1994 was a memorable year for many reasons: the channel tunnel opened, Four Weddings and a Funeral became the surprise hit of the year and we witnessed the introduction of a phenomenon that would see the almost immediate demise of the football pools – the UK lottery.
If you look at Wikipedia for significant events for that year, you’re unlikely to see that Countrywide Legal Indemnities also began trading twenty five years ago. Alongside everything else that was making headlines, Countrywide issued its first policy to Bungay-based solicitors Sprake and Kingsley – and we’re happy to say that we continue to count them as a valued customer today.
The more things change…
Since then, we’ve issued almost 2 million policies and of course, some things have changed beyond recognition in that time. In 1994, we received the majority of enquiries through the post or via fax. Today, 60% of the enquiries come to us online with the remaining 40% split between the phone and email.
What hasn’t changed however, is our approach to service. From the start, we wanted to offer the conveyancing profession a service never seen before in the legal indemnity market. Back then, a solicitor could wait days, if not weeks for an answer to an enquiry from one of the major insurance providers. That all changed though, as Countrywide pioneered the market’s first genuine 24-hour quotation service.
This was not something that was easy to do, and it required a commitment to invest in people and systems right from the outset. To this day, Countrywide continues with that investment to ensure ongoing progress, constantly creating and implementing new ideas to improve its service and products. The once ground-breaking 24-hour quotation service pales in comparison to the benefits offered today by our online and telephone quotation systems, where you’re guaranteed a quote in minutes.
…the more they stay the same
We like to think that, since the mid-90s, Countrywide has altered the perception of legal indemnity providers with a service which, to this day, continues to be second to none, and is always backed by experienced and flexible underwriting. Our marketing charts the longevity and consistency of this philosophy.
Despite its diminutive size (A6) and the number of exclamation marks, even our very first advertisement highlights our focus on expertise and speed of response.
Compare this our latest crop of ads, and you’ll see that, although there’s more colour (and slightly fewer exclamation marks!) it’s still all about expertise and getting a quote to you instantly.
Where to from here?
For some of us, it’s hard to imagine that 1994 was a quarter of a century ago, but looking ahead another 25 years, to 2044, is almost impossible – it feels like a lifetime away. There are two things you can definitely count on though – the first is that Countrywide will still be providing solutions to your legal indemnity problems; and the second is that almost all of us will still be waiting for that first big lottery win!