional companies), belong to our members, not any shareholders, because we don’t have any. As a discretionary mutual, the Board has the ultimate decision on all claims but you should expect all claims to be settled in line with the terms of your cover. The Board may also agree claims which would not otherwise be covered. The Board is made up entirely of experienced retailers and they are committed to the welfare of all members.

    The NFRN Mutual is a limited company so has Articles of Association which include the Directors’ powers and duties and the relationship between the Mutual and the members under company law.

    Because we are a mutual, we also have a set of formal Rules which include:
    • who can apply to be a member, a member’s responsibilities and how membership can be ended
    • how claims are dealt with
    • how the Mutual’s funds are used.

    If you have any questions about the Articles or the Rules please email:
    info@nfrnmutual.com or write to
    NFRN Mutual Limited, Floor 3
    Westcombe House
    2/4 Mount Ephraim
    Tunbridge Wells
    Kent TN4 8AS

  • How we operate

    Our Board of Directors currently comprises eight people, who are all current or recently retired retail newsagents and Members of the Mutual. The Directors are appointed for a three year term. The following directors currently sit on the NFRN Mutual Board:

    • Peter Wagg (Chairman)
    • Alan Dryden
    • Colin Finch
    • Naresh Purohit
    • Janet Wagg
    • Adrian Watts
    • Sam Whiteside
    • Linda Sood

    We are managed by a professional firm of mutual managers, Regis Mutual Management Ltd, whose team has a proven track record and a reputation for innovation and success in the management of mutuals in the UK and Australia.

  • The History of the NFRN Mutual

    The NFRN Mutual was formed in July 1999, at the National Federation of Retail Newsagents’ (NFRN) Annual Conference in Blackpool, at a time when newsagents had little choice and were charged high premiums by a few traditional insurance companies.

    Blackpool

    The first covers were taken out in August 1999, and during the first year over 1,000 Members had signed up for shop cover which gave them a tailor-made solution to protect their assets together with cover against the liabilities to which retail newsagents were increasingly exposed.

    At the outset there were three key people who came together to form the Mutual: Alan Dryden (NFRN National President), Chander Hingorani (NFRN Financial Controller) and Paul Koronka. Alan and Chander championed the needs of newsagents, while Paul Koronka, CEO of Regis Mutual Management Ltd, provided the expertise in creating and operating a financial mutual. In addition to these and their fellow founding Board members, the NFRN gave its total support and was pivotal in setting up the Mutual.

    The Mutual and the Federation’s relationship is as strong today as it was when the Mutual was first formed and we are working closely together to promote the benefits of the Federation and the Mutual to our memberships.

    In the beginning, the Mutual could only offer Members Commercial cover which proved to be a roaring success as the Mutual aimed to offer better cover, service and claims handling than the traditional insurance companies could then offer.  By listening to our Members and responding to their needs our Household cover soon followed and in response to the NFRN’s inability to continue providing block Employers’ & Public Liability cover, the Mutual stepped in at short notice to offer NFRN Roundsmen their legally required covers. In 2008 we launched our unique weekly payment scheme; this hugely popular scheme now has more than a third of our Members using it and offers Members the opportunity to pay their contributions weekly through their Smiths or Menzies news bills.

    The Mutual’s membership is currently just under four thousand and since its inception it has settled over 10,000 claims, ranging from a few hundred to over a million pounds. It is worth noting that our largest claim of £1.2 million was an Employers’ Liability claim; cover for which is required by law.

    Many of the Mutual’s Members have evolved over the last fifteen years from traditional newsagents to convenience stores, some into non-core businesses like stationers and opticians, all of which are welcome into the Mutual family. Since 2009, the range of people who can join the Mutual has been widened to enable us to give more independent retailers a helping hand. We now have on cover a small number of hair salons, bakeries and opticians and with the cooperation of our new supporting insurer, Builders Direct, we are now able to offer cover for to wider range of retailers.

    Our mutual ethos allows us to support other cooperative initiatives, such as the Plunkett Foundation which supports the development of community-owned shops. They had a similar story to our other Members: only a few insurers offered cover and charged high premiums with onerous terms – the Mutual offered a better alternative. Since we started working together a few years ago over half of their stores have become Mutual Members benefiting from tailored cover to suit their individual needs.
    When talking about the Mutual’s beginnings it is important to mention the amazing loyalty of our Members. Our longest serving member, Mr. William Duff from Scotland who joined the Mutual in August 1999, has renewed his shop cover with us every year since. Furthermore 94% of Members renew with the Mutual, a renewal rate far in excess of that of traditional insurance companies.

    The Mutual has always remained true to its core values of providing its Members with the best possible cover with service levels that aim to be second to none.

  • Who can join?

    Whether you’re a small retailer, an independent shop, a newsagent, a community shop or pub, we offer covers for all of your shops and your pub. In our early years only National Federation of Retail Newsagents Members could join the Mutual but as the Mutual has grown we have expanded our services to support all independent retailers and now community shops and pubs too.

    We understand how important it is to protect your business against the unexpected. That’s why we have an experienced team who can tell you about our Covers so you can choose the right cover for your business and tailor it, so you only pay for the cover you need.

  • Meet the team

    We pride ourselves on offering a tailored and personalised service delivered via our friendly and experienced team based in Kent. We live by our mutual values and put our Members first so you can be assured that your query will be handled by a person and not a machine. The Member Service Team and the Claims Team have a good understanding of your business and are able to assist you with care and efficiency.

    • Andy Clarke

      Sales & Service Manager

      Our team takes pride in customer service and our aim is to help all of our Members as well as those looking to join as much as we can. We like to be as transparent and helpful as possible, answering any questions whether it be on the Certificate, the Cover Wording or any other general queries. I’ve been working on behalf of The NFRN Mutual for over 6 years now. It’s great to work for a mutual with an ethos of putting its Members first. In my own time I play golf, currently playing off a 15 handicap. I also enjoy badminton, football and cycling. My girlfriend and I recently enjoyed a week away in Portugal but over the years skiing and Vegas have been on my holiday hit-list.

    • Stephen Taylor

      New Business Executive

      I have been working on the NFRN Mutual since January 2012 across the Sales & Service team. It’s great being part of a totally Member focused team with a vast knowledge of experience to help guide our Members. Outside the office I really take as much time as I can to catch up with my ever expanding family and when I get the chance I try to get away either abroad or to the many parts of the UK I never knew existed. Keen on tinkering with cars and getting my hands dirty. I would like to think I’m into the gym, but getting me into the gym is the issue! But does happen from time to time and every little helps as they say.

    • Richard Izzard

      Senior Claims Handler

      I have more than 20 years’ experience of claims handling and have previously worked for insurance brokers and insurance companies. I can therefore appreciate the benefits that membership of the NFRN Mutual brings to each & every Member. Away from work, music occupies my time, whether listening to CDs or composing, recording and mixing my own tracks. I go to less gigs than I used to, perhaps I am getting old!

    • Jas Bhogal

      Claims Handler

      We aim to help and guide our Members through what can be a very traumatic ordeal whether that is a break-in or a total loss due to a fire. I make sure  that a prompt and fair settlement is made for valid claims. As well as communicating with our Members I also liaise with our external experts such as Loss Adjusters and Solicitors. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, watching Bollywood movies and catching up with my Indian dramas. I love to travel the globe and I’m aiming to visit all the Natural Wonders of the World. I have climbed the Great Wall of China, had lunch at the Grand Canyon and fallen in love with the Taj Mahal…another four more to go…best start booking my holidays!

  • Partners

    At the NFRN Mutual we work with a number of leading professional companies and organisations which you may find of interest.

    • NFRN

      The NFRN is one of Europe’s largest retail trade associations with over 15,000 independent news and convenience retailers in membership throughout the UK and Ireland.

      http://www.nfrnonline.com/
    • Plunkett Foundation support community enterprise particularly in rural areas. Community-owned village shops continue to be one of the leading success stories of the UK co-operative and social enterprise movement.

      http://www.plunkett.co.uk
    • Smiths News is the UK’s leading newspaper and magazine wholesaler, their customers range from small independent retailers in remote locations, to the nation’s biggest supermarkets. NFRN Mutual works closely with them to provide its unique Weekly payment scheme to its Members.

      http://www.smithnews.co.uk/
    • Menzies are a newspaper and magazine wholesaler, serving primary clients in the press, travel and tourism sectors. NFRN Mutual works closely with them to provide a unique Weekly payment scheme to its Members.

      http://www.menziesdistribution.com/
    • Regis is an independent company that develops and manages mutuals, providing a complete outsourced management service, from sales and marketing through to claims handling. Their talented team is made up of insurance and mutual specialists who have been managing mutuals for many years.

      http://www.rmml.com/
    • ICMIF is the voice of the world’s cooperative and mutual insurance sector. ICMIF aims to promote and work with the cooperative and mutual insurance sector globally by being a leader in providing information and services to members, and representing the interests of, the global cooperative and mutual insurance sector.

      http://www.icmif.org/
    • AFM is a professional, trustworthy, authoritative trade body, committed to protecting and progressing the principles of mutuality. AFM aims to promote a better understanding of mutuals, encouraging mutual support and mutual approaches to business and public policy.

      http://www.financialmutuals.org/
    • Shoplink has been created by the NFRN to help independent retailers develop their business, cutting out the middleman so that you can get the very best deals, margins and ultimately profits.

      http://www.shoplinkonline.co.uk/

     

  • Legal and regulatory

    The NFRN Mutual Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 3810528 and with its registered office address at:

    7 Maltings Place
    169 Tower Bridge Road
    London
    SE1 3JB

    The NFRN Mutual Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of insurance mediation activities under Firm Reference Number 312391.

    You can check this by visiting the Financial Services Register.

  • Monday – 9am – 5pm
    Tuesday – 9am – 5pm
    Wednesday – 9am – 5pm
    Thursday – 9am – 5pm
    Friday – 9am – 5pm
    Saturday – Closed
    Sunday – Closed

    Christmas opening hours:

    Christmas Eve – 9am – 12.45pm
    Christmas Day – Closed
    Monday 28th December – Closed
    Tuesday 29th December – 9am  – 5pm
    Wednesday 30th December – 9am – 5pm
    Thursday 31st December – 9am – 5pm
    Friday 1st January – Closed