A little bit about Laura -
Many of you will already know me from either my time at HSBC/ Marsh and/or from various balloon meets and festivals but for those who don't, here is a little background.
In 2005 I started working for HSBC Insurance Ltd (to be taken over by Marsh Ltd) in their General Aviation department, supporting their Scandinavian book of Light Aircraft business and specializing in Hot Air Balloon insurance. Over the years with HSBC/ Marsh I dealt with a wide variety of insurances for many types of aircraft operators - Hull & Liability for Balloons/ Aircraft/ Helicopters/ Gliders, Employers & Public, Airport Owners and Operators and Office.
A few years after I joined HSBC, at my first balloon meet in Northampton, a client told me that I couldn't possibly know what I was insuring unless I had experienced it for myself; that ballooning was not like any other form of Aviation. Despite hating the first 20 minutes of that first flight (I don't like heights), I now hold that man (along with a few others) responsible for making me fall in love with the most amazing sport/ hobby/ activity! Since then, I've been trying to get airborne as much as possible and have travelled to meets and festivals around the UK and in Ireland, France, Italy and Switzerland; meeting and making friends with some amazing people along the way.
During a meet in 2012 I was asked why, since I seem to love flying so much, I wasn't actually learning to fly. After a few moments of trying to formulate a response, I realised I didn't actually have a good reason to give so, after that night, my journey as a Pu/t began.
Looking back at the comment that first got me into a balloon, I have to say that I completely agree, ballooning was something I had to experience for myself. I like to think that my experiences as a passenger and Pu/t, have done and will continue to, enable me to carry out my job to the best of my ability. I never wanted a career where each day was the same and I was stuck behind a desk all day, I count myself very lucky that specialising in Hot Air Balloon insurance and now, via Altitude, being able to offer such a wide range of different insurances - not just aviation related, I am now specialising in insurances such as Tradesman/ Public Liability & Employers Liability - enables me to experience what I do, allows me to travel to some amazing places and offers me a different challenge each time I check my emails.
A little bit about Brendan -
Brendan has also been in the ballooning 'world' for a while now, and again, many of you may already know him from various balloon meets and festivals but for those who don't, here is a little background.
Thanks to a chance message sent on Facebook to an old school friend not seen for decades, for the past decade or so Brendan has been acting as crew for local balloonists (both Private and Commercial) - Brendan had seen that this old school friend was a balloonist and was cheeky enough to ask for a flight, after that first flight he was also hooked!
Up until 2018, Brendan only occasionally liked to get off the ground (being a former Irish Rally Champion, he preferred being behind the wheel and in charge of the retrieve fun) however, in the summer of 2018 he decided to make use of the kit we have so, in February 2020 Brendan headed out to Mondovi, Italy (a firm favorite flying location for many balloonists) and 9 days, 7 training flights, 1 General Flight Test, 1 solo, 3 exams and lots of pizza later, he is now the proud holder of a PPL (Balloon).
Brendan is currently finalizing his III APA (Personal General Insurance) qualification with a view to coming on-board in a client facing role in 2021.
A little bit about GBJ -
Altitude Insurance Ltd are very pleased to announce that, as from 1st October 2020, we will be majority owned by GBJ (Grimme Butcher Jones), a London based specialist Aviation Broker who are also a registered Lloyd’s Broker. You don’t need to do anything as a result of this partial change in ownership, we just wanted to let you know of the strengthening of our brand and that in the long-term, we hope this will mean we are able to offer a wider range of products with a wider range of Insurers – and of course, keep at our most competitive for you.
GBJ Ltd have a reputation as a competitive broker and are proud of their negotiating skills. Their substantial book of loyal clients has been hard earned in a highly competitive environment where corporate players have tended to dominate. Clients range from Airlines to Airports, General Aviation, Manufacturers, FBO’s and Service Providers. They have been trading for over 30 years, and have a small, select team that are all experts in their field.
The GBJ team has 500 years collective experience in aviation insurance with vast majority of the team with over 30 years in the market. We make sure our clients get personal service and all staff have the ability and experience to step in to any situation should the need dictate. They truly are a team and support each other to make sure that their clients get the best service - an ethos that perfectly aligns with that of ours here at Altitude.
Copyright © 2020 Altitude Insurance Ltd - All Rights Reserved.
Altitude Insurance Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland - C143970
Registered in Ireland, No. 542264
Financial Conduct Authority Reference 740514 - EEA Authorised to offer certain products or services in the UK and selected other EU countries (full list available upon request).
Registered Address - Ground Floor, 71 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin, D02 P593 , Republic of Ireland
Part of the GBJ Group – Grimme Butcher Jones is a Lloyd’s Broker, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority - 305171.
Registered in the UK, No. 01912941, www.gbj-ltd.com.
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