This week our parent company J Bennett & Son, was listed in the Insurance Age’s Top 100 Insurance Brokers in the UK. This is a fantastic reflection of the growth of the business, commitment to continual professionalism and embodying the highest standards of client service and care. We are proud that Mathews Comfort, with over 160 years of history protecting business around Oxford and beyond significantly contributed to this milestone.

Traditionally the stronghold of large London based national and international brokerages, breaking into the top 100 list has always been an ambition of our group. What makes this achievement more profound is that it demonstrates that a can business and grow and prosper without neglecting the core principles that underpin its success, even with the challenges of working through Covid restrictions. For us, that is putting our clients first – always, and having staff doing whatever it takes.

Many of the companies within the top 100 are large national and international corporate brokers with multiple office locations, call centres and large staff numbers. That is not who we are. We have two regional offices, account executives with longstanding client relationships and a drive to balance client needs with the very best in service and solutions.

To all of our clients, old and new, thank you for supporting our business, and whilst we are proud of the recognition garnered from entering the top 100 list, it doesn’t detract from what we do best – protecting our clients.


Our latest customer newsletter is available for download.

This seasons Covernotes focuses on the following topics:

• What does the Supreme Court Ruling mean for Business Interruption Policyholders?
• Overseas Trade: what to consider in 2021
• Insurance claims: is it time to get an expert in your corner?
• Product Liability Risks in the Fight Against COVID-19
• Preventing Process invalidating your Construction Risk requirements

Click here to download our latest Newsletter.


Coronavirus update for our office and clients

Aside from the many problems the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought, we want to reassure you that we have activated our business continuity plan to ensure we can continue to operate effectively should a number of our employees become ill, or need to self-isolate due to the virus.

This is a unique situation and is continually changing. We are taking all pragmatic and sensible steps to ensure that we are well prepared and well positioned to minimise the potential impact on the welfare of our people, while continuing to deliver on our service commitments to our business partners and customers.

We have been liaising with all our insurers and suppliers to ensure we are prepared for any future changes in guidance and we remain in constant dialogue regarding plans. Our service to you remains our priority.

We have home working enabled for all staff.

Our phone system is cloud based so you will still be able to seamlessly contact the member of staff you usually deal with on our usual numbers.

We are encouraging all staff to follow the NHS general good practice guidance to prevent the spread of virus. In addition, we have also taken extra measures to protect our employees and reduce risk of exposure in the workplace and have implemented guidelines around hygiene and provision of additional antibacterial gels and hand washes.

We are also advising employees to have minimal physical contact, avoid business travel and client facing meetings unless deemed absolutely essential.

We will not attending large group events until the full implications of the virus are established.

We have issued specific guidance to our employees from Public Health England for travellers returning back to the United Kingdom from affected areas.

If you need us please call or email in the normal way.

If you would like to discuss your cover or need to find out more, talk to us today by calling 01865 208000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Helpful resouces:

World Health Organisation


UK Government website

NHS website


Covid-19 Coronavirus update 

This is an attempt to clarify in a general sense the position on insurance, as we see it, at the beginning of March.  The government claim to have made it easier to recover costs under insurance policies by declaring the infection to be a “notifiable disease”, which is possibly a bit of buck passing.

There are two main areas of concern being interruption to business operations and travel problems


Business Insurance

The problem will be from business closures and or absence of staff.  Business interruption cover will usually provide an extension of cover in respect of disease, but unless your policy wording is very old, when it may include all notifiable diseases, more modern cover will only be in respect of specified diseases. These are generally listed as;

acute encephalitis, acute poliomyelitis, anthrax, chicken pox, cholera, diphtheria, dysentery, legionellosis, legionnaires disease, leprosy, leptospirosis, malaria, measles, meningococcal infection, mumps, opthalmia neonatorum, paratyphoid fever, plague, rabies, rubella, scarlet fever,  smallpox, tetanus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, viral hepatitis, whooping cough and yellow fever.

As the current illness is described as a type of flu it is not included in the specified illness cover and it seems unlikely that it will be in future.

Travel Insurance

Where travel is cancelled as the airline cancels the flight, the costs for the flights will be refundable by the airline and any other lost deposits would generally be picked up by the travel policy. If you, a travelling companion, close business partner or relative become ill, again cancellation would be covered. 

If the Foreign Office or WHO (World Health Organisation) prohibit travel, again costs you have incurred would normally be covered.

Other than those situations there is no cover, but insurers are being sympathetic. We have a case where an elderly couple were going to Italy but cancelled as their hotel was very close to an infected area.  Whilst not strictly covered, the insurer dealt with the cancellation claim as they said this was a lot less than the costs they could have incurred if the clients had travelled and then became ill.  This is a one off and all cases would be considered on their merits.

Looking Ahead

Although we hope this illness does not become a pandemic, and a vaccine can soon be found, we do feel that the media has whipped up a bit of a storm over this.  At the time of writing the new coronavirus has unfortunately led to more than 89,000 illnesses and 3,000 deaths worldwide. However, to put this in perspective, WHO says an estimated 5,000,000 people contract flu annually, with as many as 650,000 dying. This is around 75,000 deaths between 22nd February and 4th March, compared with 3,310 people dying from Covid-19 in the same period.

Should we be looking at the news and social media, or possibly paying more attention to Corporal Jones?

If you would like to discuss your cover or need to find out more, talk to us today by calling 01865 208000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Helpful resouces:

World Health Organisation


UK Government website

NHS website


Our Winter Covernotes is now available to download.

This edition focuses on the following topics:

New Policy Addresses Indirect Terrorism-Loss
Planning a Refurbishment? Understand Your CDM Duties
Keep Your Fleet’s Medical Reporting Duties Top of Mind
Get Your Business Continuity Plan Winter-Ready
Why #MeToo Compliance is Vital in the Workplace
Elves Need Protection Too!

Please click here to view the newsletter in a PDF Format.


At Mathews Comfort we had the great opportunity of sponsoring Oxford Preservation Trust Awards 2019.

Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT) was established almost a century ago to preserve the best of the old, to encourage the best of the new, and educate people about the city of Oxford and its surrounding.

In their 42nd year the competition saw a record number of entries with 56 competitors, resulting in awarding eleven plaques and nine certificates. Whilst the Awards are an important part of seeking to recognise the finest new buildings and preserving older structures in Oxford. This year saw a new category acknowledging temporary installations or events that help bring the city’s past life alive.

Our very own Director, Russell Thynne was in attendance at the event and said “yet again it is a pleasure to work with Oxford Preservation Trust to encourage and celebrate the positive contribution of good design.”

Here is the full list of winners.

Plaques Awards

Large Building Conservation:

· Brackenbury Building Façade, Balliol College Stone Cleaning, Broad Street

· Restoration and Refurbishment of Keble College Dining Hall

Small Building Conservation:

· Conservation of Danby Arch, Oxford Botanic Garden

New Building:

· Beecroft Building, Science Area

· St John’s College Library and Study Centre

· Science Oxford Centre & Wood Centre for Innovation, Stansfeld Park

· Dora Carr Close, Northway

Small Projects:

· Blenheim Estate Office

· Clore Music Studios, New College

· Landscape and Public Realm:

· The Grates Medieval Wall, Cowley

· Thames Towpath Improvements

Temporary Projects- Winner:

· Victorian Light Night – Victorian Speed of Life’, TORCH, University of Oxford

Certificates went to:

· The Plough at 38, Cornmarket

· All Saints Church, Wytham

· Stained Glass conservation in Balliol College Chapel

· Boxers Statue Restoration, Magdalen College

· Access works and Refurbishment of the Music House at St. Catherine’s College

· Kimber Wing, New College; 42-43 Park End Street

· Roof Terrace ‘Pavement in the Sky’ Westgate.


You can find out more about the Oxford Preservation Trust and their awards here.



It is with much sadness that we must announce the death of our former colleague & Director, Maurice Slaymaker who passed away after his long fight with cancer on 18th September at the age of only 72.

Maurice joined the firm in 1968 from the General Accident Insurance Company in Oxford and quickly became an integral & vital part of our commercial team, finally retiring in 2007 after 39 years’ loyal service.  He was an inspiration to his staff as well as a very well-beloved & respected Insurance Broker.  Maurice had a passion for racing road bikes as well as a love for travel, motoring and music.

Our sincere condolences go to his son Chris, to all the family and grandchildren together with our heartfelt thanks for his contribution to our business.


The Role

SME Commercial Account Handler

This is a full-time role and you need to have at least 3 years within the insurance industry and experience within an insurance brokers office.

The Company

Mathews Comfort is a well-established, independent insurance broker based in the very heart of Oxford. Following a growth in our business a new role has arisen for a bright and enthusiastic individual to join our team.

The Benefits

We are offering an attractive package including £25,000 per annum, life insurance, pension scheme and 21 days holiday (plus bank holidays).

The Person

It is essential that you are an excellent communicator on the phone, in writing and in person with a customer service focus. You have the ability to work to strict deadlines and have excellent attention to detail. You need to be well organised, good at problem solving and a good team player.

You must have a working knowledge of the Microsoft suite of products including Word, Outlook, Explorer and Excel and are educated to GSCE level. (Must have Maths and English Grade C or above.)

Desired Criteria

It is key that you are a bright and enthusiastic individual.  Knowledge of the Acturis insurance broking software package would be helpful along with CII insurance qualifications. Experience within an insurance brokers office would be ideal and knowledge of other general insurance products and handling of claims.

The Process

If you would like to apply please contact Heather Barnard on 01494 455800 or send your CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



Cyber insurance policies tend to be modular in nature, meaning that they consist of a variety of different coverage areas and, for many, that has led to confusion around exactly how this cover fits together to create a uniform whole.

To help explain this further, we’ve dissected a cyber policy section by section to show how each part functions.

Most cyber policies can be divided into two areas of cover – first party and third party.

The first party is you, so this cover is for your own financial loss arising from a cyber event, which is defined as any actual or suspected unauthorised system access, electronic attack, privacy breach, or system downtime. It’s important to note that the vast majority of cyber claims stem from first party losses.

The third party section covers you for claims made against you arising from a cyber event.
Within the context of a cyber insurance policy, cybercrime usually refers to attacks that involve theft of funds from the victim as opposed to theft of data or other digital assets. This usually happens in one of three ways:

1. Extortion, where hackers threaten to expose or destroy data that they have already compromised in order to extort money

2. Electronic compromise, where attackers manage to hack into your network and gain access to online accounting or banking platforms

3. Social engineering, where attackers imitate a senior member of staff, or one of your customers or suppliers

You should look for a policy that covers the full range of cyber crime types, from funds transfer fraud and ransomware to targeted extortion and emerging forms of malware such as cryptojacking, where your IT system is used to mine cryptocurrency, or botnetting where your systems are used to send malicious traffic.

You will need to check that your systems and procedures are robust as it may be a condition of the policy that you must have some levels of security in place, such as call-back procedures on money transfer requests.

A quick recovery from a cyber event is key, which is why incident response is at the heart of any good cyber policy. This section of cover will generally pick up all the costs involved in responding to a cyber incident in real time, including IT security and specialist forensic support, legal advice in relation to breaches of data security, and the costs associated with having to notify any individuals that have had their data stolen. One of the most important aspects of a cyber policy is that it provides speedy access to the right specialists as well as paying for their service.

What really gives a cyber policy value is a strong system damage and business interruption section. Helping to keep your business up and running, this crucial section covers the costs for data and applications to be repaired, restored or recreated in the event that computer systems are damaged as a result of a cyber event. It also reimburses the loss of profits and increased cost of working as a result of interruption to business operations caused by a cyber event or prolonged system downtime.

Lawsuits and fines could destroy your business, which is why network security and privacy liability is another important part of a cyber policy. This section covers third party claims arising out of a cyber event, be it transmission of harmful malware to a third party’s systems or failing to prevent an individual’s data from being breached. It is worth noting that fines for a breach of certain sections of GDPR are up to 4% of turnover, with a limit of twenty million Euros.

An (often optional) section that should not be overlooked if you have a website and use email, is media liability. This covers third party claims made against you arising out of defamation or infringement of intellectual property rights.

We are here to help you to source the most appropriate cyber cover to meet your exact requirements.

Call us on 01865 292929 or get in touch via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more about how we can help you with all of your cyber insurance needs.


When you provide information or complete a proposal form for business insurance, you must ensure the details you give are complete and accurate. This is called ‘disclosing’ and making a ‘fair presentation’ of the risks involved and is required by law as your duty. It may compromise your cover if you fail to do so.

In August 2016, a new law was introduced, known as the Insurance Act 2015. Its objective was to make information about risk more transparent to the insurance company, so that appropriate cover could be provided, with the onus on the policyholder to give clear, accurate, accessible information.

What information do I need to provide?
Under the terms of the new Act, you need to provide all relevant facts, information and circumstances when arranging insurance. This enables the insurer to make a fair judgment about the level of risk, premium required and terms of the policy, and whether they are prepared to accept the risk. It’s referred to as information your senior management ‘ought to know’, which is readily available to anyone carrying out a search into your company.

What if I fail to disclose information?
If you fail to provide accurate information it could invalidate the terms of your policy, rendering you underinsured or without cover.

What if I need to make changes?
If you need to make changes to your policy or at renewal, it is still your duty to provide the relevant information about the risks involved.

How do I know what to disclose? 
That’s where we can help. As your broker, Mathews Comfort can advise, ensuring you provide the appropriate information and are fully covered should you need to make a claim. To learn more about disclosure and presentation of risk, call us on 01865 292929 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(Note: Contains Duty of Disclosure and Fair Presentation download document)


Traditional PUBLIC AND PRODUCTS liability policies are increasingly including cover for financial loss as an extension, but what does it mean, do you need it and, if so are you adequately covered?

If a business suffers financial loss as a resulting FROM the actions of you OR YOUR business, they could file a claim against you, even if they don’t SUFFER PHYSICAL incur injury or damage. Such a claim could easily run into tens of thousands of pounds, which is why you may need cover for financial loss.

For example, a flooring contractor lays a floor that isn’t fit for purpose and the floor has to be re-laid, causing the delivery of a new machine to be delayed. The client faces additional costs for storage and transportation of the machine and claims against the contractor for financial loss. This would be covered by the contractor’s financial loss insurance policy.

Does your liability policy include financial loss? Some traditional liability policies include cover for financial loss, while others don’t or have restrictions in place that limit cover. Here’s a brief guide as to how the mainstream liability policies differ.



Take professional advice This is a very brief overview to what is widely accepted as a complex area, calling for professional guidance. As your broker, it’s our job to assess your exposure to financial loss and ensure you have the necessary cover in place. To discuss further, please call us on 01865 292929 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


FINANCIAL LOSS. What is it, and when is it covered? A report from a Working Party of the IUA’s Liability Underwriters’ Group in association with RPC. Available as pdf download at:


Most people would agree that those convicted of drink or drug-driving offences should be excluded from insurance cover as a deterrent. But do the same exclusions apply to those driving under the legal limit for alcohol or taking prescription drugs?

Some years ago, insurers Zurich and Allianz introduced policy wording that excluded anyone under the influence of drink and drugs - including drivers with minimal alcohol or prescription drugs in their system, thereby potentially invalidating their insurance. The Association of Chief Police Offers clarified that ‘under the influence’ meant being ‘over the legal limit’ and insurers quickly realised the exclusion was having unintended consequences and removed it entirely.

Today, if you are involved in an accident and have consumed alcohol, but are ‘under the limit’, your insurer will generally provide cover. If you are ‘over the limit’, there will be consequences, in terms of penalty points, convictions, fines, disqualification and difficulty in getting future insurance cover.

Significant exclusions
A section in your motor policy entitled ‘Significant exclusions and limitations’ includes the phrase: ‘Injury resulting from you driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to a level which would be an offence in the country where the accident occurs’. Basically, this means your insurer will not pay any more than their legal liability if you are driving under the influence or convicted of drink /drug-driving. Under the Road Traffic Act, this means they will pay out for a third party claim, but not for your vehicle or injury to yourself if you are ‘over the limit’.

Passenger cover
As a passenger involved in an accident the insurance company may exclude passenger claims if they can prove you were new the driver was drunk.

The impact on your premiums if you have a conviction
A conviction for drunk/drug-driving will impact your insurance premium and some insurers may refuse to insure you. Legally, you must inform your insurer of your conviction for a minimum period of five years. (Some convictions can last for up to eleven years.) Steps you can take to lower an excessively high premium include going on a Drink Driving Rehabilitation Scheme, opting for ‘black box’ telematics insurance, restricting your mileage, improving security or downgrading your car.

As your broker, Mathews Comfort will look at your existing policy and advise on any exclusions in place. Likewise, if you have a conviction pending, we can advise you on your options. Please call us today on 01865 292929 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Geoffrey Miller Solicitors: Insurance Exclusions – When can my insurance be void?
Insurer confusion over drinking and driving, BBC News
Drink/drug driving conviction insurance help


We are on the look out for great talent. If you are interested in joining our team then send us your CV.

Account Executive

Mathews Comfort Insurance is a busy independent Commercial Insurance Broker based in the heart of Oxford City Centre. We are a well – established and expanding business and now are looking for a strong commercial broker to join our team.

The Role

Your role will be focussed around commercial business development and the generation of new business. This will include marketing to prospects, making appointments and visiting potential clients. You will be responsible for maintaining your portfolio of clients including providing quotes, retaining renewals and servicing your clients during the year. 

The Company

We are based in Oxford (City centre) and there will be a need to make the occasional visit to our High Wycombe office. We pride ourselves on our high business retention rate and happy relationships we have with have our clients. With a strong heritage that spans 165 years we have a reputation for delivering the highest levels of service and proven expertise in managing risk.

 The Benefits

An attractive package and negotiable salary which is availalbe on application depending on your experience and qualifications. Holiday – 24 days (plus bank holidays).

The Person

It is essential that you have Commercial Insurance experience, stand out communication and interpersonal skills. Excellent attention to detail and the ability to work to strict deadlines are a given.  Ideally you will have a good knowledge of Microsoft Office and Acturis and be ACII qualified.

The Process

If you would like to apply please send your CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



Please click here to download as a PDF.


Businesses today feel more threatened by business interruption than any other risk, according to Allianz’ Risk Barometer 2018, but traditional business interruption insurance is no longer providing sufficient protection, with companies increasingly adding to it with non-damage business interruption (NDBI) cover.

To explain… Standard business interruption insurance offers protection if your business is disrupted by a direct cause, such as fire, flood, storm or terrorist act, causing damage to property. However, as the world becomes increasingly interconnected, a growing range of indirect perils is emerging that don’t inflict physical damage but have the potential to significantly disrupt your business operations.

Typical events over the last ten years that have caused significant disruption include:

> Cyber attack and technology failure, such as the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks in 2017
> Terrorist attack or shootings, such as those seen in London
> Damage at your supplier or customer premises

In this day and age, the resiliency of your business depends on how you manage disruption, whether the source is direct or indirect. NDBI insurance is designed to protect earnings and revenue even when there is no physical damage.

Here at Mathews Comfort, we can assess the current and emerging risks to which you are exposed and devise a solution that ensures you are fully protected, filling in the gaps that aren’t covered by traditional business interruption policies.

If you would like to find out more, or talk to us today call 01865 208000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


NDBI: the missing piece of your business interruption insurance?
Providing business interruption protection
Business Interruption: Looking Beyond the Physical ,


As proud sponsors of the Oxford Preservation Awards 2019 we are pleased to announce entries are now open.

In their 42nd year the OPT Awards recognise projects in and around Oxford that make a contribution to the city’s built and natural environment and celebrate good design and conservation.

This year’s categories are:

1          Building Conservation.

2          New Buildings.

3          Small Projects.

4          Landscape & Public Realm (includes Nature Conservation).

5          Temporary projects (which have contributed to the enjoyment of our streets and places).

Closing date for entries this year is Friday 24th May 2019 with the winners being announced at the awards evening on 5th November 2019 at St Johns College.

Anyone is able to nominate a project and the judging panel is made up of range of people with a wide range of skills and local knowledge of Oxford.

Russell Thynne, Managing Director of Mathews Comfort Insurance Broker said “Oxford is known throughout the world for its magnificent architecture, we are privileged to support the outstanding work of the Oxford Preservation Trust who promote preservation and modern design, protecting Oxford’s heritage.

Last year’s winners of the prestigious OPT plaque was the Cleric and Sinclair Building at Oxford Brookes University who won in the Large Building Conservation category. Chris Blackburn said back in Nov 2018 “We are proud of the transformation that this refurbishment has had on our campus estate, and the positive impact it has had on our students’ learning experiences and research activities. But the award from the Oxford Preservation Trust also demonstrates the significance of this project for the city and people of Oxford.

Debbie Dance, OPT Director since 1999 said: “This project is such a good demonstration of what the awards are all about.”

If you would like to get involved or enter click here to submit your entry or to read more about the Oxford Preservation Trust.


The cost of under insuring

Take the case of a business that has insured its premises for £800,000. When the building is damaged by fire, it is calculated during the claim process that the rebuild cost is actually £1,000,000. Based on this the client has only paid a premium for 80% of the risk so using an ‘average’ clause in the contract, the insured will only be covered for 80% of the repairs leaving the business with a large shortfall. The slight increase in the cost of the policy to ensure adequate cover was in place would have been a small price to pay, compared to the amount now required. Such scenarios are all too common, with the amount initially saved on the premium never equating to the consequences of a major loss.

So what can a business do to make sure the sum insured reflects reality?

There are a number of basic tips to follow:

1. Ignore the market value of the building
    Base your cover on how much it would cost to rebuild the property and clear debris from the site.

2. Keep up to date with the value of property and possessions
    Ensure you are insured for the replacement cost of items and not your net book value. If you purchase new equipment or you know the property value has gone up,
    revisit your policy to ensure it covers the increased value.

3. Monitor any stock fluctuations
    If your stock level fluctuates at different times of the year, such as Christmas, it could cause an upward spike in the required sum insure or introduce additional hazards.

Business interruption shouldn’t be forgotten

Business interruption is another key area that is often uninsured. If your building is destroyed and needs to be rebuilt, it may take longer than you think to return to business as usual, and you may need temporary premises during the rebuild. What happens if you have cover in place for 12 months, but it actually takes 3 years? Factors such as site clearance, use of cranes, availability of building contractor, inspections, unforeseen issues and re- stocking can all cause delays, which is why it’s essential to have the appropriate level of business interruption insurance in place.

Finally, you should also consider new and emerging risks, such as IT and connectivity failure, currency fluctuations and cyber attack. All could have a devastating effect on your business, which appropriate insurance could help to mitigate.

As your broker, it’s our job to assess your exposures and create a fair presentation of risk. With many years’ experience arranging business cover for SME’s and a full awareness of new and emerging risks, Mathews Comfort can ensure the policy we arrange adequately covers the value of your business. To find out more, talk to us today by calling 01865 208000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Reports of large scale cyber attacks are prevalent and regularly make mainstream news, such as the attack on the Marriott Hotel group in September 2018, compromising the personal data of up to 500 million guests, or the data breach at British Airways in August 2018, in which hackers infiltrated around 380,000 transactions, giving them access to customers’ personal and financial details.

The reality for small businesses is that it’s not just large scale attacks which are on the increase. Cyber crime is growing at a phenomenal rate, with attacks becoming increasingly commonplace and affecting more small businesses than ever before.

According to a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses, the UK’s 5.4 million small businesses are collectively attacked more than seven million times a year. In the years 2014 and 2015, this cost the UK economy over £5.26 billion.

With these facts as a backdrop and plenty of evidence to show that businesses are being targeted every day, it’s surprising to find that some business people still believe they are safe from attack. They could not be more wrong. Passwords and usernames can easily be stolen and systems breached or hacked. Employees can easily download a virus or malware into the entire business network, simply by clicking on an email attachment.

In the case of an optician, an employee clicked a link giving details of an alleged speeding offence, inadvertently triggering an email from Russia, advising that Cryptolocker had infected all their business systems and demanding a Bitcoin ransom to receive a decryption key.

The resulting downtime, business interruption and potential loss of data is bad enough, but what about the threat of reputational damage? The Small Business Reputation and Cyber Risk Report, launched in February 2016 by the Government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign and KPMG, revealed that 83% of consumers surveyed expressed concern about which businesses had access to their data and whether it was safe, and over half said that a cyber breach would discourage them from using a business in the future.

There is also the matter of recovery after an attack. The same report revealed that one in four companies surveyed who had experienced a breach had been unable to grow in line with previous expectations and nearly a third took over six months to get back on track. Fortunately, the aforementioned optician had taken out business interruption insurance, which covered the cost of not being able to trade for a few days and getting the business back up to speed over the following weeks.

Given the prevalence and widespread nature of cyber crime, Mathews Comfort believes all businesses should now be looking at cyber insurance on the same level of importance as motor or employers’ liability insurance. In the current climate, it’s not simply a good idea, but a necessity, particularly as traditional insurance policies may not respond to losses involving IT.

By utilising the latest security information and assessing your company’s exposure to cyber attack, we can tailor a cyber policy to meet your specific requirements. This can include such covers as cyber terrorism and extortion, loss of revenue, costs of containing a breach and public relations expenses to limit reputation impact. It can also include multimedia liability, intellectual property infringement, expenses to notify victims and third party & employee privacy liability for damages and claims.

In an uncertain world, cyber insurance helps to provide a level of certainty, giving you the peace of mind that your business is protected against malicious attack and the ensuing fall out. Our advice is don’t be complacent and don't wait till you’re under attack. Talk to us today about putting protection in place. Call 01865 20800 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.


Please click here to download as a PDF.


Oxford Open Doors is an annual celebration of Oxford across all walks of life, it’s places and people. Organised by the charity Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT) in partnership with the University of Oxford free to everyone over the weekend of 8th – 9th September 2018. They are running a full programme of events including; discovering Tolkein at the Western Library, visiting the former home of C.S Lewis at “The Kilns” and celebrating women in science at the Museum of the History of Science. The list is endless. You can download the weekend’s events by clicking here

With over a hundred historical buildings being open to the public, the Radcliffe Observatory will be a highlight along with an old favourite, the Oxford Castle & Prison. For the first time you can visit the Painted Room at 3 Cornmarket, a hidden gem with Elizabethan wall paintings, previously the Crown Tavern where Shakespeare stayed and at one time Sir John Betjeman’s office.

If you are member of the Oxford Preservation Trust there is a full programme of events running throughout the week preceding the big weekend. The full list is available online. Click here to download the brochure or to find out more about becoming a member you can click here.

In it’s eleventh year the Oxford Open Doors event goes from strength to strength and Mathews Comfort Insurance Brokers is very proud to be a supporter. This year for the first time Oxford Open Doors will be offering internet users and local residents live streaming. Online viewers will be able to experience elements of the weekend from the comfort of their electronic device for free with select tours and lectures set to be captured and livestreamed directly via their website.

To watch their live streaming click here.


Please click here to download as a PDF.


Please click here to download as a PDF.


On December 18th 2017, J Bennett & Son acquired Mathews Comfort Insurance.

J Bennett & Son was established in 1908 and is one of the largest independent insurance brokers in the South of England.

We are delighted to be working alongside a company that shares the same values and principles as us. Our shared approach is placing customers at the heart of the business, valuing each one and their requirements. It is this mutual attitude that “perfectly complements our strategic vision for the future”, says Peter Sutcliffe, J Bennett and Son Managing Director.

Peter Bird, Chairman of Mathews Comfort has said, "this is an exciting time and secures Mathews Comfort as an independent broker for the future and is a ringing endorsement of our strong team for all their hard work. For our clients, it will be business as usual with us continuing to provide them with a professional, expert service."

Together, we are embracing this change and will continue to offer a high level of customer service, exceptional policy coverage, relevant advice, and the latest products available on the market.


Please click here to download as a PDF.


The final leg of the Great Mathews Comfort Bake off competition was held in October.


Three further fine efforts are shown below, with Russell working with Chocolate, Jo working with icing and George showing his darker side, with Halloween as a theme. We can confirm that once again they looked excellent and tasted even better. This was all done to raise money for our Corporate charity SSNAP.

Now that the competition is complete, we will shortly be asking you to vote for the very best looking cake. Further details of that will follow in due course.


The Great Mathews Comfort bake off competition of 2017 continued in July with three more fine efforts. These included an excellent two tiered effort from Barbara Wagerfield and a superb Mathews Comfort themed cake from our Director, Dan Weston.

Whilst admired for their excellent looks, people were even more impressed with how they tasted.

It was all done to raise money for SSNAP and this is the second of three Bake Off competitions we will be having throughout 2017, before we finally ask you to vote for the best looking cake. Watch out for more news on that later in the year.


Please click here to download as a PDF.


Last month, we had our first charity bake off of 2017 when we encouraged some of the staff to don their baking hats and produce some cakes. As you can see, the results were very good indeed and we can confirm they tasted as good as they looked.

It was all done to raise money for SSNAP and this is the first of three Bake Off competitions we will be having throughout 2017, before we finally ask you to vote for the best looking cake. Watch out for more news on that later in the year.

The Great Mathews Comfort Bake Off

Finally, can we say ‘well done’ to all those who participated and also to those who dipped their hands into their purses and wallets to support such a great charity.


Please click here to download as a PDF.


Our brand new and modern website has been designed to look stylish with fast and easy navigation whether you are browsing on desktop, tablet or smartphone device.

The website is primarily split into insurance and financial services to help our clients find the information that they require quickly. We have also included a new media centre section where you can find useful documents, case studies, latest news from us and the industry and links to our client portals.

Should you look around the site and have a question for the team, please navigate to the contact tab at the top of the site. Here you can fill out our contact form and a member of the team will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Take a look around the site, you will find plenty of information about who we are, the services we offer, the sectors we work with and how Mathews Comfort can help you.


We were delighted to be acknowledged for our on going commitment to the Apprenticeship Programme by our Insurance Network at the recent ‘Live’ Conference.

Our Apprenticeship Programme, which was first established in the 1990s, goes from strength to strength and attracts high calibre young people to both the company and the industry. Evidence of our programme’s success lies in the fact that two of our early apprentices, Daniel Weston and Russell Thynne are now both directors of the company.

In recent years, the scheme has grown in importance and today is actively supported by the Government as a means of attracting young people to the industry. During the two-year programme, apprentices attend college and study for an NVQ in Business Administration, as well as working in the office and gaining invaluable ‘on the job’ experience in such areas as day-to-day administration, simple valuations, contacting providers, processing applications and keeping clients informed.

Committed to the programme, we continue to employ apprentices and can boast a number of success stories, with candidates qualifying in both financial services and general insurance. Very much part of the team while studying, candidates are encouraged to continue their studies and career progression within the industry once qualified.

We were delighted that Willis Towers Watson Networks officially recognised the success of the programme at the recent conference.

To find out more about our Apprenticeship Programme, please click here.


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The first premium bond was sold on 1st November 1956, with £5 million worth of premium bonds sold on the first day alone. There are now 21 million people holding more than £63 billion in premium bonds, proving that they are still a popular form of investment. The first draw was held on 1st June 1957 for a top prize of £1,000. In the intervening six decades, £17 billion has been handed out in the form of 355 million prizes using updated versions of the original electronic random number indicating equipment (that’s ERNIE to you and me).

With premium bonds celebrating their 60th birthday in November, it’s a great opportunity to look at just how good an investment opportunity they are to add to your portfolio. Whilst they remain popular and now offer two jackpots a month of £1 million each, they are essentially a lottery rather than a viable investment opportunity.

For every £1 you invest, you receive one unique bond number, which gives you one entry into the draw to win a tax-free cash prize. You won’t earn any interest on your premium bonds either, as all the interest accrued is used to fund the prizes. The odds of winning £25 for each bond number is 26,000 to one, with the odds of winning the £1 million jackpot rising to 26 million to one. All of which means that only those lucky few who win one of the bigger prizes will receive a return which beats inflation, so if you’re after a guaranteed return, premium bonds are not the savings product for you.

However, there are some benefits to putting your money into premium bonds. As a National Savings & Investment product, all the money invested is backed by the treasury. This means that your cash is protected in full as opposed to the security offered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme which banks offer. Cashing in your bonds can be done easily either by post, phone or email, and there are no charges for doing so.


Please click here to download as a PDF.


The trouble with banks is that some of the home insurance policies (often called Buildings and Contents Insurance) that they recommend may not offer such good value for money. This was drawn to our attention by a client of ours who approached us after receiving his renewal notice from his bank, who had always arranged his Home Insurance.

For the purpose of this example, we will call our client Mr B.

Mr B is retired and had recently been quoted nearly £320 as an annual premium for his Home Insurance cover. He simply asked us if we felt this was good value and could we do any better for him.

We put it into the computer system we use, which looks at many different policies, to try and find something that not only gave him a lower premium, but also offered him benefits that were more suitable to his circumstances. We have to admit that even we were surprised at the outcome.

Mr B had been quoted £319.51 by his bank for £500,000 of buildings cover and £50,000 worth of contents cover. Mr B was covered for accidental damage cover on his contents but not his buildings. We also noted that this policy didn’t cover any loss or damage to his personal possessions away from his home.

After a conversation with Mr B, we suggested he increase his contents cover to £80,000 and advised him to insure his personal possessions that he may take away from the home to the value of £2,000 and we also included accidental damage cover on his on buildings.

‘And that will be how much?’ asked Mr B, rather tentatively.

‘How about £150.51’ , we confirmed, ‘a saving of £168.64’. Mr B now does his Home Insurance with Mathews Comfort.

So, why not call us when your renewal statement comes through? We don’t promise a saving of nearly £170 but we will make sure your policy is suitable for your circumstances and as we are an Independent Insurance Broker, we can select from a wide range of policies.

Just phone 01865 208000 and ask for the Insurance Team.


The statutory framework governing insurance has changed. The new Insurance Act came into force on 12th August 2016 and represents the most significant change to insurance contract law in the UK for over 100 years.

We have put a short video together to explain the changes that may affect policyholders, please click here to view.

If you would like to discuss this further please do contact us.