In 2009 Chris Mapey took over The Angel at Woodbridge andas it swept the nation, setting up his pub to become a local success. Going on to win Spirits Pub of the Year at the Great British Pub Awards in 2013, further proved it had indeed been a worthwhile investment.
But things haven’t always been angelic, Chris recently got in touch to tell us how having the membership grade of Fellow at the BII was of invaluable help when ‘staring down the barrel of a vast insurance hike.’
Chris: “We came to our second year’s insurance renewal… It had jumped from the previous year to just under £4000! At the time there was a track record of people taking on pubs that were mysteriously catching fire in their second year, where the business wasn’t earning what was needed to survive.
The underwriters were very concerned that we would then also abuse this.
So I went back to them and asked if they could say that I’m not a new operator, and I have a Fellowship at the British Institute of Innkeeping, that I had passed the criteria for this.
They went back to the underwriting team explaining my track record, at which point I produced evidence of my membership, and they brought it back down to £900! Because I was classed as an experienced operator.
If I hadn’t been a member of the BII I would have staring down the barrel of a vast insurance hike.”
Anyone who has been a BII Member for 12 months or more can be considered for upgrading to the Fellow grade if they have also worked in the licensed trade for more than 10 years. The BII and others in the industry view this as evidence of commitment to the licensed trade and respect for the role a licensee has – not just in the pub, but in the community as a whole.