MorganAsh started trading in mid-2004 and has just reached profitability. The company is funded by private equity and by a grant from the North West Development Agency.

At MorganAsh, a team of nurses interview life insurance applicants by telephone, a process known as ‘tele-interviewing’, which began in the USA in 1990. MorganAsh introduced the process to the UK and is now working for fourteen major life insurance companies in the UK and Ireland.

Consumers apply to insurance companies; their details are passed to MorganAsh who arranges a telephone interview in order to produce a report on the applicant’s health which is sent to the life insurer.

“We collect 70% more information than previous approaches,” explains MorganAsh’s managing director Andrew Gething. “The old form-filling method failed to collect the information at the application stage which led to disputes, and consumers not being paid at the time of claims. Our method of tele-interviewing is much fairer for the consumer and the life insurer.”

The company recruits nurses, many of whom were previously employed at NHS Direct, which has recently shut its operations in Chester and is closing other centres in the North West.

Maggie Earl, operations manager and previously from NHS Direct, commented on the recruitment of nurses: “We are hiring and training 20 nurses a month and, so far, each nurse has come by personal recommendation from our existing team. We have yet to advertise. MorganAsh systems include a virtual contact centre, where nurses operate from home as well as from Daresbury Park.”

Mike Hall MP commented: “It is great to see a young company doing so well and recruiting people in Runcorn. I am continually impressed by the hard work and creativity in the region – who would have thought a start-up in Runcorn was changing the UK insurance industry?”

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