The story starts back in 1999 when Mark Boon, then a partner at a respected regional insurance broker, realised that too many creative organisations were buying insurance policies that were the wrong shape, the wrong size and the wrong price.
A musician himself, Mark had carved out a niche insuring music and arts organisations, professional musicians and media companies. Together with colleague Matt Mullee, who worked with affluent individuals insuring high value homes, fine art, antiques and jewellery, he set up La Playa to support clients with truly specialist policies, expert advice and genuinely personal service. It started in Mark's spare room, then upgraded to his barn, moved to a beautiful farm in Cambridge's Silicon Fen, and then to the innovation hub of Cambridge Business Park – as well as London and midtown New York. All hotbeds of creativity. Our private client portfolio includes many musicians, writers, creative folk who run our client businesses - and people who just live life to the full!
Why ‘La Playa’? It’s Spanish for “The Beach”, of course – and Mark has a passion for all things Spanish (Andalucia is something of a spiritual heartland!) We started at “Silicon Fen” in Waterbeach, and our general philosophy is that life’s a beach!
La Playa is all about relationships - "people like you like us" means we work with people we respect and trust (both clients and insurers); clients self-select and bring their friends - and once they're with us, we tend to stick together. The better we know and understand you, you better we can serve you. One size doesn't fit all in insurance - a little fine tuning can make all the difference: streamlining cover where you're not really at risk, strengthening cover where you're exposed, presenting a realistic picture of the risk to the underwriters to achieve the best possible terms. And underwriters trust our in-depth understanding of our clients - they trust us to help you manage that risk well and reward us with great rates.
Anyway, we digress; pretty soon our media clients took us into technology as the digital age took hold, and we brought in experts like Matt Clark, one of the most experienced technology brokers on the International scene, to look after innovators from app developers and social media ninjas to the geniuses who bring us new medical devices like pain-free injections.
In 2010 we became concerned about sparky clients who were starting to work in the USA. They just weren't getting the specialist insurance they needed - so we decided to go with them, providing a bridge to London, the "cradle" of insurance. We opened our New York office just as the frenzy of digital media was taking off on the East Coast, a heady time of VC activity, fast-moving innovation, privacy paranoia and patent wars!
As our client base became more international, their needs became more complex. Insuring homes and businesses, art collections and boats across several territories requires some serious expertise and advice. In 2011 Mike Taylor-West joined us, bringing yacht and superyacht insurance into our Private Client offering, creating holistic wraparound insurance for international Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals and families, and raising our profile in the family office and trusts environment. Private jet insurance was an obvious next step, with aviation expert Helen Hollins coming on board. And in 2017 we launched a dedicated Fine Art practice headed by Jane Byde.
Mark is a change-junkie – so the story develops daily – watch this space! But what you'll ALWAYS get with us is great advice from a human being.
La Playa's Personal Risk Concierge service means advice you can trust - from an expert who understands you:
Independent and specialist
As an independent broker, we can advise on the best policies available - and on risk management measures including valuations, security, fire prevention and property marking - preserving the value of your property and giving you complete peace of mind. We have access to excellent terms with market-leading high net worth insurers.
In-house Wealth Management
We see insurance as integral to your financial planning - and our in-house financial advice team provides Wealth Management, Pensions and Financial Planning; a joined up approach with a team of advisers working for your best financial interests - all under one roof.
What does “Boutique Service” actually mean?
La Playa’s Personal Risk Concierge means:
1. A dedicated adviser so you can speak to the same person each time
2. Careful listening to really understand your needs and priorities
3. As much help as you need with completing forms to provide risk information
4. A discreet and complimentary appraisal* of your property to assess the risks and ensure you have the right cover where you need it
5. An independent market review market - so you don’t have to shop around comparing policies, cover limits, risks covered and smallprint exclusions
6. Careful monitoring of the insurers’ financial strength, claims and customer service
7. An independent recommendation of the best policy for you - and, importantly, why
8. Specialist policy wordings from underwriters who have demonstrated excellence and deep understanding of your risk exposures. We have analysed a wide range of policy wordings and have selected only the best for our panel. Our advisers have a deep working knowledge of these policies
9. An intelligently designed portfolio of protection across multiple asset classes and territories
10. Advice on how best to manage your risks - to keep you safe but also to keep insurance costs down
11. Expert guidance on valuations, security and risk management, and connecting you with specialist advisers and suppliers
12. Direct phone, mobile and email access to your adviser for questions and advice. We aim to respond to emails within 60 minutes
13. Policy documents emailed to you - no logins and passwords to remember
14. An advocate beside you if you make a claim - thinking laterally to mitigate the impact, making useful connections to get you back up and running; driving through to a swift and fair financial settlement
*subject to availability with our insurer panel