Regional Underwriter Sam Linton in Red Background

Sam Linton's perspective on the North of England's agriculture industry

With underwriters strategically positioned in all four corners of the UK, the team at ERS possesses an unparalleled perspective on regional markets. This unique advantage allows us to deeply understand the specific dynamics and needs of each area we serve. Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Sam Linton, our Regional Trading Underwriter for the North of England, who will share her valuable insights on the evolving landscape of the agriculture industry in her region.

Having previously shared her views in a blog back in May 2022, today Sam sheds light on how things have changed in the last twelve months. From exploring opportunities and challenges faced by farming businesses in the region to highlighting the dynamic relationship between the ERS team and their broker partners, Sam's expertise provides valuable insights into the current state of market.

Q: Hi Sam! It's great to have you back on the blog! Before we delve into the specifics, could you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be a part of the team here at ERS?

Sam: Absolutely! I've been in insurance since 2007, and over the years, I’ve explored various roles, working my way through the underwriting path before venturing into sales. I made the move to ERS during the pandemic and was drawn to the opportunity to combine my passion for sales and underwriting in one holistic role.

Since joining ERS, I’ve found that the ability to make underwriting decisions while maintaining strong broker relationships is a perfect fit for me, and the focus on building personal connections with these partners aligns with my belief that a people-oriented approach is the key to success.

Q: ERS is truly distinctive in having underwriters in all four corners of the UK. Can you share how this advantage provides a closer insight into regional markets?

Sam: Having underwriters located throughout the UK allows us to gain a closer understanding of the nuances, trends and challenges specific to each region – as well as becoming a real part of the community we serve.

In my role as the Regional Trading Underwriter for the North of England, this proximity enables me to develop personal relationships with brokers and truly understand their local markets. We can provide tailored solutions that address the region's unique challenges - and understanding regional intricacies empowers us to deliver the right insurance coverage and support to our brokers and their clients.

Q: Speaking of trends, what are some key characteristics of the markets in the North of England, and how do they impact brokers and their clients?

Sam: The North of England, like the rest of the country, faces financial strains that impact various sectors, including agriculture. One significant trend we're observing in light of this, is the growing diversification in farming. Farmers are exploring new avenues, such as agri-tourism, renewable energy projects, and niche food production. While these diversification efforts present exciting opportunities, they also introduce new risks that require careful consideration and tailored insurance coverage. Brokers in the region must stay attuned to these evolving market dynamics and work closely with underwriters, like myself, who understand the intricacies involved in insuring these diversified farming ventures. It's crucial to provide flexible and comprehensive solutions that address the specific risks associated with these ventures.

We’re also seeing that second-hand vehicle values in this area can be a rollercoaster due to fluctuating prices, which presents a challenge for both farms and brokers when it comes to insurance coverage. This has had a knock-on effect too, in the form of a deviation from the typical depreciation patterns during renewal amendments. Instead of witnessing a decrease in values over time, we're observing an increase. And this shift brings a unique set of considerations for brokers and their clients when determining appropriate insurance coverage. It requires a fresh approach to accurately assess the value of assets and ensure they are adequately protected in the face of these changing circumstances.

Q: How does ERS work with brokers in the North of England to support them in navigating these dynamic market conditions?

Sam: Collaboration is at the core of how we operate. We work closely with strategically aligned brokers, establishing strong working relationships built on trust and shared objectives. We foster open lines of communication, ensuring brokers can reach out to us whenever they need support, guidance or simply to bounce ideas off our team.

Importantly, at ERS, we break down silos within our organisation, allowing us to connect brokers with the right specialists for unique risks, such as insuring new ventures (we’ve had everything from adapted fire engines to super-cool ice cream trucks). This collaborative approach empowers brokers, ensuring they have the expertise and support they need to deliver exceptional service to their clients.

Q: Sounds fascinating. So, as Regional Trading Underwriter, what does a typical week look like for you in supporting brokers and their clients?

Sam: A typical week for me is anything but predictable! Each week brings new challenges and opportunities. I focus on managing our existing book of business, which involves handling renewals and engaging in trading conversations with brokers. Touching base with brokers regularly is a priority, as it allows me to understand their evolving needs and provide the necessary guidance and support. Regular pipelining meetings help us identify growth opportunities and ensure we're aligned in our strategies.

I really enjoy collaborating closely with colleagues across the business, and we work hard to ensure that our mix of remote workers and office-based staff are a cohesive and collaborative team. There’s plenty of brainstorming, working sessions and lots of talking about what’s happening and what’s coming up!

Thanks so much for sharing your insights, Sam! It’s great to hear how ERS’s unique position with underwriters situated throughout the UK provides invaluable insights into regional markets. With a focus on personal connections and expertise, ERS continues to empower brokers, ensuring they can thrive in an ever-changing insurance landscape.

As the agricultural market continues to evolve, ERS remains dedicated to providing reliable and comprehensive insurance solutions, ensuring the protection and peace of mind of farmers and agribusiness owners in the North of England.

Find out more information about our Agricultural motor insurance here.

For any Agricultural motor enquiries, contact our team on 0345 600 2284 or

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