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The Top 6 In Australian Insurance

Insurance News takes a look at the Top 6 in Australian Insurance

 

Robert Kelly, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Steadfast

The founding father of Steadfast is realising his vision for the company at a bewilderingly swift rate. Since listing in 2013, Steadfast has become a company capable of dealing in practically any branch of insurance, including personal lines and life. It has around 304 brokerages and about 750 offices around, Australia, with its consolidated revenue growing 80+% in the 12 months to June 30 to reach close to $6billion in Insurance Premium.

Kelly is building a juggernaut that has an increasing capacity to provide straight-through services for clients via its force of directly owned and affiliated brokerages, underwriting agencies and specialist services. Maintaining a pace that would exhaust much younger men, the industry’s ultimate wheeler­ dealer shows no sign of slowing down as he adds new bits and pieces to the Steadfast operation just about every month.

Kelly has been one of the go-to people in the Australian insurance industry for many years, and that hasn’t changed. Despite the constraints imposed on him by virtue of his company’s listed status, he remains the insurance industry’s most candid advocate. Like a modern trade union leader, he’s as much at home talking shop with ordinary insurance people as he is hammering out agreements in the industry’s boardrooms.

 

Peter Harmer, Managing Director and Chief Executive, IAG:

He’s not likely to go slow in taking a new broom to the region’s largest insurer, because Harmer carries into the top role at IAG an attitude that’s savvy, sharp and challenging. Inheriting a solid and successful company from his predecessor Mike Wilkins, Harmer is well placed to exploit IAG’s large customer base.

His enthusiasm for Big Data and customer-centric development will see the market scrambling to keep up with what will almost certainly be new distribution strategies. There’s also room for greater efficiencies within IAG – from a rearrangement of IAG’s “silo” approach to much of its management, for example. Harmer is the right person to cut through internal resistance using precision and persuasion.

His experience at the top of Aon’s UK operations and his transformation of CGU from a ponderous traditionalist into a commercial insurance market leader – all the time while juggling with the integration of Wesfarmers Insurance’s business into the mix – is a fair example of the sort of dynamism he can bring to the whole IAG group. Expect the unexpected.

 

Mark Milliner, Chief Operating Officer­ designate, IAG:

This was a tough one to call, but every insider Insurance News consulted had the same thing to say: The decision in November by Milliner, the chief executive personal lines at Suncorp, to quit the group and join Peter Harmer at IAG is a game­ changing event in a market where Suncorp and IAG are tough competitors.

Milliner built his reputation as the mastermind behind the Brisbane-based insurer’s back-office overhauls, its auto repair revolution and his willingness to go head-to-head with powerful politicians over mitigation issues. Passed over this year to replace Patrick Snowball as group chief executive at Suncorp, Milliner is tipped to be a masterful deputy for Harmer, bringing 22 years of change management experience with him when he starts at IAG in mid-2016.

His industry nous and his straight-shooter attitude have earned Milliner high status in our Top 20 over the past few years, and we reckon nothing much will have changed, except his place of work. Suncorp’s loss is a very significant gain for IAG. Game on.

 

Ajit Jahn, President, Berkshire Hathaway Insurance:

Another out-of-the-box choice, perhaps, but Ajit Jahn has the ability to change the Australian insurance industry, if he’s inclined to.

Jahn shook up the local market twice this year – once with the arrival in Australia of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, an insurer with the financial and technical wherewithal to disrupt the market in pretty much any way it sees fit – and then with the acquisition of 3.7% of IAG for $500 million. That deal carries some unprecedented side-deals.

The media-shy Jahn is often tipped as a successor to Warren Buffett. He wields considerable influence in the industry through his management of Berkshire’s massive reinsurance operations.

This year he has had to drastically tweak or cancel some deals in his empire to counter falling revenues, and there has been some change in strategies as well. That’s what makes the IAG deal so globally interesting. It was a one-off, and is seen as the spearhead of Jahn’s typically innovative – but untypically late – charge into Asian insurance, where IAG is very nicely placed.

 

Mark Searles, Chief Executive, AUB Group

Even though the reputation of AUB – until last month Austbrokers – for consistently increasing returns to shareholders may have lost a little lustre recently, Mark Searles shrugs it off as he adds greater ability and flexibility into his partner brokers’ armouries.

Searles is focused on diversification, building new support services that will increase the range of services brokers can provide their clients. That has seen Austbrokers taking up stakes in companies specialising in workers’ compensation, injury management and ancillary risk management activities over the past year.

His diversification drive is assisted by the growth of the New Zealand broking arm and the continuing success of Austagencies, whose underwriting agencies continue to pump out increasing amounts of revenue. Austbrokers now derives 23% of its profit from non-broking sources.

Searles is confident he and his team will be in the right place if/when premium rates recover through 2016.

His bold strategy is being closely watched by partners – some of whom are wary – and the wider market. With broking under assault from emerging alternative distribution systems, he might just have hit on a solution others can emulate.

 

Heinrich Eder, Managing Director, Munich Re Australasia

When reinsurance takes a bath, it often does it in spectacular style. But in a year of disappointing reinsurance returns, Eder can count on the increasing influence of his general insurance operation, Great Lakes Australia, to counteract some of the other side’s negative results. Great Lakes has been around for long enough for insurer clients of Munich Re to get used to a subsidiary that competes with them.

It’s underwriting an increasing amount of new business, most recently Sports Underwriting, Solution Underwriting and Calliden spin-off Calibre. Eder has been around the local market for 12 years – 10 of them as MD responsible for all Munich Holdings’ life and general operations in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. He’s totally immersed in the market’s issues and associations, is well-liked and, as you’d expect, totally trusted.

 

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Perth Insurance 2015 Year in Review – Statewide Insurance

As 2015 comes to a close, we at Statewide like to look back on the year that was and ponder what lies ahead for 2016.

So what have we been up to, what’s happening in the Perth Insurance Market, and what does the future hold for 2016 and beyond ?

All is revealed in the “Perth Insurance -2015 Year in Review”

 

General Business Conditions

Dead. Tough. Slow. Struggling.

These are many of the comments we see and hear from all types of business across Perth and WA at the moment. The mining boom is over and its head down, work hard, consolidate and prepare for conditions to remain tough for a while. Wage growth is flat, business growth is flat, real estate is flat. Bring back the 80’s!

Not all is doom and gloom however and tough times often create innovation and advancement, and we have started seeing some fantastic new businesses emerge of late. We have been privy to and privileged to insure some great new product launches, innovative service businesses, and smart expansions of existing businesses, and we look forward to risk managing and sharing in their growth in the coming years.

Perth Insurance Market

Flat. Stable. Treading Water. Which means generally good news for Insurance Buyers and our clients!

All insurers have an appetite for new business, and are able to offer discounts and extra inclusions. Perth Insurance pricing is at a stable level, as is the rest of Western Australia, so perhaps now is the perfect time to increase sums insured and take those additional covers that every business should think about.

Additional covers might include add on policies such as Management Liability, Corporate Travel, Tax Audit and Journey Cover. Try us again for your Home and Motor Insurance. And don’t forget sums insured values – keep them current and at full replacement value.

We have managed to implement outstanding premium savings for many clients in 2015, and with reduced Workers Compensation rates across the board, we are finding such savings are willingly invested back into extra covers for the business.

Please try us for any additional cover quotes – check out our full list of Products and Services. 

Insurance Industry

APRA data for the Australian Insurance Industry – 102 insurers and 10 reinsurers – shows profits falling substantially, as a string of weather-linked disasters including storms, hailstorms and cyclones across Australia drove up claims.

Gross Written Premium for the insurers increased to $40.35 billion from $39.27 billion, and gross incurred claims grew to $31.79 billion from $24.95 billion. Very little premium growth as a whole, with ever increasing claims. Investment returns were flat, as per share markets.

While rates are somewhat soft at the moment, with continual increases in claims and current low investment returns – we would expect insurance rates to rise over the next few years, back to more stable and sustainable levels. 

Insurers

Perhaps the most notable new entrant on the Australian Insurance scene this year has been Berkshire Hathaway – of Warren Buffet fame. Berkshire have combined forces with IAG and Steadfast Group to offer outstanding savings on Home Insurance and Motor Insurance – and we have had great acceptance and take-up in transferring many domestic insurance policies to such.

Domestic Insurance is back on the radar again for brokers –  so please continue to obtain those Home and Motor Insurance covers with us – the premiums are great and the covers (as with every Steadfast productt) – are FAR SUPERIOR to the mass advertised direct insurers of this world such as RAC, AAMI, HBF, SGIO etc.  Extra covers, full claims support, backed by Statewide, Steadfast and Berkshire – “make the switch” as they say!

Also throughout 2015, Calliden rebranded to Calibre Insurance – underwritten by Great Lakes and owned by Munich Re.  As always with Calliden and Calibre, we find their products and service fantastic, and continue to utilise for our SalonCover and ConstructionCover portfolios.

Lumley and CGU morph into one superpower, with CGU claiming Insurer of the Year honours ahead of QBE and Allianz. CHU is acquired by Steadfast, the Strata market is forced into a catfight of pricing and lower premiums, and SURA starts to make waves across specialist lines.

Our Lloyds of London reach has been extended, with greater access to more specialist markets through the use of Steadfast Placement Services and Miramar Underwriting – so try us on those weird and wonderful risks, and learn a little about Lloyds of London.

 Steadfast

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As always Steadfast have been very active in the Australian market, both in terms of benefits for members, and acquisitions for the group. Premium now touches $4.5billion from Steadfast brokers Australia wide and market capitalisation is now over $1.12 billion – all the while developing industry leading products, coverage and dominating industry contribution. Statewide is a proud foundation member of Steadfast Group Ltd.

February was a large acquisition month for Steadfast with purchases of CHU Strata Insurance, a major Australian brokerage, and an expansion into New Zealand. Adding a nice $575,000,000 in Gross Written Premium for the group.

Calliden’s 8 x Underwriting Agencies were also acquired throughout the year, expanding our range of hard to place and specialist risks. Try us for any weird and wonderful insurance requirements – we will have a market for it!

August saw the Launch of Steadfast Direct – our Home Contents and Motor Vehicle Insurance platform – in conjunction with Berkshire Hathaway Australia. Please try us now for your Home and Motor Insurance – great premiums, with class leading coverage above and beyond any publicly available wording.  If you are looking for Insurance Brokers in Perth who do domestic insurance…we would love to assist.

A very recent 40 brokerage purchase of Insight Australia will contribute an additional $250million in annual premium, and an early focus for 2016 is an expansion into Asia – “with a focus on developing an Asian broker network and exploring the portability of our underwriting agencies and reinsurance broker into the Asian markets.”

So what does Steadfast offer?

Industry leading wordings, additional covers above and beyond those available anywhere else. Group buying power. Industry negotiation. Superpower. Learn More.   

Products

Cyber Insurance was all the rage in 2015, with a new article and update once a week proclaiming the benefits of Cyber Insurance. As insurance brokers we of course would suggest it’s a good idea to obtaining Cyber cover and would be happy to discuss all your options – but it’s as good an idea to talk to your IT people and build a hacker- proof IT system.

Tax Audit was in the limelight – no one loves a letter from the tax man. Try us now on Tax Insurance, as little as $300 for $10,000 worth of random audit accountancy costs. Turnover, Industry, Name…done.

Management Liability is an ever evolving field and of increasing importance – with some gaps in Workers Compensation and a general increase in ‘employment situations’ in difficult economic times, its certainly worth considering. Available as standalone, or as an addition to any professional indemnity policy you may have.

Workers Comp rates are generally down at 30June 2015, so some decent savings to be had across all industries. We have been noticing a large decline in general wages paid as well, so with lower wages and lower rates, many clients have been able to make substantial multi$1000++ savings on their Workers Compensation. Stay tuned for an industry first online Workers Compensation system in 2016 – currently being developed and built ourselves. Further reach, further premium reductions, quicker administration for all.

Terrorism once again takes centre stage at many times throughout the year – learn a little about terrorism insurance. Involved in an incident or grounded by the never ending Ash Cloud? Obtain market leading Corporate Travel cover to safeguard any contingency.

Construction Insurance was back on the agenda throughout 2015, with outstanding rates available from major insurers. Insuring many of Perth’s well known builders, we were able to lessen Warranty costs as much as 30% for some, great savings across the board. Construction Insurance Services – a specialist division of Statewide – is always available to discuss Home Warranty, Construction, Commercial Property and Home Indemnity Insurance. 2016 will see a rebranding and new name – ConstructionCover.

Statewide Products & Innovations 

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SalonCover rebranded and relaunch early 2015 – a whole new exciting website and Insurer upgrade at SalonCover.com.au. Chat to your hairdresser or salon about changing their insurance to Australia’s Dedicated Hair & Beauty Industry Insurance Provider.

RestaurantCover also launched late 2015 and is attracting fantastic support. We have of course been insuring restaurants, cafes and the like for 45years, but with superior pricing and outstanding covers available, it was time to take it to the next level. Not just Restaurants, but Cafes, Coffee Shops, Takeaway, Fine Dining, Food Industry, Wineries, Bars, Hotels….you name it.

Restaurant Cover logo-RGB

Stay tuned in 2016 with 3 new and exciting ‘Cover products – reinforcing our commitment to innovation and long term industry support.

SVU was implemented in 2015 – the Steadfast Virtual Underwriter program that enables us to obtain direct quotations from all major Australian Insurers. Direct link from Statewide to the Insurance Companies. We obtain comparative terms from all the majors – on both pricing and coverage options, every time we do a new business or renewal. An outstanding platform, built by Steadfast and exclusive to Steadfast brokers.   SVU is also the platform for our Domestic Home and Motor insurance portfolio, through Berkshire Insurance.

Our Premium Funding software is being taken to the next level in 2016 as well, with the implementation of a full life cycle integrated software system. This will enable quicker quoting and greater reporting options – all the while keeping our industry leading rates.

ChildCare is always in the news, and at Statewide its no different. 2015 was an exciting year for ChildCare Insurance in WA, as we signed an exclusive arrangement with Ansvar Insurance to continue our ChildCare offerings throughout WA. Far greater coverage, at cheaper rates, with exclusive wholesale arrangements – continuing our 30 year commitment to the childcare industry in WA.

Need Professional Indemnity ? – we have that covered too. With instant access to 180+ occupations via our online webrater platform, we have every industry covered for PI. Real Estate, Accounting and the IT Industry were particular winners throughout 2015- give us a shout out to those you know in those industries and we will be able to provide superior PI terms for them.

PolicyComparison.com expanded throughout 2015 and goes from strength to strength – giving us total access to EVERY single insurance policy in the market, for full policy comparison analysis. Request one from us – we would be happy to point out coverage issues, positive or negative. It’s a fantastic tool and one great benefit of using an Insurance Broker – we do it all for you.

Claims

As per every other year in Insurance, we come across some weird, wonderful, worrisome, troublesome and extremely expensive insurance claims. That is after all why you pay your insurance premium!

Perth insurance claims were relatively stable, while West Australian insurance claims were on the high end.  Heartfelt of the year goes to Northcliffe, with devastating Bushfires ruining some client homes and businesses. QBE and Ansvar were our most prominent insurers attending to such.

The expensive claim of the year relates to a Motor Vehicle crash involving trucks, cars, injured workers…and $750,000 worth of ruined mining equipment. Thankfully no lives were lost in a very nasty incident, and a shout out to Vero for prompt attention and settlement to all.

Other large claims included extensive Cyclone damage to a Resort in the NorthWest, $150,000 of cargo lost overboard in the Southern Ocean, numerous amusing/strange Travel claims from all over the globe, and a general spate of Water damage and plumbing issues in metro shopping centres!

Motor vehicle theft is on the decline, motor vehicle incidents are never ending with hundreds of $millions being paid out by our insurers, and home thefts are also still a concern. Lock up, and cover your contents in full!

Professional Indemnity claims are seemingly on the rise – everyone wants a piece of everyone so please contact us to discuss or increase your PI coverage. Now is a great time with soft rates. We utitilise the legal services of Jackson McDonald, Clayton Utz, DLA Piper in defending and handling Professional Inddemnity claims so pice of mind is assured when ebing hit with a financial loss claim.

Workers Compensation claims were steady, and as such Insurers have been able to soften rates. Of concern is a growth in stress related work claims.

Unluckiest client of the year goes to a local liquor store and his 4 x separate holdups within 4 weeks, despite camera’s, security, alarms and all manner of precaution. A seasonal reminder to all businesses that theft and money covers should really be taken at a full and proper coverage level.

So… that’s a wrap, 2015 done, 2016 touched upon.

We wish everyone a great festive season and a fantastic 2016, and here’s hoping some of the business conditions we are experiencing in WA improve a little moving forward.

Need more of Statewide?  Need a great Perth Insurance Broker, or rural Western Australia Insurance Broker?

We are available in full over the holiday period, and you can always check us out at statewideinsurance.com.au, and on Instagram, Slideshare, Google+ and Youtube.

Merry Xmas from all at Statewide.

merry xmas

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CGU Farm Insurance Upgrade

CGU have recently upgraded and improved their Farm Insurance Wording – CGU Steadfast Countrypak – transforming it into the market leading rural solution.

These new benefits mean Steadfast brokers will continue to have access to the best farm coverage for their customers through partnership with CGU.

A few of the key new benefits of CGU’s CountryPak include:

  • New additional benefits up to $30,000 for increased cost of working
  • Automatic tax audit cover of $7,000
  • New additional benefit up to $10,000 for agistment costs.

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A new app has also been developed to assist brokers. Key features of the uSurvey app include :

  • All in one survey tool including predefined question sets, inbuilt camera function, and geo-location technology
  • Works at any location with or without an internet connection
  • Submit the survey onsite in real time directly to the CGU underwriting team

CGU is Steadfast’s largest rural insurance provider, offering strong expertise in farm products through our rural underwriting centre, and giving Steadfast brokers the ability to electronically quote on Countrypak and Farm Motor.

Please Contact Us at Statewide for any farm insurance, crop insurance or rural insurance needs.  We are…. State-wide.

 

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Steadfast Group Investor Day Presentation

Presentation by Steadfast Group

 

 

Who is Steadfast Group?

Statewide Insurance Brokers is a member of the largest insurance broker network in Australasia, the Steadfast Group.

Comprised of 300+ brokerages with over 500 offices, the group generated over $5 billion in insurance sales last financial year.  This scale gives Steadfast enormous buying power, flexibility and influence when negotiating with major insurers on behalf of Steadfast brokers and results in us being able to provide our customers with access to multiple insurance companies, a broad range of products, competitive pricing, valuable advice and quality service.

As a Steadfast network insurance broker, you get the best of both worlds – local and personalised service, with the insurance expertise and support of a large organisation. Strength when you need it. 

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Steadfast Group in the News

A few recent press articles on the Steadfast Group…

 

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dawes motor insurance
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Steadfast Group Launching Steadfast Direct – News

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Steadfast Group to launch retail product offerings through Steadfast Direct in 2015

Steadfast Group Limited recently announced that it is launching a new line of retail insurance products for its brokers – Steadfast Direct.

Steadfast Direct will provide Steadfast Network Brokers with competitively priced insurance products to sell to their clients that would normally be sold directly by the underwriter. It therefore enables them to strengthen their relationship with their clients, grow their business and allows them to offer direct style products to their clients.

The planned launch date of Steadfast Direct at this is stage is likely May 2015.

The first two product offerings through Steadfast Direct will be home and motor insurance for the Australian market. Steadfast is working with the Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group to develop these first two products.

Managing Director & CEO of Steadfast, Robert Kelly, said “We are delighted to roll out our Steadfast Direct product line and expect to provide competitively priced products for our brokers to market to new and existing clients.”

The launch of the home and motor insurance products in Australia will be subject to the approval of licensing applications pending with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

We look forward to offering Steadfast Direct as an additional option on Home & Motor Insurance.

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Who are Steadfast Group ?

Steadfast is Australia’s Largest Insurance Broker Cluster Group

Steadfast Group Limited is an ASX 200 listed company comprising of more than 250 Australian-owned, autonomous insurance brokerages – which operate from 300 plus offices around Australia. Established in 1996, Steadfast is Australia’s largest insurance broker cluster group, generating in excess of $5 billion in annual premium turnover.

Statewide is a proud foundation member of Steadfast Group – entitling our clients to broader policy wordings, premium savings, and the many benefits that Steadfast member’s can provide.

The purpose of the Group is to provide insurance brokerages with the benefits of big business buying power but still allowing them to provide personalised service.

Why use a Steadfast Broker?

Because you’ll get the personalised service you look for from an autonomous business, together with the expertise and support you’d expect from a large organisation.

Because with the backing of a national management group, Steadfast Insurance members have the buying power that gives them access to the majority of the Australian insurance market. In addition, the Group has a number of strategic partners including some of Australia’s largest insurers and premium funders.

Because our extensive network allows member brokers to keep up-to-date with current trends and new insurance markets. Our members collective capabilities, experience and team approach, allow them to assess and offer a wide range of products and services.

Because you’ll benefit from policy wordings that are exclusive to the Steadfast Group, developed in conjunction with the largest insurers in Australia. The acceptance of generic wordings by Australia’s leading underwriters is testament to the respect of our Group by the industry.

Because our strategic partnerships cover all major classes of businesses and various niche products. Our brokers can source quality products from a broad, flexible range. This breadth of choice enables members to locate value-for-money insurance to provide protection to suit each client’s needs.

Because even though our members have access to a number of strategic partners, nothing our members do is compulsory. The business is placed with the best interest of the client in mind.  Steadfast has grown to be a respected and recognised leader in broker cluster groups within the industry. It is this recognition that has helped propel Steadfast forward to be the largest broker cluster group in Australia.

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The Value of Insurance Brokers

The Value of Insurance Brokers

The structure and protection provided by an effective insurance program are essential to business and community life.  Insurance brokers are vital components of the business process. We advise business owners and managers on the best ways to transfer the inevitable risks they carry as part of doing business.

The role of the broker is to understand the business, identify all the risks, find the best available cover through a range of insurers, assisting the client in understanding options and represent the client’s interests in any negotiation with insurers.

Brokers’ services enable businesses to plan ahead with the certainty of knowing they have financial protection against loss, injury or any threat to the well-being of their business.

Brokers also provide invaluable help in the event of a claim. They know and understand the system and can simplify a process that is often time-consuming and technically difficult.

And brokers act in the interests of the client, not the insurer.

The broker’s role to serve the client’s interests with integrity at all times is enshrined in legislation (the Financial Services Reform Act 2004 and the Corporations Act 2001) as well as the Insurance Brokers Code of Practice.

why choose statewide

Why Choose Statewide ?

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