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Company History


Company History

Everyone loves a success story.
Me included.

Did you know?

For nearly 30 years we have specialised in providing specially designed motorcycle insurance policies and today the owners of hundreds of thousands of modern, classic, custom, vintage and off road motorcycles choose Carole Nash to protect their precious machines.

In the beginning…

Our story begins in mid-80s suburban Manchester, in Timperley, home of cartoon-headed comic creation Frank Sidebottom and level-headed would-be entrepreneur, Carole Nash. In 1985 Carole was employed at insurer Sentry’s Manchester office where she administered a specialist insurance scheme for the Vintage Motor Cycle Club. When Sentry decided to close the office and make Carole redundant, she asked if she could take the VMCC scheme with her, a business move that proved to be particularly astute.

She invested her redundancy settlement in the fledgling business which began life in her family home, before moving to an office suite in Timperley and, in the mid-90s, our current headquarters up the road in Altrincham.

For the first decade or so Carole Nash Insurance Consultants focused on vintage and classic motorcycle insurance and by 1995 we were serving around 85,000 enthusiasts. Our approach then, as now, was very much focused on meeting with bikers and investing in grassroots biking, with our brand becoming familiar on the show circuit.

Modern moves

By 1997 we had extended our service to embrace modern motorcycle insurance, bringing more competition and our “added value” policy model to the market. This prompted swift growth as motorcyclists welcomed not just our biking expertise and understanding, but policies that included benefits as standard such as breakdown assistance and a European cover. Come 1999 and we had 100,000 UK policyholders and, at the invitation of Irish bikers, had opened for business in Ireland. The latter saw a leather-clad Ronan Keating rolling upon his Harley (a custom Springer Softail since you ask) to open our inaugural Dublin office, whilst the chair of the Irish Motorcycle Action Group’s declared our arrival was “the best thing to happen to Irish motorcycling in 25 years.”

As the new millennium dawned we hit the fast lane of the “Internet superhighway” (how quaint that phrase now seems!) and go live with insidebikes, a pioneering e-zine featuring biking news, views, reviews, routes to ride and more. Launch contributors include top biking journos such as Roland Brown and Jim Reynolds.

Meanwhile our growing stature was further confirmed when Ride magazine published its RiDER Power survey in 2001. Having polled thousands of bikers it revealed Carole Nash to be the UK’s favourite bike insurance broker of choice by bikers. In just 16 years we’d hit the top spot!

Meanwhile as we grew as a company so did our reputation for bringing the most exciting bikes to our stand at the NEC’s International Motorcycle Show (now Motorcycle Live) and other biking events. In the first of a series of major coups 1998 saw us hosting an collection of Arlen Ness motorcycles, including the worldwide exhibition debut of the world renowned Harley customiser’s Sleekness. Since then our stands have been graced by some of the most beautiful custom, classic and concept bikes brought from the workshops of Destiny Cycles, Hawg Haven, Lamb Engineering, Allen Millyard and many more.

We’ve also long championed amateur engineering skills. In 2007 we launched Britain’s Got Biking Talent in conjunction with MotorCycle News. In its debut year the contest attracted over 1,500 entries and saw 45,000 votes cast in our quest to find the nation’s most beautiful bikes. The competition swiftly established itself in the biking calendar, continuing under the moniker of Built In Britain to reflect the inclusion of a Pro-Builder category.

Staying in the fast lane

In 2006, now under the corporate umbrella of French mutual Groupama’s UK arm, we became the first major bike insurance specialist to provide a dedicated off road and quad policy, following that in 2009 was the launch - by biking convert Darren Gough - of our pioneering Six Wheel policy which lets you insure your bike(s) and car on the same cost-saving policy. In the same year our Dublin office celebrated its 10th anniversary by claiming market leadership with an estimated 50% share.

Back in the UK, following a successful pilot scheme the previous year, 2012 saw us again break new ground with the launch of Carole Nash DNA+. A sophisticated forensic coding system designed as a  theft deterrent, this combines DNA and microdot technologies to create a unique identity for a bike and its component parts. The system includes incorporation of that identity on a database easily accessible by the police. An immediate success it is later rolled out in Ireland.

2012 also saw the launch of our Cherished Cars division which is dedicated to providing insurance for classic and performance cars, motorhomes, military vehicles and campervans. It promptly shakes up a rather staid market with a clever new smartphone app - dubbed Pride & Joy - the first to enable the direct uploading of pictures and details for agreed value evaluation.

More innovation followed as 2013 witnessed a major revamp of our classic bike insurance policies. In came a Future Classic scheme which gave bikes as young as ten years access to classic rates – at launch we point out this might save the owner of a 1000cc 2003 Fireblade as much as 55% on their premium. Other benefits include the introduction of £50 and zero excess for our Classic and Vintage policies.

To be continued...