• Nicky Frost

Paul Kempton - A man to be remembered

When insurance veteran Paul Kempton passed away earlier this year, tributes were paid citing his dedication to his family, his work, his wider community, and the insurance profession. Discussing her father’s legacy with Insurance Business, Sarah Kempton (pictured), marketing manager at Sennocke International Insurance Services, revealed how in her father, she saw the way that qualities that distinguish an individual on a personal level are so integral to what sets them apart professionally.

Sarah Kempton, Marketing Manager, Sennocke

Paul Kempton had worked in the insurance industry since his early 20s and, in 1990, along with his wife Sally, decided to create his own company, Sennocke International Insurance Services Limited, at their dining table. Starting as a small company of three, Sennocke quickly expanded and became a noticeable name in Sevenoaks, utilising its founder’s insurance knowledge to prove themselves in the market. Before Sennocke, self-build insurance didn’t really exist in the way it does today, Kempton noted, and so Self-Build Zone was founded on the same principle that guided all his decisions – looking after people.

“Even in the office, my dad was such a family man; he had an open-door policy,” she said. “He’d send 1,000 emails a day but if anyone ever had an issue he’d say ‘just come and talk to me’… That caring aspect is so real.

“And you can see that in our people. When you go out to get a job where you’re 18, you always think you’re only going to be there for 18 months or so, but there are so many members of staff who’ve been with us for years. We’ve got employees who’ve been with us since the beginning. Sennocke was started the year before I was born, so I was quite literally born and raised in this company.”

Paul Kempton loved being a dad and was a deeply caring person, she said, but he was also an entrepreneur at heart with a passion for risk management. Care for the customer is at the very heart of risk management but that is particularly true when it comes to self-build projects, which are often at the receiving end of negative attention from popular media.

“If you teach someone where the risks are to begin with, you can prevent a claim because you’ve educated them on what to avoid or correct when they are building their home,” she said. “[Anyone] can do a self-build successfully, it’s just about knowing what you’re getting into, and the more we can educate you about that the better. And Dad sat down with so many people to do just that.”

Thanks to Paul Kempton’s infectious entrepreneurial spirit, Kempton said, Sennocke’s team grew further into latent defect insurance through Build-Zone, which currently has one of the largest capacities in the market and a panel of A-rated insurers.

Her father was determined to help make the market fair and equitable and push out those poor-quality players that give the sector a bad name, Kempton said, and he instilled in those he spoke with a broader sense of the importance of doing so. Anybody who sat down with Paul Kempton came away with a strong sense of how passionately he felt about insurance, she said, and he was 'a larger than life' figure whose enthusiasm was infectious.

Kempton herself was