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Founded in 1989, JET Plant Hire is one of the UK’s leading road planing companies. Operating across the country, the company’s 30 planers – supported by a fleet of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) – prepare roads, motorways and other general surfaces/sites for the application of the new surfaces.
Not every business takes a proactive or strategic approach to insurance; for some, it’s seen as something they have to do rather than something they want to. However, at road planing company JET Plant Hire, insurance is viewed as something that has been fundamental to its ongoing success.
A visit to JET’s website leaves no doubt as to how seriously the Evesham-headquartered firm takes its risk management responsibilities. Health and safety accreditations and accident prevention awards from the likes of RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) are prominently displayed on the site’s front page. With a client list that includes some of the highways industry’s biggest names, those achievements are something that managing director Sean Witheford says are integral to JET’s commercial growth.
“Many of our customers are multinationals, and owned by large corporations,” he explains. “Health and safety is their number one priority, and they want to work with partners that are just as committed to protecting their people as they are. The proactive approach we take to risk management shows them that they can put their trust in us.”
For more than a decade now, JET has been assisted in that pursuit by Marsh Commercial. As well as arranging insurance policies for the likes of fleet cover, cyber liability, personal accident, and more, Marsh Commercial has also played a key role in facilitating JET’s forward-thinking approach to risk management. It’s a collaborative, consultative relationship, and one that had the right objectives in mind from day one, according to Sean.
“The strength of the overall proposition was what drew us to Marsh Commercial. While the prices they were able to source were definitely competitive, I was more interested in the wider value they offered. Marsh Commercial didn’t think about things just in terms of making our premiums low; they showed a genuine interest in learning about our business, helping us safeguard our people, and improving the way that we operate.”
Above and beyond
Protecting JET’s workforce is vital to Sean. Not only have many team members been with the company since it opened in 1989, some relationships go back further still, with JET even employing a few of the MD’s former classmates. It’s a family business in every sense, and so safety is of paramount importance.
Marsh Commercial has been helping JET in its quest to ensure that planing operations are conducted as safely as possible – and Sean points to some of the additional services offered as having played a key role in improving awareness of health and safety-related issues.
“One of the ways in which we benefit beyond just the cover we have is that our policy includes a complimentary subscription to an excellent interactive learning programme,” he explains. “Our operators have to complete and pass a different course every month, with topics ranging from working in hot conditions through to safe driving. It’s a really effective tool, and one that is much better than just telling them how to be safe.”
“We even get invited to participate in free trials of new services,” Sean continues. “We recently took part in a new cybersecurity training programme, which taught us a lot about how to protect our business against hackers and scams. The relationship we have with Marsh Commercial and our insurance provider really goes above and beyond pure cover.”
More than a decade on from JET’s first project with Marsh Commercial, the collaborative spirit that defined the start of the relationship persists. Monthly meetings between the two help to keep Marsh Commercial in tune with JET’s needs, while quarterly reviews including the insurer provide a chance for Sean and his team to share any updates that might affect the cover they require going forwards.
Sean cites the example of a company-wide upgrade to the company’s HGV fleet as evidence of that alignment in practice.
“I mentioned to our Marsh Commercial account manager that we were looking to replace our existing dashcams across our vehicles,” he notes. “He then offered to set up meetings with some of their preferred technology suppliers, and gave us tips on what to look for from the point of view of claims and premiums.”
It’s this unwavering focus on the bigger picture that Sean says is integral to the strength and duration of JET’s relationship with Marsh Commercial.
“I look at our insurance programme as an example of partners working with us and investing in our business. We pay them a premium, of course, but Marsh Commercial and our insurers are also trusting us that we’ll operate safely and responsibly. So if they can help us be better at what we do, they benefit too. I think that when you approach it from that perspective, everyone wins.”
See us in action by watching the video below and find out more about JET Plant Hire.