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The Pest Detectives: The Definitive Guide to Rentokil by Rob Gray

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A ground-breaking policy

Another key move in 1960 was the launch of the UK’s first woodworm insurance policy. Before a policy could be issued, properties needed to be surveyed by one of the company’s timber infestation surveyors. These surveys were done for free – and the fact that they were free was an intrinsic part of marketing the insurance product – but of course, if any woodworm was found, that area had to be treated before homeowners could get cover. The model proved an astute one, with treatment charges and insurance premiums producing twin revenue streams.

However, the most momentous decision of 1960 was still to come. With Ratin the rodenticide phased out and the word ‘British’ no longer representative of a business that had ambitious ...

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