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Independent Ambulance Insurance Case Study: Phoenix Response Services Ltd.

Phoenix Response Services Ltd. has a specialised operation. Focused solely on frontline emergency services, every aspect of their business, from the ambulances to the equipment, has been honed for this purpose. 

But devoting attention to one particular service does not mean that finding the right insurance is a straightforward process. Fortunately, Phoenix Response Services was put in touch with the experienced team at One Broker Ambulance. 

To find out more about the independent ambulance service and its needs, we spoke to one of the service’s owners, Katharine Holden. 

Starting in a pandemic

Phoenix Response Services had a difficult beginning. 

“We are a newish company,” explained Katharine Holden. “We were formed at the end of 2019, but then there was the Covid debacle.” This effectively meant that the company could do very little until the pandemic began to ease at the end of 2021.

Since then, however, the company has grown. Today, there are 16 frontline ambulances and 1 response car in the fleet. These are crewed by 30 bank staff, who have backgrounds in the NHS and the private health sector. Another 34 staff, which consist of both office workers and ambulance crew, are employed full-time. 

Most of the service’s work comes from their Thame Ambulance Station, which services the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Another contract for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust will be serviced by their Rainham headquarters. 

Focused on the frontline

All energies at the services are directed towards dealing with 999 calls. This means that the service has unified their vehicles, equipment and staff training. 

“It has meant that we have been able to streamline everything,” said Katharine Holden. “Each vehicle’s layout is the same and is kitted out with identical equipment. This means that every member of staff can work from each vehicle in exactly the same way.”

Working on the frontline demands precise skills. To maintain them, Phoenix Response Services is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). “We also have a strict regime of skill maintenance for our staff so that skills, regulations and certifications are maintained,” said Katharine Holden.

Insurance challenges

Although their service provision is very focused, the service’s insurance needs were not necessarily straightforward. This led to some concerns and questions from the Phoenix team. They contacted the Independent Ambulance Association (IAA) for recommended insurance brokers, who put them in touch with One Broker Ambulance. 

“The insurance challenges are manifold!” explained Katharine Holden. “But when we were introduced to One Broker it was really good. Things we were concerned about became a lot clearer. They knew what we needed and what cover could be removed.”

For instance, our One Broker Ambulance team highlighted that while a vehicle policy would cover the ambulances and their conversions, it would not cover the vehicles’ contents. This is because these contents can be removed. The team therefore found a separate All Risks portable equipment policy to fill in this insurance gap, which means that the contents inside the ambulances are now fully protected.

After working with One Broker Ambulance, Phoenix Response Services insurance now includes Medical Malpractice Insurance, Buildings Insurance, Employers’ Liability Insurance, Public Liability cover and All Risks portable equipment cover. 

“I’ve worked in business for many years and have had many dealings with insurers. One Broker has been great. They are so straightforward and always respond. They’re clear, concise and open to discussion. It’s not a tick-box exercise with them – they are genuinely interested in you and your business,” concluded Katharine Holden.

Next year and beyond

Phoenix Response Services has clear visions for its growth over the next 5 years. “I believe that private ambulance provision is going to become more and more widespread,” said Katharine Holden. “We therefore have an expansion plan in place for next year, and for 2, 3, 4 and 5 years’ time. We don’t want to be the biggest operator, so we’re going to increase the fleet in a controlled way.”

No matter how the business develops, Phoenix Response Services can continue to rely on the One Broker Ambulance team – and their invaluable support and knowledge. 

Want to discuss your ambulance service’s insurance?

Contact the One Broker Ambulance team on 01603 218295 to find out how we can help you today.


*Independent Ambulance Association (IAA) are Introducer Appointed Representatives of One Broker (Norwich) Ltd  

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