Why we do what we do

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Why we do what we do

Why we do what we do

Cura is a family owned business in North Yorkshire, and is owned by managing directors, Alan and Kathryn Knowles. As the years have gone on, Cura has grown in size and has put itself on the map within the protection insurance industry, quite impressive I’d say for a small office in the North of England.

Alan came into the protection insurance industry in 2005, but originally as a web programmer. It wasn’t long after that Alan ventured into becoming a protection adviser, which stemmed from his love for helping others. 

Kathryn joined the industry a few years after Alan as an administrative manager, after completing her PhD in 2010. She then went on to be a compliance officer, overseeing recommendations given by advisers.

Cura Financial Services was set up in 2013 after Alan, Kathryn and their colleagues were facing redundancy from a previous company. The owner was selling up and moving to Cyprus. With a young child and a new mortgage it was a nervous time, but they knew it was right to set up their own company and employ their colleagues.

Though Alan entered the industry first, there was a clear vision from both Alan and Kathryn. Kathryn had previously been offered insurance with special terms due to her own history of anxiety, which at the time felt like a kick in the teeth. She had completed university, had her own home, was at work full-time, about to start a family and yet all but two insurers declined her cover. She was not “normal” enough, which felt like a huge setback in her feeling that her mental health was under control.

It was from that that Alan and Kathryn decided they wanted to be able to help people, and it is now something that they both do very well.

Cura fights for access to insurance, challenging industry stereotypes of people being labelled because of their illness or medical history. When Kathryn applied for insurance she had anxiety and hypermobility syndrome, but she also has three lovely children, a PhD and two successful businesses. She has won many awards for her work, the changes she has made with the industry and her education of others to better our sector. 

An illness or medical condition doesn’t have to define a person, and with Kathryn this empowered her to fight harder, for others like her. 

Alan and Kathryn are now quite well known within the industry, with Alan being an executive of the Income Protection Task Force, Chair of the Protection Distributors Group and founding member of the Access to Insurance Working Group. They may just sound like fancy names, but each of these have their own aim, from ensuring insurers make a stand to do right by their clients, to promoting change within the sector by sitting with insurers, underwriters and charities.

Kathryn is a member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ Mental Health Working Group and a member of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association Access to Insurance (AIC) executive committee. She regularly consults for trade bodies, insurers, charities and writes for the trade press, also being featured in the national press too.

Not only this, Kathryn hosts The Practical Protection Podcast, which educates others on how protection insurance and different client circumstances can work together, and she owns Advice for Advisers Ltd. This company offers a training course that educates other advisers out there who are also able to do right by their clients. She personally delivers this training that runs through the basic and technical aspects of personal, business and group protection as well as things such as vulnerability training and the underwriting process for different health conditions.

Alan and Kathryn do great things within the industry and have both won many awards, but this hasn’t distracted them from doing what they set out to do, to help people who maybe aren’t as fortunate when it comes to finding protection insurance. As well as working within the industry to improve things for all, they never stop doing what means the most to them, giving hands on advice to people that need their help.

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