insurancebusinessonline.com.au Issue 9.01
TOP 10 BROKERAGES
The teams that have continued to raise the bar
Why it’s a segment worth specialising in
AUTOMATING CLAIMS MANAGEMENT What brokers can expect from new technology
THE HUMAN ELEMENT
GT Insurance CEO Tony Dodd on how he’s found success by always putting people first
HOT LIST 2020 IB spotlights 50 of the industry’s most influential leaders
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Specialists in Cargo
Specialists in Carriers
Specialists in Hull
24/01/2020 8:54:16 AM
CONNECT WITH US Got a story or suggestion, or just want to find out some more information?
UPFRONT 02 Editorial
Claim a piece of the sharing economy
CLAIMING THE FUTURE
Automation is coming to claims management. What do brokers need to do to get up to speed?
HOT LIST 2020
06 Head to head
How to prepare for bushfi re season
08 News analysis
Brokers’ tech adoption roadblocks
Parametric weather insurance comes to Australia
12 Insurer update
14 Underwriting agencies update AHI reaff irms its commitment to brokers
TOP 10 BROKERAGES
IB pulls back the curtain to reveal the 10 best brokerages in the Australian market
Key data that should be on your radar
How one major insurer is competing with nimble startups
Insurance Business names 50 men and women who have moved the needle for the industry over the past 12 months
The key to profitable tech investments
FEATURES 36 Keeping clients out of harm’s way What brokers should look for in an accident and health insurer
54 Getting transport insurance into gear How to approach a segment that’s grappling with rapid change
GT Insurance head Tony Dodd has never lost sight of the need to put the customer first
44 Broker insight
JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED
Tego Insurance CEO Eric Lowenstein outlines the many benefits of specialising in medical malpractice
The secret behind Austbrokers Coast to Coast’s raft of awards
62 Career path
Peter Brooks’ journey from the Paralympics to AIG
64 Other life
Goal-setting with broker and field hockey player Lisa Carter
CHECK IT OUT ONLINE www.insurancebusinessonline.com.au
24/01/2020 9:01:46 AM
Diving into the sharing economy
till not used to writing ‘2020’ on your correspondence yet? The year still sounds futuristic – but the reality is that most of our fanciful visions of the ‘space age’ are already here, from driverless cars to artificial intelligence to 3D printing. Indeed, one concept that the insurance industry still hasn’t come to terms with has actually been around for close to a decade: the sharing economy, which was crowned one of the ideas that would change the world by Time magazine in 2011. The concept hit the headlines again toward the end of last year when Uber lost its license in London after it was revealed that some 14,000 journeys had allegedly been uninsured.
EDITORIAL Managing Editor Paul Lucas Editor Bethan Moorcraft Journalists Nicola Middlemiss, Alicja Grzadkowska, Ksenia Stepanova, Tom Goodwin News Writers Lyle Adriano, Terry Gangcuangco, Roxanne Libatique, Gabriel Olano Staff Writers Libby MacDonald, Ryan Smith Copy Editor Clare Alexander
CONTRIBUTORS Bill Pieroni
ART & PRODUCTION Designers Martin Cosme, Jommel Ramos Production Manager Alicia Chin Production Coordinator Kim Kandravy Traffic Coordinator Kristine Jamir
SALES & MARKETING
Those insurers able to grasp the concept of the sharing economy and create services that meet this need have a massive opportunity
General Manager Peter Smith Commercial Development Manager Sophie Knight Global Head of Communications Adrijana Monevska
While that controversy was more about Uber’s issues with unauthorised drivers, it’s still indicative of insurance’s struggles with the concept. By its very nature, the sharing economy – from ride-hailing for a journey home to renting out your home on Airbnb – is a minefield for the sector, as it blurs the distinction between commercial and personal lines. Generally speaking, sharing economy platforms claim to be a go-between for the provider and the consumer – and absolve themselves of liability. It’s a contentious point of debate: Should the consumer bear responsibility, or should the platform take the hit when things go wrong? It’s this lack of clarity that’s putting insurers in a tough spot. Still, those able to grasp the concept of the sharing economy and create services that meet this need have a massive opportunity. According to a report from Lloyd’s, 71% of consumers would be more likely to use sharing economy services if they came with insurance, and 70% said they’d be more likely to share their own assets. Plenty of startups have grasped the concept, while mainstream insurers are slowly catching on – but as usual, it’s those that act fastest that will reap the rewards. For brokers, meanwhile, it’s about educating yourself quickly to explain what’s out there and positioning yourself as an expert in an exciting field. It might be a sharing economy, but there’s plenty of business to be selfish about.
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The team at Insurance Business
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HEAD TO HEAD
out s the
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STATISTICS AVIATION CLAIM TRENDS US AND CANADA $58bn $55bn $95bn
Proportion of claims attributable to crashes or collisions
Average cost of a claim due to a runway incident
Average cost of a claim due to a bird strike
INSURANCE PROTECTION GAP BY RISK AREA Mortality Natural catastrophe Health
LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN
A TRILLION DOLLARS OF OPPORTUNITY
$31bn $22bn $50bn
Insurers have a huge opportunity to close the worldwide insurance protection gap, which Swiss Re estimates at a recordhigh US$1.2trn across three areas of risk: mortality, natural catastrophe and health. Currently, Emerging Asia has the largest protection gap across all three areas, with a combined total of US$456bn.
TOP THREATS TO GDP According to the University of Cambridgeâ€™s latest analysis of the potential impact of shocks to the world economy, the number-one threat to global GDP is a market crash, although natural catastrophes, which account for three of the top 10 threats, are also a major concern.
$110bn $100bn $90bn $80bn $70bn $60bn $50bn $40bn
Number of bird strike claims received by insurers over the past five years Source: Aviation Risk Report 2020, Allianz; all figures in US$
$30bn $20bn $10bn $0
Interstate Tropical Human conflict windstorm pandemic
Earthquake Commodity Sovereign price shock default
Source: Centre for Risk Studies, University of Cambridge, 2019; all figures in US$
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THE CATASTROPHE PROTECTION GAP
EMERGING EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
Swiss Re estimates the global insurance protection gap for natural catastrophes at around US$222bn; the biggest gap in coverage is for earthquakes, which accounts for more than half of the total.
$23bn $16bn $29bn
Earthquakes: $135bn Floods: $50bn Storms: $37bn
ADVANCED EMEA $78bn $19bn $62bn
EMERGING ASIA-PACIFIC $129bn $49bn $278bn
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA $39bn $17bn $59bn
ADVANCED ASIA-PACIFIC $29bn $43bn $43bn
Source: Swiss Re Institute; all figures in US$
Source: Swiss Re Institute; all figures in US$
MOST AT-RISK CITIES Asia-Pacific dominated the University of Cambridge’s list of the top 10 global cities most likely to have their GDP depleted by a natural catastrophe, financial shock or geopolitical incident – though thankfully, no Australian cities cracked the top 10.
1 TOKYO GDP at risk: $26.01bn
2 NEW YORK CITY GDP at risk: $15.69bn
3 MANILA GDP at risk: $13.87bn
4 ISTANBUL GDP at risk: $13.35bn
5 TAIPEI GDP at risk: $13.01bn
CYBER INSURANCE UPTAKE GROWS While cyber insurance uptake rates rose significantly between 2018 and 2019, Hiscox’s latest study on the sector found that there’s still a worrying gap – more than a quarter of businesses said they have no plans to purchase cyber insurance. We have already adopted cyber insurance We have no plans to adopt cyber insurance
GDP at risk: $12.29bn
7 LOS ANGELES GDP at risk: $11.68bn
8 BAGHDAD GDP at risk: $9.88bn
9 LONDON GDP at risk: $9.15bn
We are planning to adopt cyber insurance in the next 12 months Unsure what cyber insurance is
10 SHANGHAI GDP at risk: $9.05bn Source: Centre for Risk Studies, University of Cambridge, 2019; all figures in US$
25% Source: Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, Hiscox, 2019
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HEAD TO HEAD
Is insurance equipped to weather bushﬁre season? As bushfires become more severe and claims costs continue to climb, what can the industry do to mitigate the impact?
Operations manager FM Global
“Bushfires are becoming more frequent and destructive. While insurers can respond after a fire, as a mutual company, our goal is to help our policyholders protect their business against such threats before the loss occurs. This can be achieved with engineering solutions and simple preparation guidance. Possible mitigation strategies we recommend to clients include a combination of appropriate construction features, separation from vegetation, automatic exposure protection where necessary, and the removal of combustible external storage. Such measures have proven to be very effective in mitigating and even preventing the exposures created by both radiant heat and ignition from bushfires.”
Executive manager, natural perils IAG “Ongoing climate change is likely to bring increased frequency and severity of major disasters in Australia, and with rising temperatures, it’s likely that bushfire seasons will become more severe and prolonged. Globally, over one degree of warming since pre-industrial times is evident, which means climate change is here and now and will continue to impact our communities financially and socially. To safeguard these communities now and into the future, it’s critical there is a coordinated national approach from governments, industries, and businesses to develop mitigation initiatives, funding, and strategies to reduce the impacts of bushfires on communities across the nation.”
Head of claims Gallagher Australia “Claims will continue to adapt and will use technology such as digital claims lodgement and verification, as well as drones in restricted-access areas. Fire monitoring via social media – sites such as Fires Near Me – enable proactive customer responses to be in place. The industry might be challenged in the future around the tightening of rebuilding codes, as policy wordings and ‘sum insured’ coverage calculations will need to reflect this. Will this make insurance unaffordable in bushfire-prone areas? Maybe, and I think the government and the insurance sector will need to work together to come up with solutions.”
ADDRESSING THE DEVASTATION Since the beginning of Australia’s bushfire crisis last September, insurance claims have risen to more than $700m and counting, according to the Insurance Council of Australia, which reported that insurers have received 8,985 claims for fire-related damage since September. In response to the crisis, several insurers have taken steps to offer extra assistance to bushfire victims, including expedited claims processing, limited-time premium waivers, access to mental health professionals – and, in the case of IAG subsidiary NRMA Insurance, even providing a helicopter to Rural Fire Service volunteers.
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What brokers want – and fear From embracing data to adopting customer-facing tools, insurance brokers are largely changing with the times – but there are still a few areas where they’re reluctant to get on board
NOW THAT A.M. Best has begun taking insurers’ ability to innovate into account in its rating methodology, the message is clear: Technology is part and parcel of the insurance industry. And it’s no different for brokers. A recent report from Argo Group delved into the minds of brokers and small businesses to uncover their expectations around topics like climate change, cryptocurrency and autonomous vehicles. The survey found that 77% of brokers expect autonomous vehicle usage to reduce the number and severity of accidents, while 59% expect it to help decrease insurance premiums. However, other technologies aren’t as
technology that will impact their business,” says Jeff Canfield, head of innovation for Argo Group. “There were a few surprising results where the concern is actually less this year than it was last year. I don’t have a good answer for why that is, other than my suspicion that for things like autonomous vehicles and climate change, they probably view it as much more of a long-term threat and not an immediate threat, whereas in the past, I think there was an assumption that these were both going to impact us sooner rather than later.” While technological innovation is bringing benefits to customers both inside and outside of insurance, many brokers are concerned about the pace of change and what it will
“One of the threats that we hear often is the fear of being left behind in terms of automation” Jeff Canfield, Argo Group high on brokers’ radar. Thirty-nine percent said they’re only somewhat familiar with the Internet of Things, although 91% named the IoT as the dominant technology threat over the next 12 months. “The results tell us that, at the very least, they’re thinking about the various parts of
mean for insurance roles in the future. “One of the threats that’s not outlined in the survey, but that we hear often, is the fear of being left behind in terms of automation,” Canfield says. “If others are automating tasks and using RPA [robotic process automation] to do things without adding to headcount and
you’re not, there’s a fear that you’re going to have an expense issue that others are not, and ultimately that’s going to impact your financial results.” Nonetheless, brokers are already reaping the rewards of technology in their day-to-day processes. Many are using data and analytics, for example, to apply more predictive modeling in their work. “You can predict when a claim might happen, you can predict the severity of a claim, and you can predict losses based on location or weather,” Canfield says. “There’s a number of applications around predictive analytics. What’s interesting is that there was originally a fear around whether it would replace the underwriting role, but the reality is that these tools are going to supplement what brokers and underwriters do on a daily basis.”
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BROKERS’ ATTITUDES TOWARD TECH
of brokers said cost is the most significant barrier to innovation
say their clients use IoT devices such as sensors and monitors to mitigate risksa
of brokers agree that artificial intelligence will make them work smarter
Michael Howe, senior vice president of product management at Applied Systems, sees the pace of change and innovation in the broker channel as a good thing.
trying to make their business better, and that’s good for everyone.” The most interesting and encouraging part of this digital evolution, from Howe’s
“[Brokerages] are letting go of that belief that the relationship [with customers] always has to be human” Michael Howe, Applied Systems “Their willingness to experiment and invest in technology, to try to make their businesses better and serve their customers in different ways, is great for the channel,” he says. “I am encouraged that people are willing to experiment with new technologies, not just for the sake of technology, but because they’re
perspective, is the focus around customerfacing digital tools. This marks a change from the traditional ways brokers communicated with clients in the not-so-distant past. “[Brokers] traditionally come from the ‘I’d rather have a human connection; I’d rather go meet the person at the local Starbucks
are concerned that AI will significantly disrupt traditional insurance distribution models Source: The Future of Insurance, Argo Group, 2019
and build a relationship that way’ mentality, so it’s encouraging to see them augment that with all kinds of online tools and technologies,” Howe says. “It’s about building that online relationship with customers, and I think that’s great because the nature of the customer is changing. “We’re seeing lots of interest in tools that allow them to extend their services in electronic ways, online ways and mobile ways. That’s good because [brokerages] are letting go of that belief that the relationship always has to be human. That human connection still matters, but it can also be these other things, because it allows the customer to interact with them in the way the customer wants, not necessarily the way the [broker] wants.”
24/01/2020 9:12:11 AM
INTELLIGENCE CORPORATE ACQUIRER
The merger of the two cybersecurity companies will create a unified cybersecurity management and risk assessment platform
Aon’s acquisition of the US insurtech gives the brokerage access to a $294bn digital insurance market for small business
The acquisition comes as Brightstar seeks to boost its device protection business in ANZ
IAG’s decision to acquire NRMA’s MotorServe repair business followed a successful trial in Sydney
MGA Insurance Brokers
Brian Cotter Insurance Agencies
The deal takes the total number of MGA offices around Australia to 40
PSC Insurance Group
Carroll Insurance Group
PSC says its latest addition will contribute about $3.8m in incremental revenue annually
PT Asuransi Adira Dinamika
Zurich has invested an undisclosed amount to take an 80% stake in one of Indonesia’s key general insurers
Freighty debuts online shopping insurance
Tech startup Freighty has rolled out new online shopping insurance, following an initial capital raise of $500,000. Underwritten by Chubb and backed by BMS, Freighty covers any goods purchased online that get lost, damaged or stolen in transit, up to a value of $5,000 per order. Consumers can add the insurance to their cart at checkout, similar to how travel insurance is offered. Co-founder and CEO Jason Byrne said Freighty plans to target the entire Australian e-commerce market, which is predicted to be worth $35.2bn by 2021.
IAG strengthens motor offering
IAG has agreed to buy NRMA’s MotorServe business, which provides mechanical vehicle repairs, safety inspections and general servicing at 23 sites in NSW and ACT. The agreement will cover IAG brands including NRMA Insurance, CGU Insurance and WFI Insurance. The deal, which is expected to be finalised in January, came about after the success of IAG’s trial at the NRMA MotorServe at Seven Hills Sydney, which explored how the MotorServe team can provide customers with a smoother post-claim service. “We’ve been exploring ways to deliver real change in how our customers experience the motor claims repair process, from the moment they lodge a claim to when they pick up their car,” said IAG Australia CEO Mark Milliner. “Our focus is on customer convenience and getting cars back on the road quickly with a quality repair.”
Insuret evolves its rental claims processes
Insuret has partnered with 360Globalnet to launch a digital claims platform for the rental car industry that will allow customers to lodge claims directly from mobile devices and enable them to upload photos, videos and other evidence related to their claim. The platform will also help expedite initial lodgement, information gathering, supplier engagement and authorisation of claims. Insuret MD Jason McDonnell said the new platform will “deliver a full end-to-end, digitised claims solution in line with consumer expectations.”
24/01/2020 9:13:35 AM
PEOPLE Liberty extends extreme weather cover to Australia
Liberty Specialty Markets has expanded the reach of its Weather Index product to Australian businesses. The parametric product covers an insured for the probability of a pre-defined event happening, based on data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. It can protect businesses from rainfall, temperature, evaporation, wind speed, wind direction, frost, sunshine duration, cloud cover or air pressure; a client can nominate a strike price for their desired risk, and Liberty will put a payout schedule in place on a sliding scale, should the cover be triggered.
AXA introduces parametric disaster assistance
AXA Climate has released a parametric natural disaster assistance service designed to support communities and corporations facing natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, cyclones and wildfires. The new FastCat service provides weather alerts and 24/7 real-time assessment through satellite imagery and drones. The launch is part of AXA’s recent push to accelerate its climate strategy, which also includes investing in companies shifting toward less carbon-intensive business models and declining to offer cover to new coal projects.
TAL launches first-of-itskind diabetes policy
Specialist life insurer TAL has rolled out a first-of-its-kind product that will provide Australians living with diabetes access to life insurance and help them improve health outcomes. The product offers premium discounts if policyholders demonstrate good management of their diabetes by improving certain measures. Delivered in partnership with Kalibre, an international specialist in diabetes insurance, the policy is the first in a series of specialised products TAL plans to introduce to help customers manage chronic conditions.
Head of property & casualty, APAC
Chief underwriting officer, Australia Pacific
Service delivery manager, producing office international programs
Managing principal, data and actuarial analytics
Willem van Wyk
Regional market manager, ASEAN and Australasia
Aon names data and analytics leader
Aon has bolstered its data and analytics offering by appointing Sulav Saha as managing principal of data and actuarial analytics, a role that was created after Aon centralised a number of teams working across data and analytics. Most recently, Saha spent two years at EY, where he built a technology advisory practice focused on financial services. “It is an exciting opportunity to work with Aon to invest in the development of our rich global risk data assets and establish and maintain Aon’s position as leader in the insurance industry,” Saha said. “With these changes, we’ll be able to further enhance Aon’s consulting offerings and deliver best-in-class datadriven insights to empower clients and insurers.”
Industry vet fills new position at HDI Global
Willem van Wyk, a 30-year insurance veteran, has joined HDI Global as the company’s first regional market manager for ASEAN and Australasia. Van Wyk most recently served as CEO for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty’s Pacific region. He also has significant international experience, having spent time in South Africa and the Middle East. Van Wyk already has a strong connection to HDI, having worked with the organisation’s current MD, Stefan Feldmann, when AGCS was first launched back in 2005. “Willem is a highly experienced professional and very well known throughout the region,” Feldmann said. “I am very much looking forward working with him again.”
24/01/2020 9:14:08 AM
INSURER UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS Suncorp sponsors inaugural LGBTQI+ event
Suncorp recently showed its support for the LGBTQI+ community by sponsoring the inaugural Here on Purpose professional networking event. Founded by Suncorp staffer Jessica Claire, Here on Purpose is a not-for-profit initiative that aims to support members of the LGBTQI+ community by giving them a safe space to express themselves and network with other like-minded individuals. The event featured a panel of industry heavyweights and public figures, who discussed what it means to lead authentically and why it’s important to represent the LGBTQI+ community.
IAG rejects legal action over Queensland floods
IAG has confirmed it will not take legal action to recoup costs after a landmark class action identified several parties at fault in the 2011 Brisbane and Ipswich floods. The NSW Supreme Court found the Queensland government and the operators of the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams were negligent in managing the flood, which resulted in $1.5bn worth of claims. A spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Australia said other insurers will now be weighing up their options to determine their next course of action, likely dependent on their level of exposure.
QBE’s ethical portfolio makes strides toward $1bn goal
QBE’s Premiums4Good portfolio reached an impressive US$633m at the end of 2019, putting the company on track to reach its goal of US$1bn by 2021. Under the industry-first initiative, QBE is investing up to 25% of premiums
across its Australian, North American and European operations in areas that deliver social, environmental and financial benefits. “New investments have been made in areas including social care and provision of community services, social inclusion, diversity, and gender, as well as urban and community development,” said QBE group CEO Pat Regan.
Zurich to back AFA accident and health policies
Zurich is set to act as security for AFA’s accident and health policies in 2020 after the two parties reached a deal in December. Tim Plant, CEO of Zurich ANZ’s general insurance arm, said the partnership is “closely aligned” to the insurer’s go-to-market underwriting strategy. The agreement, which focuses on mid-market and SME customers, will use AFA’s insurtech platform, eBIND, and the A&H underwriting expertise of both parties to ensure Zurich “can provide A&H customer solutions for every business size and structure”.
Chubb rolls out online cyber trading platform
Chubb has launched a new online trading platform for cyber insurance, supported by dedicated cyber underwriters. Chubb Marketplace enables insurance brokers to interact with Chubb electronically to quote, bind, endorse and renew the Chubb Cyber Enterprise Risk Management product for SMEs. “With this online trading platform, the same breadth of coverage and quality cyber services that Chubb is renowned for in the open market is now available to SME clients,” said John DePeters, Chubb’s cyber and technology practice manager for Australia and New Zealand.
Advantage of size and scale Major insurers like IAG have a few arrows in their bow when competing with the recent glut of agile startups Australia’s insurance market has been flooded with nimble newcomers in recent years, and their ability to adapt at the drop of the hat has put extra pressure on the incumbents – but that doesn’t mean that long-established insurers don’t have their own advantages. Ben Bessell, group executive with IAG, says the arrival of incredibly agile competitors has been a positive change, as it’s pushed the industry forward, encouraged insurers to take more innovative steps and, most importantly, led to better outcomes for customers. “Yes, there are emerging businesses around the world and in our markets, and that will generate more competition – but that should be a good thing for our customers,” Bessell says. “It’s up to us to remain relevant and show to our customers that we’ve got great people, and we’ve got great products and great services that remain attractive to them.” Bessell also acknowledges that IAG has different challenges compared to a streamlined startup, especially when it comes to implementing changes quickly or adapting at speed. However, he says the insurer has measures in place to manage these. “It’s a fair point, and it’s something we’re conscious of,” he says, adding that IAG has been simplifying its processes at a group level for the past few years. “From an Australian point of view, that’s something that Mark
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Milliner, our CEO, has been driving for. We’re conscious that, in order to maintain a level of flexibility and speed, we have to be a simpler organisation.” Of course, no amount of streamlining will make IAG as nimble as a 10-person startup – but Bessell says the organisation’s size and scale does provide certain benefits.
“In order to maintain a level of flexibility and speed, we have to be a simpler organisation” “At a group level, we have our Customer Labs area, which can assist us with the utilisation of our data, customer insights and product development,” he says. “The advantage of being the size and scale that we are is that we’ve got resources and data that we can leverage, and our Customer Labs area provides lots of insights and methods to improve how we go about doing business.” Bessell himself was recently recognised in the inaugural Insurance Business Global 100 – a list of influential industry professionals from around the world who are making waves within their own market and on the international stage. “It was great to be included alongside that group of peers in the industry, and it’s an honour to be recognised,” Bessell says. “It’s a reflection of the work that IAG has done and the work that the broader team has done, so I think it’s a testament to the work of many people in IAG.”
Ziad Alex Tadmoury SVP, APAC division FM GLOBAL
Years in the industry 33 Fast fact Named SVP of FM Global’s APAC division last September, Tadmoury has experience across Europe, the US and Asia, mainly in commercial and industrial property
What’s next for FM Global? You started with FM Global almost three decades ago – what would you say have been the most dramatic changes since then? Guided by our research capabilities and on-the-ground engineering experience, we’ve grown increasingly successful through our proactive approach to managing property risk. We expanded our footprint in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Policyholder surplus is up 600% since 2000, relative to the global industry average of 200%. Average client tenure for FM Global rose to around 18 years, and client retention now hovers continuously at around 95%. We entered the digital age with a big bang through our unique predictive analytics offering. With this, we can not only benchmark risks against one another across clients and industries, but we can predict which sites are most predisposed to loss and which recommendations are most likely to prevent loss. This is providing CFOs with key tools to make financial decisions about where, what and when to invest in loss prevention in their facilities. It’s been a brilliant journey for me in the US and Europe during this period, with a new chapter now opening in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
As a veteran of the insurance industry, is there anything you’d like to change about the sector? As someone who has spent half of their career in the US and the other half in Europe, I would love to see a convergence in the way codes and standards are adopted and implemented by governments across the world to help prevent property loss. This is even more important now, given that global climate change means greater exposures to fire, flood and wind – a particular problem for larger cities in the East that are most prone to natural hazards. We have lobbied relentlessly for this convergence around the planet and have been very active in Australia, China and India in particular.
Is there anything exciting in the pipeline at FM Global that brokers and their clients should know about? We’re working to roll out the next phase in our suite of cyber services in 2020, with a view to marrying our equipment hazards and cyber expertise even more closely for the benefit of our policyholders/owners. Our consultant engineers will start assessing industrial control systems, allowing us to leverage our industrial skills in the cyber arena.
Do you have any specific goals you’d like to achieve in your new role? My key goal is to develop our home-grown talent. We have a tremendously deep bench of raw talent, which represents the next generation of leadership at FM Global in the region.
24/01/2020 9:16:04 AM
UNDERWRITING AGENCIES UPDATE
AHI doubles down on the broker channel The underwriting agency plans to broaden its services to broker partners in 2020
When asked what he believes sets AHI apart in the eyes of brokers, Byrnes points to the agency’s culture of exceptional service and its refusal to take anything for granted. “We genuinely care about our brokers and their clients, and our market-facing teams seek feedback and we listen to that feedback,” he says. “We believe in being responsive, so we have limited bureaucracy and red tape, empowering our people to make decisions quickly.”
“We’ve nurtured broker relationships for over 20 years”
Specialist accident and health underwriter AHI has reaffirmed its commitment to brokers, saying it will always support its partners in the distribution channel. “We’ve nurtured broker relationships for over 20 years, always with a strong focus on service excellence,” says AHI CEO Danny Byrnes. “While we accept there is a place for direct businesses, we focus our efforts on assisting our broker partners to provide the specialist advice needed in the travel
and personal accident space to protect what matters most.” AHI was recently identified as the best agency in the accident and health space in IB’s latest Brokers on Underwriters survey, taking the top spot for a fifth consecutive year. “We are continually striving to innovate and maintain our market-leading products and service levels, and receiving this award helps us to know we’re on the right track,” Byrnes says.
UAC board welcomes two new directors
The Underwriting Agencies Council has added two new directors to its board after Lyndon Turner and Peter Fryer chose not to recontest their positions. Jeanene Hill, head of coverholder and delegated authority for Canopius’ AsiaPacific operations, and Anthony Porter, AFA’s national business development manager, have joined the board, while Lion Underwriting MD Kurt Nilsen and Tego CEO Eric Lowenstein were both re-elected. The other current board members were not required to stand for re-election.
Looking to the future, Byrnes says brokers and their clients will remain a key focus for AHI, even as the agency pours significant resources into digital improvements in the year ahead. “We will continue our investment into technological change without losing focus on our face-to-face and personable approach,” he says. Broker education, too, is likely to be ramped up as AHI responds to increasing interest in the market. “We’ve received overwhelming interest from brokers in our recent webinar education series and will broaden that approach to include even more detail for brokers on claims trends, risk management strategies and coverage innovation,” Byrnes says.
Community Underwriting opens Brisbane office
Not-for-profit specialist Community Underwriting has expanded its footprint, opening a new office in Brisbane in early January. Sarogini Millot, one of the agency’s founding employees and current principals, has relocated to Brisbane to head up operations, retaining her role as chief underwriting officer. “Not-for-profit clients from Queensland have steadily increased over the last five years and are a growing proportion of Community Underwriting’s national book of business,” said executive director Graeme Berwick.
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Christopher Collins Underwriting manager SURA MARINE
Years in the industry 20+ Fast fact Collins has worked in senior positions for a number of leading marine insurers in both Australia and the UK
Navigating competition and capacity How would you describe the market for marine risks right now? Conditions in the cargo space remain competitive, with plenty of underwriting capacity despite some signs of risk remediation in the market. Carriers’ load risks currently account for a disproportionately higher percentage of claims costs in the market. This will make it more difficult for poorer-performing risks to find cover and competitive pricing than in previous years. Capacity restrictions in commercial hull risks have increased in the past 18 months. It’s likely this trend will continue in the medium term.
Are there any commonly overlooked risks or coverage gaps in the sector? Cargo owners are often unaware that transport companies, including air, sea and road carriers, are entitled to limit their liability for cargo loss or have their liability limited by international laws and conventions. This can often lead to cargo owners being out of pocket if they rely on transport service providers for compensation.
Cargo losses resulting from cyber-related fraud in freight documentation have the potential to be a gamechanging risk. It’s a new component to consider under existing marine insurance arrangements. Speculation about blockchain technology becoming the norm for supply chain and logistics is premature, in my view, with any significant uptake in this area being decades away.
According to Bobby Lehane, CEO of strata specialist CHU, the persistent problem of building defects will remain a “strong theme” for the insurance industry through 2020. Lehane cited a recent report from the University of New South Wales’ City Futures Research Centre, which found that 75% to 85% of owners’ corporations have identified major defects in their buildings. “The insurance industry, strata industry and the government are looking at what can be done to meet this challenge,” Lehane told Insurance Business.
Are there any interesting risk mitigation developments happening? There’s been a shift toward cargo owners placing full responsibility for loss and damage on road carriers. This has led to cargo owners forgoing their own cover or adopting higher deductibles. In the past, road carriers have been able to contract out of claims against them, even when they may have been negligent. However, recent changes to the Unfair Contracts Law could make this practice more difficult when dealing with small businesses.
Have you worked on any particularly hardto-place risks?
What about emerging risks?
CHU CEO says building defects will remain an issue
Are you hearing any concerns from brokers? More underwriting services shifting online has increased the difficulty in finding skilled underwriters for any risks that sit outside the box. Despite the convenience of self-service options, having easy personal access to underwriters is still highly valued, and brokers who harness those direct relationships will have a real advantage over their competitors.
New marine underwriting agency debuts
Static risks, such as storage and warehousing of cargo, are becoming more difficult to place in marine portfolios, particularly when they can be readily insured in a conventional property insurance market. In the past, marine insurers have been seen as a soft alternative for covering stock risks that would otherwise be insured under ISR/business pack insurance.
Established marine underwriter Jill Murphy has launched independent agency RedSky with a team of experts already on side, including Heather Roberts, previously a corporate development specialist at NTI, and Jodie Drinnan, formerly QBE’s national distribution manager for marine specialty risks. RedSky will offer an array of marine-focused products, including cargo, yacht, pleasure craft, and hull and machinery. The organisation also has an existing portfolio, acquired from Murphy’s previous employer, Agile Underwriting.
Blue Zebra plans to roll out new products in 2020
New products and a broader footprint are on the cards for Blue Zebra in the year ahead. The insurtech-driven agency has seen significant success since its arrival in 2017. “We’re now turning over in excess of $120m business written, and we’re dealing with about 400 brokers in the market,” co-founder and managing director Colin Fagen told Insurance Business late last year. “We’re also looking at bringing out more products – SME, commercial lines, personal, accident and sickness, cyber – to expand the range after Christmas.”
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APPRENTICE BAKER TO DECISION-MAKER From humble beginnings as a baker, Tony Dodd has risen to become CEO of one of Australia’s largest transport insurers. Now he’s looking to leverage what he’s learned along the way to take the company to new heights
HAD LIFE TAKEN Tony Dodd in a different direction, today he might be spoken of in the same terms as Adriano Zumbo. Insurance was not his first calling – originally, he found himself working as an apprentice baker, standing before blazing hot ovens every morning. “I enjoyed it,” Dodd says, “but I think I realised pretty quickly that it wasn’t for me long term.” Baking’s loss has been insurance’s gain. In October 2019, Dodd was appointed CEO of GT Insurance, the culmination of more than 25 years in the industry. Dodd is cognisant of the importance his early roles in insurance played in bringing him to where he is today. Starting off in the mailroom at the now-defunct FAI, Dodd still speaks fondly of this formative experience – one that was more important to his current position than many might realise. In a preinternet era, the mailroom was a crucial part of the business, one that brought the company together in spite of its decentralised structure. “Back then, each office around Australia had its own dedicated departments – HR, payroll, customer service and so on,” Dodd says. “The mailroom connected them, and it gave me a greater understanding into how the different departments within the company
interacted with each other.” Dodd eventually made the leap to the company’s call centre at the same time the industry was making a push to improve client outcomes with a greater focus on customer service. As someone with contacts across the company through his previous role, Dodd was already ahead of the curve.
off the ground with good mate and fellow long-standing GT employee Chris Kindred. It was a success, and, together with a variety of other accomplishments over the years, helped GT Insurance grow into Australia’s second largest insurer in the transport field. It’s something to be justifiably proud of, yet Dodd is modest about his own contribu-
“I’ve never met a business owner who didn’t want to be better at what they do. It’s an attitude I’ve always tried to remember in the workplace, whether I’m dealing with clients or my team. Insurance is a gateway to facilitate that” “I’ve never met a business owner who didn’t want to be better at what they do,” he says. “It’s an attitude I’ve always tried to remember in the workplace, whether I’m dealing with clients or my team. Insurance is a gateway to facilitate that.”
All about the customer When Dodd joined GT Insurance in 2006, his first task was to get a new Brisbane office
tions. Success, he says, is the result of the great people who are the heart and soul of GT. “A desire for a strong customer-focused culture was what initially attracted me to GT,” he says. “Over the last few years, my role has been to drive and enhance the customer experience. We encourage, train and develop our teams to always look for ways to deliver superior customer service.” Every decision made within the busi-
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PROFILE Name: Tony Dodd Title: CEO Company: GT Insurance Based in: Brisbane Years in the industry: 25+
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ness is assessed on whether it will positively or negatively impact the customer experience, Dodd explains. Additionally, there’s an ongoing conversation about how this culture will evolve into the future. “Everyone in our team is involved with dealing with customers at some level,” he says. “Accordingly, all of them need to be involved in the customer experience process. We make sure everyone is aware of the business expectations on them.” This customer-centric approach has both external and internal applications. GT Insurance conducts all of its business via brokers, but its approach has gradually trans-
reduction and management,” he says. “We work with brokers to provide advice around industry trends, best practice and other safety considerations. It’s a consultative approach, and that’s a culture we encourage internally as part of our service offering to our brokers.”
Strategic investments Of course, positive sentiment needs to be backed up with the right infrastructure. Looking to the future, Dodd is keenly aware of the importance of investing in both technology and people. “We want to set the benchmark, and that means having the right assets in play,” he
“Everyone in our team is involved with dealing with customers at some level. Accordingly, all of them need to be involved in the customer experience process” formed into a three-way partnership. The days of simply delivering a contract are long gone, giving rise to greater collaboration. “Brokers have an incredibly broad range of expertise and require knowledge across many industries,” Dodd says. “By contrast, we focus on a specialist area – so collectively, we have an informative and positive role to play when it comes to working with clients.” When a claim arises, Dodd notes, it’s GT’s time to show empathy, objectivity, compassion and fairness. Both brokers and GT have a role to play in helping the client through the incident. Ideally, it doesn’t stop there, either – good support upfront can prevent incidents from occurring in the first place. While the emphasis is frequently on broker training, Dodd prefers to talk about knowledge sharing. After all, the more confidence the company can provide its brokers, the better the overall outcome for the client. “Insurance is part of risk prevention,
says. Over the last few years, this has meant investing heavily in a new IT infrastructure to better enable both internal and external services. But the human element hasn’t been forgotten; Dodd is a strong advocate of flexible work practices, and the teams split across the company’s two new offices in North Sydney and Parramatta can choose where they prefer to work. Dodd freely admits that striking the right balance isn’t always easy. But whatever changes might come – whether market-, technology- or people-driven – he believes the fundamental elements underpinning GT Insurance will remain in place. “If I could boil down our culture to one word, it’s ‘fairness’,” he says. “The business has been built on that as a mantra, and it’s one of my proudest accomplishments to be able to promote that at a whole new level within the company and industry.”
GT INSURANCE AT A GLANCE
HOME COUNTRY Australia
AREAS OF COVERAGE Heavy motor and transport insurance
YEAR FOUNDED 1996, as Global Motor Underwriting Agency
ALLIANZ PARTNERSHIP ESTABLISHED 2006
STATE OFFICES Sydney (established 1996), Melbourne (2006), Brisbane (2006), Perth (2006), Adelaide (2007), Townsville (2010), Darwin (2010), Newcastle (2012), Albury (2014)
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Evolve or fall short Insurers must adapt to meet a higher standard or suffer the consequences, writes Bill Pieroni AS VISIONARY author William Gibson said, “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” By investing in new technological capabilities – and, more importantly, developing new operating models to fully leverage that technology – forward-looking insurers have opened up unprecedented avenues for sustainable value creation. Simply put, they are setting a higher bar, and insurers must embrace transformational change if they wish to be top competitors. While there are many variations in the strategies carriers can pursue, they fall into four fundamental areas: operational excellence, customer intimacy, product leadership and innovation. Historically, insurers have made a conscious decision to focus on one approach. While excelling at one didn’t give them license to neglect the others, they could be confident that effectively executing their primary chosen strategy gave them a reasonable chance of success. This may no longer be true. In 2018, for the first time, ACORD’s ongoing US Property & Casualty Value Creation Study found that sustainable value creation requires simultaneous superiority across all four fundamental strategies. This was rather shocking – an achievement that had previously been considered unrealistic is now not only possible, but in fact a prerequisite for success. How are market-leading carriers and brokers accomplishing this unprecedented feat? They are leveraging the accumulated benefits of committed, thoughtful investments in tech-centric capabilities. High-performing insurers are spending more than their competitors on technological development, rendering
traditional conventional wisdom obsolete. For example, forward-thinking brokers have allocated resources to acquiring, synthesising and leveraging data on a real-time basis, allowing them to deliver relevant insights at the moment of value. They are using that data to craft a superior experience when interacting with customers while their competitors are analysing that data long after the event.
notoriously significant barriers to change. In fact, our research indicates that two-thirds of insurance industry change efforts fail to meet expectations, due to several related factors: • Risk-averse nature: Though we trade in risk every day, insurance professionals eschew it whenever possible. • Stability and consistency: Predictable, stable financial performance is seen as a key objective by leadership and shareholders alike. • Past as predicator: Insurance is built upon models that look to past data to evaluate future risk, inhibiting the development of new ideas. • Legacy as advantage: Most insurers derive key advantages from their legacy, whether brand, processes or technology. Even the thought of abandoning them is unnerving. • Feedback loop: With the previous factors in mind, it’s not surprising that company measures and incentives typically reward maintenance of the status quo.
“High-performing insurers are spending more than their competitors on technological development, rendering traditional conventional wisdom obsolete” Digitally mature capabilities and informational economies of scale allow these carriers to simultaneously execute across all four fundamental strategies, despite finite resources. For example, there has historically been an inverse relationship between loss adjustment expense and pure loss – spending on one meant saving money on the other. However, carriers that have invested in digital capabilities are managing to underspend on both simultaneously. Again, this is not a future possibility – it’s already happening. Top-performing insurers have already integrated new technologies into their operating models in a way that allows them to deliver on all strategic options. Other insurers will need to implement disciplined transformation efforts to effectively compete. Unfortunately, our industry is one with
Insurers that wish to join – or remain among – the ranks of top competitors must overcome these barriers and embrace transformational change. Incremental investment in discrete technologies and value chain segments is not enough – they must implement enterprise programs that leverage innovation to drive differentiating capabilities. Only by merging operations and technology to develop fundamentally new operating models can insurers execute across all strategies simultaneously – a baseline requirement for future success. Bill Pieroni is president and CEO of ACORD, the global insurance standards-setting body. His insurance industry experience includes senior positions at Marsh, State Farm, Aon, IBM, McKinsey and Accenture.
24/01/2020 9:22:49 AM
HOT LIST 2020
HOT LIST 2020
Insurance Business spotlights 50 men and women who have taken Australia’s insurance industry to new heights over the past 12 months ONCE AGAIN, Insurance Business’ annual Hot List serves as a veritable who’s who of the Australian insurance space – 50 key figures who marked themselves out as particularly notable or influential over the last 12 months, and who are set for even bigger and better things in 2020. From insurtech founders and industry disruptors to established veterans who remain at the top of their game, everyone featured on the following pages is doing their part to push Australia’s insurance sector forward.
There was no shortage of worthy candidates as IB sought to narrow down the list to the 50 individuals featured here. The industry has again demonstrated its potential as a positive and challenging work environment for many high-achieving professionals. External appreciation for the rewarding career opportunities insurance offers might be lacking at times, but this year’s Hot List proves that there are plenty of people excelling in the industry and happy to remain in it.
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HOT LIST 2020 INDEX NAME
Liberty Specialty Markets
Munich Re Australia
Austbrokers Coast to Coast
Underwriting Agencies Council
CCM Insurance Group
Claim Central Consolidated
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions
High Street Underwriting
HILARY BATES Chief claims and operations officer, general insurance ZURICH
At Zurich, Hilary Bates leads a team of professionals who are dedicated to delivering operational excellence and outstanding customer service. Throughout her career, Bates has held senior claims management roles with a track record of delivering on customer, people, financial and transformation objectives. She has deep technical knowledge across first- and third-party claims and is experienced in managing operational teams. Bates started her career in private practice, working in insurance, risk management and litigation practice groups before moving into insurance in 2004. She worked in the US for seven years, gaining experience across complex claims and senior claims management, before returning to Australia in 2013 and taking on her current role at Zurich in 2016.
ENRIQUE SICURELLA Director CCM INSURANCE GROUP
Enrique Sicurella’s name is synonymous with builder’s warranty and residential construction insurance across Australia. Sicurella’s career-long dedication to assisting builders with their warranty requirements has seen him design and implement solutions for some of Australia’s biggest residential builders and has placed CCM as the broker behind some of Australia’s fastest-growing construction companies. Named Broker of the Year – Specialist at the 2019 Insurance Business Australia Awards, Sicurella’s expertise and commitment to driving results for CCM’s residential builders ensures that no client is ever left with insufficient turnover on their facility. His steadfast commitment to obtaining positive results has allowed CCM to secure deals for clients that were previously unavailable to any other broker.
HOT LIST 2020 IAIN MACLEOD SVP ALLIED WORLD
Prior to joining Allied World in 2012, Iain MacLeod spent 23 years at Marsh, where he held senior positions in London, Bermuda and New York. Over the past several years, Allied World has enjoyed phenomenal success, due in no small part to MacLeod’s strong leadership. “I get really positive feedback from our broker partners, as, being a younger organisation, we understand it’s important to be responsive and straightforward,” MacLeod told Insurance Business last year. Responsible for sales and distribution initiatives for both the commercial and retail segments, MacLeod works directly with clients as well as via broker and agent channels. He says his success wouldn’t be possible without the entire Allied World team. “Locally, we’ve got exceptional talent and experience in our claims and underwriting teams, focused on our core underwriting business and relationships in the market.”
BOBBY LEHANE CEO CHU
CEO AUSTBROKERS COAST TO COAST
As QBE’s chief operating officer, Renee Roberts holds one of the most prestigious positions in the industry. “When I joined QBE in 2018, I was fortunate to become a part of an organisation that places enormous value on female leadership, diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity for all,” Roberts told Insurance Business last year. “Since that time, I’ve had the opportunity to lead our operations functions through a period of significant transformation – an incredible opportunity for any insurance leader and what has been an extremely rewarding experience.” Outside of QBE, Roberts is a director on the Swinburne University Council and an esteemed business mentor.
As CEO of Austbrokers Coast to Coast, Hansen has been instrumental in the brokerage’s ongoing success and its string of high-profile industry accolades, including ANZIIF’s Small Brokerage of the Year Award in both 2016 and 2017. Austbrokers Coast to Coast was also named Brokerage of the Year (6-20 Staff) at the 2018 Insurance Business Australia Awards and was a finalist in the same category in 2019. Hansen has also thrived individually, winning NIBA’s Australian Broker of the Year Award in 2016. Based in the Burleigh Heads region of Queensland, Hansen is also invested in the local community, providing training on risk management issues for charitable organisations and the non-profit sector.
Bobby Lehane became CEO of CHU Underwriting Agencies, a subsidiary of Steadfast Group, in 2015 after spending seven years at Zurich, including serving as executive general manager of its SME segment and its billion-dollar commercial insurance segment. At the time of Lehane’s appointment to CEO, Steadfast managing director and CEO Robert Kelly described him as having “an impressive track record of building high-performance teams, leading transformation and change, leveraging technology, and delivering results”. Under Lehane’s leadership, CHU has been named the top strata insurance agency by brokers in the Insurance Business Brokers on Underwriting Agencies survey since the strata category was introduced in 2016. Lehane has also placed considerable emphasis on diversity during his tenure at CHU. “Diversity and inclusion aren’t just ‘nice to haves’ – they are critical to everything we are and do,” he said last year after CHU won ANZIIF’s Excellence in Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Award. “It’s now a strategic imperative for any business with aspirations of growth and success into the future.”
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JEANENE HILL Head of coverholder and delegated authority, APAC CANOPIUS GROUP
In August 2019, Jeanene Hill joined Canopius Group’s Sydney office, where she acts as head of coverholders and binding authority across the Asia-Pacific reason. Additionally, in December 2019, Hill was elected to the board of directors for the Underwriting Agencies Council. Before joining Canopius, Hill worked for Talbot Underwriting, Berkley Re, Munich Re and Willis Re and has held both underwriting and broking roles throughout her 30-plus-year career. Her wealth of experience gives her the ability to assess the issue at hand from both a stakeholder and broking perspective.
ANITA LANE Director SOLUTION UNDERWRITING
EGM, business distribution IAG
Prior to starting MECON Insurance in 2003, Glenn Ross spent 15 years underwriting engineering risks in both Australia and New Zealand, as well as 10 years as an insurance broker. He also served as a risk manager to one of the top 20 multinational construction companies. Ross’ varied experience helped provide a strong foundation for his current role, allowing him to help MECON become one of Australia’s leading insurance providers. In 2019, MECON launched a new PI product designed to better protect builders who find themselves involved in a building failure. Ross described the policy as “top-shelf” and noted that it will protect builders against legal liability for both actual and alleged breaches.
Ben Bessell was appointed executive general manager of business distribution within IAG’s Australia division in 2017 after spending two years as the division’s chief executive. Prior to that, Bessell was acting chief executive of commercial insurance and COO for the same segment, responsible for its financial performance. A senior associate of ANZIIF and an alumnus of the London Business School, Bessell has more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry across many locations. Prior to joining IAG, he worked at CGU in various roles, including general manager of broker and agency, general manager of workers’ compensation, and general manager of CGU claims.
With an insurance background spanning two decades, Anita Lane helped establish Solution Underwriting in Melbourne in 2011. The agency has since expanded to Sydney and has attracted attention for its innovations across a number of fields, particularly travel. Providing professional indemnity, general liability and management liability insurance, Solution Underwriting is focused on cultivating long-term relationships with brokers, is owned by its directors and is driven to provide professional assistance across all of its product lines. Lane has worked to raise attention around the risk of kidnap and extortion among Australian SMEs and the necessity of having adequate cover. Speaking to IB in 2018, Lane noted that “it’s like any type of risk – brokers need to be better educated on the exposures and how to protect their clients.” In 2019, Lane oversaw the launch of the Solution ONE Allied&Medical policy, prompted by the increasing number of professions that have come under the allied health umbrella in recent years. “There are many practitioners that fall outside established schemes, and we are trying to accommodate for those clients,” she told IB at the time.
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HOT LIST 2020
Head of major accounts CHUBB
CEO INSURTECH AUSTRALIA
As the head of Chubb’s major accounts division, Demetra Day oversees one the insurer’s most important lines of business. The company created the new division for the Asia-Pacific region in 2018 to ensure that large multinational businesses continued to receive the same level of service they had come to expect. Day was named the division’s first head, tasked with managing major accounts underwriting teams, global client executives, claims client relationship managers and risk engineers.
Since May 2019, Rita Yates has been at the helm of Insurtech Australia, an organisation that will only become more important in the future. While insurtech remains largely male-dominated, Yates hopes to use her position to change that. “I’d love to see more female founders,” she told IB last year. “We have some great ones already, but it would be good to have more women working in the industry, and personally, I’m very interested in providing my support to up-and-coming female founders.”
SARAH LYONS Chief executive, Gallagher Australia GALLAGHER
Making her second consecutive appearance on IB’s Hot List, Sarah Lyons has been in the insurance industry for more than two decades. She joined Gallagher in 2014 as COO when it acquired OAMPS Insurance Brokers, where she was head of commercial broking. Immediately before assuming her current role, Lyons was Gallagher’s managing director of commercial broking. Today, Lyons is the only female CEO of a major international broker in Australia and is responsible for a national team of 900 staff and a business placing almost $1bn in GWP. In an interview with Insurance & Risk, Lyons spoke about her decision to enter the industry, saying, “Like many people, I fell into insurance. It wasn’t necessarily the route I’d originally seen for myself, but my father worked in insurance, and he gave me an honest appraisal of the opportunity, so I’m a second-generation insurance person. Many people think of insurance as being rather dull and generally behind the times. In reality, it is innovative and dynamic, and you get to experience things outside of your core role remit.”
LYNETTE SCHULTHEIS Senior vice president and operations manager FM GLOBAL
As senior VP and operations manager for FM Global, Lynette Schultheis sets the insurer’s strategic direction in Australia, executes corporate objectives and ensures compliance with local regulations. She is also responsible for underwriting, engineering, claims, finance and human resources. Schultheis joined the company in 1986 and has held various positions in client service, underwriting and management. Most recently, she was the regional senior vice president of Europe for FM Global subsidiary AFM. In 2019, Schultheis warned brokers about the devastating consequences of denial, saying many businesses leave themselves dangerously exposed because they just can’t seem to accept – or understand – the level of risk they really face. “Many people don’t choose to adequately understand their exposures, the likelihood of risk or the potential impact,” Schultheis told IB. “Education is highly important, but it’s not easy for customers to do this alone. Many times, we find people who are not necessarily risk experts being asked to take care of their company’s insurance program [and who] already have a full plate of responsibilities.”
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DAMIEN COATES CEO, APAC DUAL
With more than 20 years in the industry, Damien Coates remains a key figure in the Australian insurance space. Coates established DUAL Australia in 2004 and has since guided it to become Australia’s largest independent underwriting agency and Lloyd’s of London’s largest intermediated coverholder in Australia. Coates also helped establish an office in Auckland in 2011, leading DUAL New Zealand to become the country’s largest underwriting agency, as well as one of its top five liability providers. Shortly thereafter, Coates spent two years as DUAL’s global CEO before returning his focus to the Asia-Pacific region. This is Coates’ fifth appearance on IB’s Hot List, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only has DUAL continued to grow across the region, but the company has regularly cleaned up in IB’s annual Brokers on Underwriting Agencies survey. Brokers consistently point to the underwriter as a standout performer, particularly in the areas of D&O liability, management liability and professional indemnity.
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HOT LIST 2020 RICHARD ENTHOVEN CEO HOLLARD AUSTRALIA
Richard Enthoven came to Sydney in 1999 to establish the local branch of the successful and highly profitable South African insurance giant founded by his father. Since then, Hollard has grown exponentially to become a leader in the Australian market. The company made waves in early 2019 when it announced that it had hit its 2020 goal of $1bn in gross written premium nearly a year early. Also last year, Hollard launched Hollard Commercial Insurance [HCi], a new commercial brand specialising in insurance for small to mediumsized businesses, which significantly widens the group’s commercial footprint. Outside of Hollard, Enthoven owns the Nando’s food chain and Spier Wine Farm. He spent two years as president and chairman of the Insurance Council of Australia and serves on the advisory board of Head Over Heels, a not-for-profit organisation that supports a portfolio of high-potential women-owned businesses.
Sarah Harland has been instrumental in Suncorp’s recent tech transformation, which repositioned the insurer with a customer-centric focus. Harland is also an advocate for women and girls in technology and a member of Chief Executive Women, where she works to build the leadership, confidence and communication skills of women in STEM. “There’s great opportunity in the insurance industry across a diverse range of areas,” she told IB last year, “and I’m particularly passionate about exposing young women to the possibilities that a STEM education can open up.”
Samantha Hollman has spent two decades at Steadfast, where she was named COO in 2016. As a member of the executive team, Hollman plays a key role in determining the strategic direction of the network, both locally and internationally. She also sits on the supervisory board of unisonSteadfast, which the company launched in 2017 after purchasing a non-controlling stake in unisonBrokers. “I’m proud to have been the second employee in the company, backing myself to embark on any role or opportunity presented and contributing to the growth and success of today’s ASX 200-listed company,” Hollman told IB last year.
COLIN FAGEN Managing director BLUE ZEBRA
Before founding insurtech Blue Zebra in 2017, Colin Fagen held several global C-suite roles at QBE, including group chief operations officer, group chief strategy officer and CEO of QBE Australia and New Zealand. He has also been president of the Insurance Council of Australia and a director of ANZIIF. In an interview with IB late last year, Fagen revealed that Blue Zebra has big plans for 2020, including launching new products in SME, commercial lines, personal, accident and sickness, and cyber; helping brokers with white labelling and cross-selling; and perhaps even international expansion. “In the next 12 to 18 months, we’ll probably be looking at overseas expansion,” Fagen said. “We’ve got ideas, and we’re looking at a few different countries, but that’s something that will happen gradually in the up-and-coming future.”
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JENNIFER RICHARDS Managing director, specialties AON
As MD of specialities, Jennifer Richards is responsible for the strategic growth of Aon’s specialty businesses in Australia, including Aon Global Risk Consulting, Financial Specialties and People Risk. Richards focuses on assisting clients in mitigating and managing risk, as well as helping them deliver on their business growth objectives via specialised risk products and services. Richards’ area of expertise is in transactional liability insurance solutions to facilitate mergers and acquisitions. Over the course of more than 15 years, Richards has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers in both the Australian and global markets. She has also developed insurance solutions for complex D&O professional indemnity exposures, with a particular focus on financial institutions.
MONICA HOLLAND Underwriting manager BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY SPECIALTY INSURANCE
ROD FITZGERALD Managing director SRG GROUP
As managing director of SRG Group, Rod Fitzgerald is focused on developing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. By leading from the front with a strong service ethos, he sets the benchmark for those he works with. Fitzgerald has extensive underwriting and insurance broking experience, as well as technical expertise in managing the most challenging of risk profiles. In an interview with IB last year, Fitzgerald outlined how the entire company came together to set SRG’s core values. “We went through a pretty detailed culture project and we came up with these really honest values,” he said. “One of the ones that made me really proud of the team was that the staff wanted to have SRG identified as a communityresponsive organisation.”
In May 2019, Monica Holland joined Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance as an underwriting manager and was also named head of the firm’s new Adelaide office. Holland has more than 25 years of experience across multiple facets of the insurance industry, including broking, claims, underwriting, sales, distribution and business development. “Monica has extensive experience in the South Australia insurance industry, and we are pleased to have her representing BHSI,” Mark Lingafelter, president of Australasia at BHSI, said at the time of Holland’s appointment. “Monica’s local expertise will allow us to partner more effectively with our brokers and customers in South Australia.”
TROY FILIPCEVIC Managing director EMERGENCE INSURANCE
In 2014, Troy Filipcevic left Suncorp to launch Emergence Insurance. While the underwriting agency initially focused on emerging risks, Filipcevic soon identified the opportunity in cyber and chose to double down on the niche. After more than five years, Emergence has steadily built up a client base of satisfied brokers and has shed its newcomer status. “We’re no longer the new kid on the block – we’re a market leader, and that puts brokers’ minds at ease,” Filipcevic told IB late last year. For the second year in a row, Emergence claimed the gold medal in the cyber and information technology category in IB’s 2019 Brokers on Underwriting Agencies survey, and its Cyber Event Protection policy was identified as a broker favourite. “We’re being rewarded for doing just one thing and doing it well,” Filipcevic said. “We’ve got best-in-class wording, stable pricing and a team of people who understand the nuances of the product and the risks we’re underwriting – once you package that together, it’s a great proposition.”
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HOT LIST 2020 KELLY BUTLER Cyber practice leader, Pacific MARSH
Responsible for client advisory and placement services for cyber and technology risk throughout Marsh’s Pacific region, Kelly Butler is an expert in one of the most rapidly evolving spaces in insurance. The increasing importance of cybersecurity throughout the world – coupled with its ongoing evolution and the lack of seriousness still surrounding it in many industries – means that Butler’s role continues to gain new importance on a regular basis. Writing on LinkedIn in September 2019, she noted that “there’s no question that cyber risk is one of the most dynamic and complex risks of our time”. Butler has been in insurance for more than 20 years. She was first introduced to the industry at HIH Insurance, Australia’s former second largest insurance company, and went on to hold roles with various insurers, including RFIB in the UK, QBE in New Zealand and Willis in Australia.
DAVID HOSKING Chief general manager, broker and agency ALLIANZ
As chief general manager of broker and agency at Allianz Australia, David Hosking is responsible for building a high-performing team that addresses the needs and concerns of the company’s brokers and clients. He’s also a great believer in making sure those who work with him can achieve work-life balance. “At Allianz, we continue to implement initiatives that support the relationship between employee wellbeing and business,” he says. “Personally, I always seek to balance my work and career, family and friends, and health and fitness.” Prior to joining Allianz, Hosking held several roles with IAG, including CFO for Asia, head of Australian finance services and Australian CFO. He holds an MBA from the University of Sydney and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.
ROBERT KELLY Managing director and CEO STEADFAST
Robert Kelly co-founded Steadfast in 1996. Since then, he has led the company to become the largest general insurance broker network and underwriting agency group in Australia and New Zealand, as well as an ASX 200-listed company. Kelly has more than 45 years of experience in the industry. He is a fellow of NIBA and winner of the 2016 Lex McKeown Trophy for his contribution to the industry and insurance broking. He is also a senior associate of ANZIIF Certified Insurance Professionals and holds diplomas in financial services and occupational health and safety, along with a graduate diploma in Australian risk management. Outside of his work at Steadfast, Kelly is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and sits on the ACORD board in New York. He also serves as a director for ASX-listed Johns Lyng Group and the not-for-profit organisation KidsXpress.
BRIAN SIEMSEN Managing director and CEO CLAIM CENTRAL CONSOLIDATED
Brian Siemsen was appointed managing director and CEO of Claim Central Consolidated in 2002. Since then, he has built a business on his aspiration to set a new standard for claims management practices, one that couples the intelligent use of insurance technologies and digital supply chain solutions with exceptionally talented people. In 2017, Claim Central released ClaimLogik, an industry-first digitally connected claims ecosystem platform that has since been successfully expanded to the US, Africa, Europe and New Zealand. The company had a big year in 2019, announcing several new projects and partnerships, including a new office in Parramatta, a merger with motor claims specialist Hello Claims, an exclusive three-year deal with Club 4X4 and the debut of Insurx, a new TPA offering. “After a year-long working partnership and incubation alongside several dynamic insurers, we’ve already transacted over 20,000 claims and collected a heap of performance data to support our market launch,” Siemsen said when rolling out Insurx. “Insurx has a unique advantage, housing insurance expertise and leading edge-technology, built on a culture of a customer-first approach, which will reshape claim services, providing predictable and consistent outcomes.”
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MARIA PARRY CEO AUSTCOVER
Maria Parry first joined Austcover as an office junior and receptionist and steadily climbed the corporate ladder to become CEO in 2016. Along the way, she’s picked up several accolades, including the coveted Broker of the Year Award at the 2018 Insurance Business Australia Awards and a spot among IB’s Elite Women in Insurance in 2019. Parry describes herself as a “highly motivated individual who is able to communicate confidently, clearly and expressively” and who has “the ability to keep a level head at all times, evaluate opportunities and risks, and also deliver innovative new solutions to challenges.”
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HOT LIST 2020 LYLE STEFFENSEN National leader of care solutions MARSH
As Marsh’s national leader of care solutions, Lyle Steffensen is a prominent figure in a space that’s facing a period of significant scrutiny, with the aged care royal commission expected to deliver its final report in April. Steffensen often leads informative sessions for the industry on dignity of risk – an area that she feels needs additional focus if Australia wants to improve the standards and quality currently found in the aged care sector. “As the leaders, we need to come up with something different,” Steffensen told IB last year. “That’s what these royal commissions are asking for – they’re asking for something which is actually a higher level of community expectations and what we’re delivering, and that is the problem.”
Claims operations manager, Australia and New Zealand
Director WEBBER INSURANCE
General manager UNDERWRITING AGENCIES COUNCIL
Webber Insurance was founded in 2011 to provide quality insurance advice and solutions. Daniel Webber joined in 2013, initially as an employee, but he soon made his way to director and earned a name for himself in the wider industry in the process. Since then, the company has cultivated a keen emphasis on staying current with the latest industry trends, both internally with staff and externally with clients. Looking to the next 12 months and beyond, Webber says the brokerage plans to expand its client education programs by using video production, social media, blogging and in-person meetings. “Making sure that clients have access to the right information around exposure and risk management so that they can make informed decisions is a key part of our future planning,” he adds.
Since becoming the UAC’s inaugural GM in 2011, William Legge has spent the past nine years helping spearhead the implementation of the organisation’s strategic plan, bringing his considerable experience to bear in the process. The UAC has attracted considerable attention in recent months; in November 2019, it received 11 applications for just four vacant spaces on the board. Speaking to IB at the time, Legge said the interest was a positive sign for both the UAC and the wider underwriting industry. “We’re doing very well at the moment, and it looks as though everyone else wants to get involved, too, which is fantastic,” he said. “What we’re looking for is leaders within our industry who are also leading their organisations and can therefore commit their organisations when the crunch comes.”
Responsible for driving admin, recoveries, TPA management, reporting, integration, projects and continuous improvement for Chubb’s Australian and New Zealand claims team, Cecilia Hidalgo oversees one of the insurer’s most critical functions. Under her guidance, Chubb’s claims team has earned a stellar reputation and was named the best insurer for claims turnaround time in IB’s most recent Brokers on Insurers survey. She was also named to IB’s Elite Women list in 2019. Hidalgo has 17 years of experience in the insurance industry, including 13 years in Australia and four in Latin America. Prior to Chubb, she spent almost six years in various roles at AXA, including claims assessor, income protection, claims administration team manager and business development manager.
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CATHERINE MCNAIR Head of diversity and inclusion, Australia and New Zealand QBE
As head of diversity and inclusion for QBE Australia and New Zealand, Catherine McNair has more than 10 years of experience delivering innovative and impactful diversity and inclusion strategies with people at the centre. McNair is passionate about working collaboratively with senior leaders and organisations to enable future thought leaders and workplaces. Over the past two decades, she has worked for a range of industries and organisations, including Minter Ellison, King Wood Mallesons and Deloitte. For McNair, creating an inclusive workplace is a way of life. It was a significant milestone for QBE – and a testament to McNair’s skill – when it was named one of Australia’s best employers for LGBTI inclusion, receiving gold status in the 2019 Australian Workplace Equality Index. Not only did QBE improve upon its bronze status from 2018, but it was the highest-rated insurer in the Workplace Equality Index.
LINDA ELLIS TIM BUGG Principal risk engineer, professional and financial risks LIBERTY SPECIALTY MARKETS
With more than 20 years of experience as an engineer and project and design manager in the construction and engineering field, Tim Bugg clearly has an informed grasp of risk. Since joining the insurance industry in 2016, he’s also worked across agriculture, mining, water, oil & gas, desalination, power generation, manufacturing and construction. Today, Bugg helps the Liberty underwriting team, as well as brokers and clients, understand the risks associated with their engineering and construction projects. “A large part of my job that I get a real kick out of is spending time with our clients – the engineers, the construction managers, the project managers who are delivering the projects,” he says. “It allows us to take the conversation away from deductibles, limits and premiums and really talk about what it is they’re doing. What’s the technology they’re applying? How are they solving those problems? Through understanding all of that, it really helps us prepare for them the best possible PI cover for their project.”
Group company secretary and corporate counsel STEADFAST
With a role that encompasses board and stakeholder liaison, corporate governance, legal counsel, strategic planning, major projects, and risk management, Linda Ellis plays a pivotal role in guiding the strategic direction of Australia’s largest general insurer broker network. In 2020, Ellis will be a key figure for not just Steadfast but the entire industry as organisations and individuals navigate a post-royal commission environment in which compliance, governance and community standards are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. “I love working in insurance because every day we are helping people live their lives and run their businesses,” Ellis told IB last year. “Our economy would grind to a halt without insurance, and it’s good to be part of something worthwhile which makes a substantial contribution to the economy.”
JOHN NAGLE Managing director and CEO ICARE
As the head of icare, John Nagle oversees NSW’s largest workers’ compensation provider and one of the largest insurance providers in Australia. The organisation’s workers’ insurance scheme provides coverage to 3.4m employees, road users, builders and homeowners, along with 296,000 businesses. Over the last couple of years, icare has rolled out a new claims service model based on feedback from customers and industry stakeholders, which aims to provide simpler, more transparent and more human-centric claims management. In his 40-plus years in the industry, Nagle has held a number of significant senior leadership roles, including chief executive of Lumley Insurance, executive general manager for corporate and specialty insurance at Suncorp, and COO of retail at Vero.
HOT LIST 2020
CECILIA WARREN Director of research and development IAG
Cecilia Warren is at the forefront of innovation within Australia’s insurance industry – as the head of IAG’s research and development team, she collaborates with external partners to deliver insights on the balance between emerging technology and human needs. One of her key areas of interest is autonomous vehicles; in January 2019, she spoke to the Australian Financial Review about the challenge of determining liability for autonomous vehicle coverage. “We still believe there will be risks on the road, so let’s keep the schemes designed around people to make it as easy as possible to recover after something as awful as a collision on the road,” she said. “What we don’t want is a scenario where a customer has to line up to make a claim against a global manufacturer.”
Executive director COMMUNITY UNDERWRITING
Managing director HDI GLOBAL
Graeme Berwick has worked in the insurance industry for more than 30 years, both in Australia and abroad. For the last 20 years, he has also run his own management consultancy, serving as an advisor, shareholder and principal consultant for numerous industryrelated businesses. Berwick is also a board member of Meals on Wheels NSW and has been involved with the association for more than 15 years. His commitment to charitable action extends into Community Underwriting, too. The company’s Small Grants Program, in operation since 2014, returns 5% of Community Underwriting’s annual surplus to its not-for-profit clients. Since its inception, the program has channelled more than $3m back into charitable organisations. “The bigger we grow, the more there is for our clients, which is great,” Berwick told IB last year. “[In 2019], the overall grant pool is going to be around $102,000 – up from about $70,000 [in 2018].”
Since restarting the HDI Global (formerly Gerling) brand after joining the group in 2010, Stefan Feldmann has helped the company achieve significant growth. Closeness to industry is essential to HDI’s ethos, which Feldmann feels sets it apart from its competitors. “We are a company which works very closely with clients,” he said in an interview with IB late last year. “We are created by industry, for industry, so we tend to build quite a deep dialogue with our valued clients. When we talk to big Australian and New Zealand companies, they like our closeness to the industry.” Looking ahead, Feldmann also believes HDI has opportunities to thrive as a premier provider of third-party liability insurance, particularly in the wake of so many other withdrawals from the local market. “Liability insurance is an essential risk transfer solution for every corporation in Australia and New Zealand,” he said. “For a liability mutual like us, it’s core to our business.”
MELANIE SLACK CEO, Australia and New Zealand SWISS RE CORPORATE SOLUTIONS
One of the few women steering the international strategy of a major insurer, Melanie Slack is responsible for managing the strategy, development and performance of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions’ presence in the Australian and New Zealand commercial insurance markets. She also looks after a large team across eight locations in Asia-Pacific. Previously, Slack was head of life and health products for Swiss Re Asia. She joined Swiss Re Group in 2002, where she gained international experience in a range of senior management positions in Asia, Europe and the US.
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ROSS HAYWARD Director PREMIUM FUNDING
Ross Hayward leads Australia’s largest privately owned premium funding company, which writes loans for more than 45,000 businesses each year through a network of more than 1,000 brokers. In recent years, Hayward and Premium Funding launched InsurePitch in collaboration with Ausure, Insurance House Group, PSC Insurance, the Hollard Group and Resilium Insurance Brokers. The think tank provides brokers and the wider industry with a platform to fund and develop tech ideas to stave off the threat of insurtech and direct offerings. More recently, Hayward has called on the industry to voice its support for brokers, saying action needs to be taken sooner rather than later. “ASIC will be reviewing our industry in 2022, we need to start the conversation now to build awareness around the importance of insurance brokers,” Hayward told IB last year.
PRUE WILLSFORD CEO ANZIIF
SIMONE DOSSETOR COO MUNICH RE AUSTRALIA
As COO of Munich Re Australia, Sydneybased Simone Dossetor determines the strategic direction of the reinsurer’s operational functions – including HR, IT, facilities and projects – for both Australia and New Zealand. Formerly a member of ANZIIF’s Women’s Council, Dossetor was welcomed onto the board of the professional association earlier this year and plays a key role in controlling and directing its work. “I’ve enjoyed the journey of my career, particularly the opportunity to work in insurance and the privilege of embedding a diversity and talent strategy in partnership with the leadership team,” Dossetor said in an interview with IB last year. “While most companies haven’t solved all their gender equality issues, I am heartened that many in insurance have embraced a rigorous and detailed program to continue transforming workplaces to create greater balance.”
Making her seventh consecutive appearance on IB’s Hot List, Prue Willsford has been steering ANZIIF’s strategic direction and ensuring value for its members since 2013. Willsford remains an influential figure in the industry as ANZIIF continues to provide education, training and professional development opportunities across the APAC region. Willsford has notched up more than three decades of financial services experience, starting as an accountant at Macquarie Bank in 1989 before obtaining a position with what is now the Financial Services Council to handle policy and regulatory work. From there, she moved to Melbourne and worked for Colonial Mutual in product roles, including a short stint as the group life product manager. She also spent almost five years running investment products at the National Bank and served as general manager of corporate operations for State Trustees, the public trustee for Victorians, before taking the top job at ANZIIF.
ALAN WHITTLE Managing director HIGH STREET UNDERWRITING
As a truly independent Lloyd’s of London underwriting agency, High Street is helping to bring brokers into the technological age. Heading up the revolution since 2001, Alan Whittle has helped grow High Street into a leading provider of business insurance for hard-to-place risks. The firm’s relationships enable it to find a home for some of the more obscure risks in the market and allow it to act quickly in setting up schemes and new products when brokers present opportunities. It’s an approach that has obviously earned High Street some fans. The company took gold in the product liability category of IB’s Brokers on Underwriting Agencies survey in 2016, 2017 and 2018, as well as silver in 2019.
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HOT LIST 2020 GARY DAWSON Managing director AXIS UNDERWRITING
Gary Dawson has been critical to Axis Underwriting since the very beginning. Partnering with the late John Whitbread, Dawson spotted a gap in the market, and in 1999, Axis Underwriting was born. Since then, the company has been transforming the way Australian insurance brokers access security for high-hazard and hard-to-place risks. The company’s underwriters take an unbiased approach when it comes to assessing and insuring specialised, high-hazard occupations, reviewing each risk on its own merits and working in partnership with general insurance brokers. With offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, as well as expanded occupation listings and increased capacity with Lloyd’s, Dawson and Axis Underwriting are now in a position to assist brokers more effectively than ever before.
TONY CLARK CEO NTI
The transport sector has seen significant transformation in recent years, and with new technologies being introduced more frequently than ever before, it’s likely that this transformation will continue for the foreseeable future. For long-time NTI CEO Tony Clark, it’s essential to keep up with the constantly evolving needs and expectations of the company’s client base – and he believes the ability to leverage data will be key to his company’s present and future success. “Data is king,” Clark told IB in late 2019. “We’re employing more and more data scientists to take away the decisionmaking processes that aren’t necessary. More and more companies are investing in that, but we think that because we are in a niche market, we have extremely good data to take advantage of. And the better your data, the better you are at developing something that’s actually going to make a difference.”
BRAD FRENCH Managing director SLE WORLDWIDE
A former rugby player and industry veteran of more than 25 years, Brad French is particularly passionate about events coverage. Ultimately, he told IB in a 2018 interview, “anyone from a busker on Pitt Street through to AC/DC at ANZ Stadium should be able to receive insurance, but the specifics of their policies can – and should – look quite different … We look at the individual client very closely, because obviously not all these sports, events and activities are the same. We see exposures that may need cover, or may need cover excluded, depending on whether we can provide a sustainable program for the nature of their activity.”
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DANNY BYRNES CEO AHI
With more than 29 years of industry experience, Danny Byrnes arguably reached the pinnacle of his career in 2017 when he stepped into the top job at IAG subsidiary AHI. Though he’s only been in the role a relatively short time, Byrnes has already helped steer the firm through some major changes. Recently, AHI was identified as the best agency in the accident and health space in IB’s 2019 Brokers on Underwriting Agencies survey. It’s not the first time the agency has taken out the gold medal – in an interview with IB, Byrnes called it “truly humbling” to be voted into the top spot for a fifth consecutive year. “We are continually striving to innovate and maintain our market leading products and service levels, and receiving this award helps us to know we’re on the right track,” he said. Looking to the year ahead, Byrnes reaffirmed AHI’s commitment to the broker channel and said the agency is pouring significant resources into digital improvements with brokers in mind. “Our drive to support our broker family through digital platforms will continue to grow over the coming 12 months, ensuring we can be there for you when you need us, wherever you need us,” he said.
LISA CARTER Director CLEAR INSURANCE
Lisa Carter has more than 20 years of insurance experience under her belt and has always pushed herself to greater heights of excellence. So when Carter founded Clear Insurance in 2010, it was no surprise that she quickly established herself as one of the pre-eminent women within Australia’s insurance industry. With a focus on designing bespoke insurance and risk management programs for high-end SME clients, Carter is well regarded for her attention to detail and success in sustaining long-term client relationships. It’s an approach that has garnered her numerous industry accolades in recent years, including Broker of the Year – Authorised Representative at the 2019 Insurance Business Australia Awards. Describing herself as “delighted” by the win, Carter is well aware that her success has positioned her as a role model for others in the field. “I’m heartened to see the rise in young ladies joining the insurance industry ranks and aspiring to leadership positions,” she said. “There are many different roles within the insurance industry, and flexible work environments are allowing women, in particular mothers, to work in an exciting and rewarding industry.”
TIM FAIRBROTHER Director BROOKLYN UNDERWRITING
Major expansion plans are underway for Tim Fairbrother and Brooklyn Underwriting in 2020. Speaking to Insurance Business in December, Fairbrother confirmed the agency would be doubling the size of its staff over the next year. “This will ensure we continue to provide our high level of service standards and improve our reach geographically,” Fairbrother said. “We also have a number of new products that will be released in 2020, and we are investing heavily in technology to ensure efficiencies across the business.” Brooklyn claimed five medals in the 2019 Brokers on Underwriters survey – a gold for product liability, three silvers across various financial lines and a bronze for its cyber and IT offering. Brokers clearly see Brooklyn among the best, and Fairbrother said the agency consistently seeks their input. “We constantly communicate with brokers,” he said. “We ask for feedback, keep up with movements and changes within the market, and run in-house training on current market trends and compliance.”
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SECTOR FOCUS: ACCIDENT AND HEALTH
Keeping clients out of harm’s way Accident and health insurance can be daunting for those who don’t know a lot about the product, but Gallagher Bassett’s Jason Allison tells IB how, with the right support, the field presents considerable opportunities for savvy brokers
WHAT QUALITIES make a good accident and health insurer? It’s a question that weighs on the minds of many brokers around the country. Given the broad scope of coverage involved – and the simple fact that not all providers are created equal – it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the prospect of working in this space. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. Jason Allison, national business development manager at Gallagher Bassett, is highly conscious of the qualities that make for a
good accident and health insurance provider. Chief among them is a company with a good track record of claims management, whether that’s done in-house or outsourced via a third-party administrator (TPA). “In the accident and health space, travel and expat provide you with significant volume, and for the most part, these claims are pretty straightforward – curtailment, lost baggage, delayed flights and so on,” Allison explains. “Some of them will need more of a personal touch than others, of course – but
ABOUT GALLAGHER BASSETT Gallagher Bassett is a world-leading multidisciplinary claims specialist, supporting brokers, insurers, corporations and government entities across all classes of insurance claim. Drawing on our global network and extensive local resources, Gallagher Bassett provides customised claim and risk mitigation solutions that improve our clients’ outcomes. Our expertise in multiple lines of business gives us the ability to actively manage, rather than simply administer, accident and health claims. This bolsters GB’s ability to contain costs and provide personalised support for sick or injured claimants, drawing on the rigour, guidance and customer service focus of GB’s extensive workers’ compensation expertise. Being part of a global organisation gives us an advantage in technology, processes, personnel and consulting services. Our highly regarded international training and education programs also allow us to use the knowledge gained in one country or industry to benefit our clients globally. For more information, visit gallagherbassett.com.au.
they are not particularly complex.” What is important, he adds, is that a claims provider has the ability to deal with more sensitive and unexpected situations if and when they do arise. This is especially key in cases involving personal injury or sickness, when responsive service is required to assist claimants. “Further, a business must have requisite scale – in other words, the ability to flex to the surrounding circumstances while still maintaining quality,” Allison says. “A strong, consistent claims service is one that will be able to meet market needs, both during and after a major event, not just during day-to-day services.” Systems should also be transparent, with accessible data, to assist with future portfolio underwriting decisions. “Given the attention the royal commission attracted and the reforms that have taken place for the General Insurance Code of Practice, it’s essential to work with a provider who is up to speed with the relevant legislation,” Allison says. “While the onus is on you to keep up to speed with industry requirements, you want to make sure your provider
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“For businesses that are looking to capture and retain talent, [accident and health policies] can serve as significant bargaining chips. If they’re not offering these policies, someone else will” Jason Allison, Gallagher Bassett is invested, too – look at what sort of training sessions or broker education options are provided in the market.”
Emerging risks and opportunities Brokers looking to operate within the accident and health space should also be aware of the various risks that populate the industry. Having previously worked as an underwriter
himself, Allison cautions against taking a generalist approach, instead emphasising the need for more granular risk awareness and assessment. “There’s increasing pressure on scope of cover,” he says. “There is significant premium pressure, and underwriters are being asked to write more complex risks, to be willing to work with deductibles, etc. Brokers should be
aware of that and prepare accordingly.” At a macro level, this pressure has been driven by increased incidents of large-scale weather events, seismic events and political unrest, Allison notes. That’s driven a natural rise in premiums, and the data gathered accordingly affects future forecasts. “The other risks we’re seeing are more to do with risk selection and product specs,” he says, which has affected corporate clients who are looking to provide some form of accident and health cover for their employees. There’s been a scaling back of coverage included in group-level policies as underwriters become more aware of the risks involved and look at the performance of similar policies in the marketplace. Additionally, clients are often wary of rising premiums for coverage that they might consider optional. “If you go in and see your insurer one-to-one in a retail sense,” Allison explains, “they’ll probably send you for a medical assessment, ask some questions about your lifestyle and family history, and then you’ll be assigned a policy and premium based on that. There might be some exclusions, too, based on your own risk factors.” But if you’re part of a corporate scheme, he explains, these calculations are made on the basis of population averages and other research, such morbidity rates and age. While these blanket arrangements can be better for some people, in other cases, they overlook fundamental high-risk health issues at the individual level. This doesn’t just apply to health-related matters, either. It’s something that affects every facet of accident and health in the workplace, and brokers need to understand that they can’t just take for granted that corporate policies are comprehensive. “The challenge underwriters have in attaining risk insights – and for businesses seeking cover – is working with these restric-
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SECTOR FOCUS: ACCIDENT AND HEALTH
tions while not violating the privacy of their employees,” Allison says. “So, to that end, brokers need to be having comprehensive conversations about the coverage their clients are likely to need and presenting risk accordingly, whilst underwriters can leverage new information, such as Big Data, to better assess exposures.” He notes that these discussions also touch on companies’ desire to be viewed as an ‘employer of choice’ in the modern workforce. Indeed, he suggests, it’s an effective way to raise the issue with clients.
evolving – trends shift, systems can become obsolete, and the market moves on. You don’t want to be left behind.” Allison also believes brokers will need to play an even greater role in risk management for their clients in the future. “A key part of safety is looking at preventative measures,” he explains. “Not just on an underwriting front, either – it involves broader understanding of the data, legislation and social attitudes around a given issue. So, if you’re a broker in this market, you need to have that understanding so you can act as a
“Policies aren’t just based on the physical risk of an industry anymore – we also have to look at how stressful the roles involved are and what sort of arc the industry is taking” Jason Allison, Gallagher Bassett “There are legal requirements on certain types of insurance in the workplace; however, in the main accident and health space, policies are what might be classed as optional,” Allison says. “But for businesses that are looking to capture and retain talent, they can serve as significant bargaining chips. If they’re not offering these policies, someone else will.”
The future of accident and health Looking to the future of the field, Allison again emphasises the importance of size and scalability for insurers, TPAs and brokers alike. It’s a form of future-proofing, which in turn helps secure the future of the companies themselves. “Companies need to be investing in these areas, because you don’t want to be caught out,” he says. “Insurance is constantly
conduit to your clients. It’s about much more than just a basic employee profile.” One area where this is emerging in at the moment is workplace mental health, Allison notes. Employers and the public are more aware of the issues involved and their effects. “We’re started to see more targeted underwriting on that front,” Allison says. “Policies aren’t just based on the physical risk of an industry anymore – we also have to look at how stressful the roles involved are and what sort of arc the industry is taking. Is it on an upward or downward swing? How is that affecting employees?” Of course, how much of that filters through to the individual employee is up for debate, he notes, but having someone who’s able to communicate that nuance is crucial. “That’s why brokers play such an impor-
KEEPING INSURANCE ETHICAL The 2018 financial services royal commission highlighted a wide range of unethical practices across the entire sector, and insurance wasn’t immune. Boosting the ethics of the industry is something Jason Allison is passionate about. He believes that ethics should be central to insurance, and this starts with a company’s vision, values and leadership. “It’s something really critical for the industry as it evolves,” Allison says. “We want to see people treated fairly across the full spectrum of the insurance value chain, from the customer’s understanding at product purchase through to delivery of the product promise via transparent claims management. That starts at home – Gallagher Bassett was named on the Ethisphere Institute’s World’s Most Ethical Companies list for eight years in a row, so we’ve continually invested into our people to uphold this recognition.”
tant role,” Allison says. “That’s why we invest so heavily in learning and development and other tools to ensure we’re doing right by brokers, by our customers and by the wider industry.”
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SECTOR FOCUS: CLAIMS TECHNOLOGY
Claiming the future As technology advances, brokerages must keep pace to remain relevant in an ever-changing market. Brian Siemsen of Claim Central Consolidated tells IB how tech can better streamline day-to-day tasks and provide deep insights for brokers 40
WHAT WILL claims look like a decade from now? How much of the claims process will be handled by humans, and how much will be technology-led, via robotics and digital workers? How smart will technology be in not only completing processes and tasks, but feeding information into data models to create a continuous loop of improvement? It’s questions like these that give Brian Siemsen, global CEO at Claim Central Consolidated, pause for thought. “As pioneers in the claim space, our focus isn’t on 2020 or 2021 – it’s on 2030,” Siemsen says. “We’re looking to the next horizon, and it’s a lot closer for insurers than many people realise.” That means brokers need to start preparing a sound digital foundation and a smart workflow methodology, if they haven’t already, Siemsen says. He describes a future led by a ‘vision-first’ mentality – starting from the ground up to understand a brokerage’s vision and operational model, and then integrating the relevant technology to help achieve that vision. “By contrast, we’re right now seeing a bit of a ‘bolt-on’ mentality,” he says. “There’s lots of disparate widgets and platforms, which may or may not be integrated with one another. It may be functional, but it’s not necessarily meeting the brokerage’s needs as effectively as it could be. It’s also going to mean that these brokerages get left behind by better-prepared competitors.” Instead, Siemsen invites brokers to imagine a world where most – if not all – of the repetitive, low-complexity tasks in claims customer service and triage can be performed by digital workers to free brokerages up to add value elsewhere. “Digital workers work 24/7; they don’t require lunch breaks; they have no HR issues – it’s a completely clean and efficient way
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of handling low-complexity, high-volume repeatable tasks,” he says. The cost savings are the most obvious benefit, but there’s also the potential to improve the customer’s claims experience. Each claim stage, particularly triage, can be completed much more rapidly. Tasks are automated, but decisions can be made based on algorithms and data collected from historical results, which means the customer gets a fair – and fast – resolution to their claim. It verges on science fiction, but the reality is that a 24/7 claims service that automates the time-consuming and repetitive tasks so often associated with claims management isn’t too far away. “For a supposedly conservative industry, the last few years have been a wake-up call that the status quo is not going to cut it anymore,”
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automation is minimising repetitive tasks, and digital workers are far outperforming their human counterparts. Meanwhile, Claim Central is using virtual reality for claims processing and also for training purposes.
“For a supposedly conservative industry, the last few years have been a wake-up call that the status quo is not going to cut it anymore” Brian Siemsen, Claim Central Consolidated Siemsen says. “Technology is freeing up the broker to spend more quality time with their clients to build bespoke and relevant risk management programs and compete with direct-to-market SME players.”
A new reality Siemsen points to a number of innovations in the works at Claim Central to better meet these needs. The company is using artificial intelligence to provide predictive analytics pre-event, as well as to reduce losses and cut cycle times post-event. Business process
Indeed, VR is one of the tools Siemsen sees as most exciting for the future of claims. VR still capture allows companies to create a still 3D capture of a site instantaneously. “Virtual reality relates specifically to training and immersing claims people inside a 3D environment, which works particularly well with major-loss and commercial claims,” Siemsen says. “The 3D component is a virtual walk-through and capture that can be used many times after it’s been captured, from claims examiners to loss adjusters to the supply chain, for an accurate depiction of
response remediation and mitigation, as well as claim validation and policy response.” VR can eliminate much of the guesswork while also looping in the claim examiner immediately, Siemsen says. “We’re starting to take this proactive approach in claims – and a big chunk of that is because we can take a 3D full internal/ external view of the home,” he adds. “It helps improve the speed of responsiveness, claim and customer service.”
Insurtech partnerships In terms of how Claim Central has been able to achieve a vision-first approach internally, Siemsen points to the company’s partnership with Ingrity, which he says has enabled Claim Central to “liberate and integrate data in the organisation” to drive value both internally and externally. “To be able to help brokers and insurers achieve their own goals on that front, we needed to be able to do it ourselves first,” Siemsen says. “We needed a tailored operating model that executed in alignment with our broader strategy.” That operating model and subsequent technology were introduced into Claim
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SECTOR FOCUS: CLAIMS TECHNOLOGY
“Technology for technology’s sake doesn’t work – but when you can harness it to provide deeper prescriptive insights, the end result is happier brokers and therefore happier customers”
CLAIM CENTRAL’S THREE PILLARS OF A BETTER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Data and analytics
Brian Siemsen, Claim Central Consolidated Central’s TPA claims management business, Insurx, with immediate and profound results. The reliance on a sound technology platform and the ability to predictably forecast the resources required for surge events helped Insurx achieve a +52 Net Promoter Score for one major client and an 87% home insurance claims satisfaction rating for another – both way above the industry standard. “We developed our data strategy in line with our broader business strategy,” Siemsen says. “That’s helped progress our data maturity roadmap from descriptive and diagnostic reporting – which retrospectively tells us what happened and why – to a more predictive and prescriptive model in the last six months, which has helped Insurx to provide these industry-leading results.” Predictive analytics help better anticipate what will happen, while prescriptive analytics enable brokers and insurers alike to respond effectively to those likely events. In essence, this puts data into the hands of front-
line, non-technical staff, who can use it to determine the best outcomes for customers and clients. “By integrating our technology platforms into analytics platforms that intelligently make use of the data output, we are achieving amazing results for our clients and their customers,” Siemsen says. “Technology for technology’s sake doesn’t work – but when you can harness it to provide deeper prescriptive insights, the end result is happier brokers and therefore happier customers.”
2030 and beyond Having a clear vision for the coming decade is something Siemsen sees as essential for the success of both Claim Central and its clients. Because the company spans a broad range of insurance sectors, it’s always been important for it to have facilities that can expand with legislative changes and the development of new products. “We always wanted to be able to seam-
lessly connect data from multiple sources, using a common data model,” Siemsen says. “It enables us to create a 360-degree view of a claim, while also considering its segments and assessing its key KPIs.” Tools such as weather event monitoring solutions will help Claim Central prepare for, respond to and review catastrophic natural disasters, while also providing better tools for estimating premiums and claims. The company is looking to use predictive models to optimise customer, cost and life-cycle outcomes across each claim segment, in conjunction with early intervention to reduce the impact of ‘off-track’ claims. “We’ve also implemented data insights measures across various functions of our business to create optimal financial, people, operations, compliance, customer and insurerrelated outcomes,” Siemsen says. “It’s a process that’s had its challenges, but we feel confident that we’ll be able to bring better service to brokers with these tools in place.”
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24/01/2020 10:06:08 AM
Inside an awardwinning brokerage The trophy cabinet at Austbrokers Coast to Coast is bursting with industry accolades – and CEO Dale Hansen says it’s all down to putting clients first
WHEN IT COMES to winning awards, Austbrokers Coast to Coast seems to have cracked the code – in recent years, both the brokerage and its CEO have received a long list of industry accolades, and the organisation now describes itself as “the most-awarded brokerage” in Australia. It’s no surprise, then, that many in the industry are growing increasingly curious about what sets Austbrokers Coast to Coast apart from its competitors. But CEO Dale Hansen insists there’s no big mystery behind the organisation’s success – he says it all comes down to the quality service the brokerage provides its customers and the strong relationships staff build with clients. “We always put the client first and do the right thing, irrespective of costs,” Hansen says. “Clients will buy from people they trust, so we focus on advice rather than price. We’ll always recommend the right program for the client, even if they choose to accept a quote from another broker based on price.” Of course, being recognised as the best in the business on multiple occasions could easily send an organisation’s ego through the roof – but Hansen says the team never lets the praise go to their heads. “It’s difficult not to become complacent, so we continue to set the bar high and take steps to ensure we’re striving to do better,” says
Hansen, who was also featured on the inaugural Insurance Business Global 100 list late last year. Part of that, he explains, involves never taking the customer for granted. One of Hansen’s golden rules is that every client should be treated as if they’re an honoured guest. “We recognise that we’re dependent on the client rather than the client being dependent on us,” he says. “Ultimately, the client is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to serve them.” Austbrokers Coast to Coast also understands the importance of having highly trained employees who are well supported and recognise the value of excellent customer service. “Our people are the ones who deliver the service that wins us awards, so we invest heavily in their development,” Hansen says. “We continually train our staff to deliver the very high
level of service that our customers are accustomed to and consistently reinforce our ethos that the client is the most important visitor to our business.” However, while Austbrokers Coast to Coast is currently enjoying significant success, it hasn’t always been that way – in fact, Hansen is credited with “turning the company on its head” after he made the bold decision to adopt a full advice model. “Moving to a full advice model was a huge change,” he admits. “We moved into a sphere of broking that was dominated by internationals and very large independent brokerages.” The risky step required a proactive approach, so the team reached out to both current and past clients to gain a better perspective on what they were looking for from their insurance broker.
OVERCOMING CAPACITY CHALLENGES There’s no shortage of challenges for brokers, but Dale Hansen says the biggest obstacle currently facing Austbrokers Coast to Coast – and the wider insurance industry – is a lack of capacity. “Certain risks and industries are almost uninsurable right now,” he says. “We have a lot of business in North Queensland, and getting any kind of terms, even for longstanding clients with impeccable claims histories, is almost impossible.” Hansen says a proactive approach is helping – but it’s unlikely to solve the problem altogether. “We’re forging relationships with underwriters and syndicates in London to alleviate this, but the local reluctance means brokers are facing an uphill battle.”
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FAST FACTS: AUSTBROKERS COAST TO COAST
HEADQUARTERS Burleigh Heads, Queensland
“Clients will buy from people they trust, so we focus on advice rather than price. We’ll always recommend the right program for the client, even if they choose to accept a quote from another broker based on price” “We focused on what each staff member was doing, why they were doing it and what skill set each individual had – then we aligned those skills to our clients’ specific needs,” Hansen says. “This was a long and exhaustive process, which culminated in changes to the team, as we needed to engage with our clients in a different and better way.” According to Hansen, these changes had a huge impact on the business, resulting in
Austbrokers Coast to Coast becoming more agile and more attuned to its clients’ needs. “Our staff have more autonomy and are empowered to deal with any situation they find themselves in,” he says. “Team members are encouraged to take extreme ownership of situations and accept total accountability for those decisions. This has delivered new and better service for our clients and built more meaningful relationships with them.”
POLICIES WRITTEN 6,859
ANNUAL GWP $21.5m
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TOP 10 BROKERAGES
TOP 10 BROKERAGES For the seventh year in a row, Insurance Business spotlights the top-performing brokerages across Australia
AS IN MOST areas of life, the only constant in the insurance industry is change. Trends come and go, businesses expand or expire, and new products emerge while others fade away. Yet the need for insurance remains – and there will always be brokerages that thrive in the shifting circumstances. That’s part of the reason Insurance Business works to identify the Top 10 Brokerages every year. Which brokerages are leading the industry? Where are new innovations being made and trends being established? Which brokerages should be looked to for best practice? Accordingly, IB aims to ensure brokerages across the spectrum are showcased. Revenue alone doesn’t permit entry to the list, nor does sheer number of brokers. Rather, IB looks at a more qualitative set of data to truly find the top brokerages in the country. Given the ongoing fluctuations in the insurance market, we also felt it was time to look back at past instalments of the Top 10 Broker-
ages to see how the market has changed over the years. Some trends continue from last year; the number of policies written has dropped dramatically since 2013. Growth has fluctuated considerably since the feature was inaugurated, though 2019 marked a slight upward creep. It’s good to see that brokerages are still expanding, and it’s a statistic that will be viewed with continuing interest over the coming years. Most areas IB looked at remain an indication of the strength and talent of the Australian insurance industry. Client retention remains high from year to year. Revenue has also risen overall – while new revenue took a dip, revenue per broker soared. Clients might not be lodging as many new policies, but they appear to be willing to pay a premium with their increased selectiveness. Looking to 2020 and beyond, it’s readily apparent that Australian brokerages will face a number of significant challenges. Brokers across the country have noticed a general hard-
ening of the Australian insurance market, which has been driven by numerous factors. The royal commission’s shadow still looms over the industry, and the full effects are yet to be seen. The hard market is also connected to wider economic circumstances, legislation, shifting markets and increased exposures in areas that weren’t necessarily anticipated. But this doesn’t mean it’s a time of doom and gloom – rather, brokers should be looking for new ways to innovate across the market and seeking new opportunities among their clients. The time is right for diversification, and many brokerages around the country are pursuing new opportunities. All of the brokerages featured on the following pages have weathered change and emerged stronger for it – they can provide both examples and inspiration. Congratulations again to all of the brokerages that made this year’s Top 10 – your achievements should be a source of considerable pride, both now and into the future.
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TOP 10 BROKERAGES 1
Shielded Insurance Brokers
Aviso WA Insurance Brokers
McLardy McShane Group
Sound Insurance Services
Austbrokers Coast to Coast
IPS Insurance Brokers
8 10 9
Apollo Risk Services Oracle Group (Australia) Pty Ltd Dunk Insurance
Elliott Insurance Brokers
The Insurance Business Top 10 Brokerages formula is an objective means of ranking the top-performing brokerages in the country across eight business-critical criteria, including:
Revenue per broker Policies per broker New clients per broker New revenue per broker Company growth Client retention As in previous years, each brokerage was required to supply its own details for the 2018–19 financial year in order to be considered for this year’s list. Brokerages were ranked according to each of the above criteria, and all of the rankings were then added together. Akin to a golf score, those brokerages with the lowest overall scores achieved the highest rankings. The Insurance Business ranking system means businesses are rewarded for business per broker rather than critical mass, which ensures that Australia’s very best brokerages are singled out, regardless of size.
WHO’S NUMBER ONE? Since IB introduced Top 10 Brokerages in 2013, a number of brokerages have taken the top spot on more than one occasion. SRG Group climbed up the ranks from number two in 2018 to claim first place for the first time.
(CAR of Insurance Advisernet Australia)
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TOP 10 BROKERAGES 10
ELLIOTT INSURANCE BROKERS
Elliott Insurance Brokers serves clients ranging from multinational companies to micro SMEs, with numerous schemes and a strong online presence to reach a wide customer base. The company had a landmark year in 2019 in spite of the hardening market. CEO John Elliott took time off for a record-breaking camel trek across Australia, teaming up with Beard Season to raise awareness of melanoma, but staff were still able to achieve their customer service and budget KPIs. Over the next 12 months, the company will be focusing on using technology on the front end and back office to simplify broking processes while creating a great proposition for clients. Elliott Insurance Brokers has partnered with an underwriting agency and whole-
sale brokers to create quote-and-bind platforms for SME clients who are looking for a simple, fast insurance solution. In addition, the company has developed internal reporting systems for lead-to-conversion overviews, capturing data to improve the overall sales process. The company is also planning a major social media marketing push, as many of its younger
Left to right: Managing director John Dunk and business development manager James Dunk
Providing general insurance products and advice to a broad range of occupations, Dunk Insurance is focused on the regional areas of
clients use Facebook and Instagram to find broker information. The end goal is to have systematic processes and procedures to allow the business to run smoothly and efficiently.
NSW. Core to the business is a consistent priority on ethics and moral values, along with a deep conviction that the business has a social
responsibility for the personal development and wellbeing of its staff. Creating and maintaining an environment of happiness within the workplace is an essential component of Dunk Insurance’s workplace culture. “Our culture sets us apart from others,” says managing director John Dunk. “It’s supportive, flexible, team- and family-oriented. We offer mentorship, continuous development and unlimited training opportunities to progress our team’s careers.” Dunk Insurance had a year of challenges in 2019, setting up a new AR network while also switching to a new operating system. But it should all pay off in 2020 and beyond. Dunk and his team are aiming to leverage their new tools and skills to push for greater access for more farm insurance, helping to provide better coverage in more remote areas. Dunk told Insurance Business that being named to the Top 10 Brokerages list is “an honour and a fulfilling reward for my hardworking, diligent staff ”.
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APOLLO RISK SERVICES
With a team of more than 55 staff, Apollo Risk Services considers its team experts in most areas of general insurance. Collectively, the team works hard to ensure clients are protected and enjoy a satisfactory experience with their services. It’s an approach born out of the experience of the individuals within the company; with an average age of 50, there’s plenty of experience to draw on.
“Our growth and retention are testament to our success with this approach,” says Carl King, director of Apollo Risk Services. “It’s not just our client base, either – we’ve also seen new authorised reps connecting with us. Treating everyone with respect and being flexible and accommodating creates a happy work environment and team culture.” Of course, it’s important to embrace change,
too – King is well aware that technology is playing a prominent role in the way brokerages continue to evolve. “It’s unstoppable,” he says. “Eventually, servicing face-to-face will convert to servicing screen-to-screen.” Looking ahead to the more immediate future, the team is currently bearing down for a move to Steadfast, which King believes will lead to “big things” in 2020 and the coming years.
NEW REVENUE DROPS
Bucking the downward trend of the last couple of years, the combined total revenue across all Top 10 Brokerages bounced back somewhat in 2019, a sign that recovery could be on the horizon.
After a banner year in 2018, average new revenue has returned to its 2014–2015 level.
$3.5 m $150m
$3.0m $2.5m $2.0m
$1.5m $1.0m $0.5m
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TOP 10 BROKERAGES 7
IPS INSURANCE BROKERS
When it comes to building a business, diversification is key. IPS Insurance Brokers’ clients largely operate in the SME space, but there’s always room for change and expansion. “Recently, we’ve been expanding our portfolio to include the mining and labour hire space,” says founder and managing director Frank Cusmano. “It’s a complex set of risks, but we’re well-versed in areas where our clients
months, IPS looks forward to welcoming even more young professionals. “We always want to get the best out of our team, and to do that, you have to understand them,” Cusmano says. “Our team is our business, so we want to take time to work out their strengths and weaknesses. We work with them to achieve their goals, both personally and professionally.”
AUSTBROKERS COAST TO COAST
Specialising in tailored solutions, Austbrokers Coast to Coast understands that no two clients are the same. Handling all classes of insurance, but with a particular emphasis on the transportation and storage of dangerous and hazardous goods, the brokerage has earned a reputation for doing the right thing rather than taking the easy option. “We punch well above our weight,” says CEO Dale Hansen. “Our team’s commitment to customer service has never wavered; it’s of the highest standard.” To this end, the brokerage operates under five main values: trust, teamwork, accountability, respect and integrity.
need coverage. We’ve got a holistic approach – by understanding our client’s business through its risks, we can support and protect them through the services we provide.” With the possibility of future change in mind, IPS added several new staff in 2019, including Cusmano’s sons, Antoni and Julian. Cusmano sees it as a sign of the team’s embrace of the younger generation; in the coming
“Because every staff member adheres to these values, we’re able to give them total autonomy to get the job done in the way we expect that job to be done,” Hansen says. Heading into the new year, the brokerage is looking to expand its global reach, using strategic alliances to assist in the process. “We’re always on the lookout to strategically align with other businesses or make acquisitions with businesses that share similar values and ethics with us,” Hansen says. “But our core focus is the same – we want to continue providing our clients with good old-fashioned customer service and sticking to our mantra of providing advice over price.”
CEO Dale Hansen
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SOUND INSURANCE SERVICES This is Sound Insurance Services’ third appearance in four years on the Top 10 Brokerages list, which is no small feat. But it’s no coincidence, either – it’s the result of calculated hard work and a strong team culture that encourages everyone to get involved. “Our belief is to treat our people as adults and to provide mentorship and education,” says director Simon Feldman. “We also share the success of the business with all the staff.” All four directors of Sound Insurance are very hands-on, taking pride in servicing claims. Each is intimately involved in making sure claims are settled it a timely fashion and to the client’s satisfaction. It’s an approach that has seen the brokerage through the difficulties of the hardening market over the last year. “We’re very proud of our retention rate over the last 12 months,” Feldman says. “It has been a very challenging time over the last year with an increasingly hard market – but during this time, we have managed to clearly communicate the challenges of the market with our clients and successfully placed their business.” Moving into 2020, the brokerage will continue to do what it does well, Feldman says. “We will provide exceptional advice, service and communication.”
MCLARDY MCSHANE GROUP
McLardy McShane Group makes a conscious effort to involve its staff in its transparent strategy and tries to reward them as much as possible for their positive contributions to the brokerage’s progress. “We think the way to get the very best out of your people is to treat them with respect, recognise they have families and issues to deal with like everyone else, and involve them in the strategic direction of the group,” says group CEO Don McLardy. This approach appears to have yielded impressive results for the brokerage; McLardy McShane Group continues to flourish each
year, currently encompassing more than 150 people and 15 branches across metro and regional areas nationally. During this period of rapid growth, McLardy says the biggest challenge has been maintaining the company’s distinctive culture and values – but he remains confident the brokerage can tackle the challenge as it arises. Looking to the year ahead, he predicts that “2020 will see us continue to deliver integrated, innovative insurance services and drive a
culture that supports giving back, improving the lives of others and seeing positive change in action – as well as having lots of fun along the way”.
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TOP 10 BROKERAGES AVISO WA INSURANCE BROKERS
Since its humble beginnings in Midland in 1983, Aviso WA Insurance Brokers has grown into one of Western Australia’s largest mid-tier brokerages. Though perhaps best known for servicing outer suburban Perth and the WA
Wheatbelt via offices in Northam and Merredin, Aviso WA’s client base stretches right across Australia and encompasses a wide variety of industries, including agribusiness, transport, motor dealers, property owners and more.
Strategically staying away from large corporate clients, Aviso WA specialises in clients in the SME and mid-market spaces, putting a priority on maintaining personal contact with the owner-operators of the businesses the brokerage services. The company had numerous highlights in 2019, including the successful transition to a new broking system, the addition of several new senior staff, and increases in client base and income. But Aviso WA says its most prominent highlight has been the way in which its team has developed and grown into a professional, positive and dedicated group of colleagues eager to grow and be part of something exciting.
SHIELDED INSURANCE BROKERS
Back in October 2016, Shielded Insurance Brokers was a plucky upstart that had just insured a number of Uber drivers. It was a difficult time – but it was a test of fire that helped galvanise the fledging business. “We were dealing with a huge amount of volume in an unknown territory and an unstable market,” says managing director Stuart Brady. “We were forced to learn the ropes quickly, but this allowed us to then investigate different risks by applying our tech abilities – all designed and built in-house.” Just over three years later, it’s clear that the
gamble has paid off. The company has taken out Community Broker Network’s Innovator of the Year Award twice and has doubled its work force in the last 12 months. “The year ahead is looking massive – we have a few things in the pipeline but have to keep under wraps,” Brady says. “We’ve listened to our staff and will launch into a four-day work week structure as of January 2020. We will also keep growing our commercial presence and branding across Australia, and we hope to double our growth once again in the year ahead.”
POLICIES TAKE A DOWNWARD DIVE The number of policies written across the Top 10 Brokerages continues to trend downward, though the decline is markedly less drastic than the slide witnessed between 2015 and 2018.
450,000 350,000 250,000 150,000 50,000
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For SRG Group managing director Rod Fitzgerald, being among the Top 10 Brokerages again this year isn’t just a pleasing result – it’s a testament to the strength of the SRG team across all divisions. “They really continue to strive for success,” Fitzgerald says. “They’re what differentiates our service offering and keeps us relevant to our clients in a changing and, at times, challenging environment.” During 2019, the company launched SRG eClaim, a bespoke injury claims management system that serves as a value-added service for seafarer workers’ compensation clients. The system assists in managing the complex and time-consuming seafarer claim life cycle, including the Seacare reporting requirement to Comcare. Looking at the year ahead, SRG Group has plans to lean into more active marketing in the near future. “We’re now able to proactively promote our
Left to right: Queensland executive director Geoff Rudd, managing director Rod Fitzgerald and WA executive director Brendon Durrant
business to the segments where we know we have a competitive offering that exceeds that of our competitors,” Fitzgerald says, adding that “2020 will be the year we get better at
telling the business community about SRG – and why they want to speak with one of our skilled brokers – and get better outcomes with our state-of-the-art workflow/CRM.”
REVENUE PER BROKER RISES
Given that overall revenue was up this year, it was no surprise to see revenue per broker rise as well. While notably lower than the high of 2016, it’s still an impressive uptick.
While the year-on-year median growth rate across the Top 10 Brokerages has been on a downward trend since 2014, brokerages are still showing signs of growth.
2018: 124% 2013
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SECTOR FOCUS: TRANSPORT
Getting transport insurance into gear As new regulations continue to shape Australia’s transport industry, IB asked Zurich’s Jamie Craig what brokers need to know
IN A FIELD like transport and motor, where claims are frequent, it’s essential for brokers to have access to an insurer that provides reliable and consistent claims service. Jamie Craig, motor fleet underwriter at Zurich, says it’s crucial to give brokers confidence that their customers will receive the service they need. “Every customer is different,” he says. “They require different types and limits of cover, so brokers need to be working with insurers who are flexible with their wording and open to understanding what that particular customer needs. In turn, they should be able to customize or endorse their respective policies to suit that customer.” This isn’t something that’s limited to contracts, paying claims and other transactional aspects of insurance, Craig adds. Part of working with an insurer means having access to education around risk exposures, which
reduces the need for claims in the first place. “The idea that insurance is just about paying claims has been outmoded for decades now,” Craig says. “Customers pay premiums in the event that something does go wrong – but ideally nothing would go wrong in the first place. Brokers should be working with their clients to reduce claims and operating costs and lift overall safety standards, but they obviously need an insurer that can provide them with the information they need.” Accordingly, he adds, a strong risk management proposition is a key feature brokers should look for in an insurer – especially for clients with more complex requirements.
Great expectations The good news, Craig says, is that clients in the motor space are also adjusting their own expectations and demanding higher stan-
ABOUT ZURICH AUSTRALIA Zurich’s general insurance business in Australia and New Zealand is known for its strong risk management, excellence in claims handling and intermediary-focused distribution strategy. Locally, Zurich offers insurance solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises, large corporations, and multinational companies. Globally, Zurich Insurance Group is a leading multi-line insurer with about 53,000 employees. It provides a range of general and life insurance products in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, visit zurich.com.au.
dards from brokers and insurers. “The transport industry is vital to the Australian economy,” he says, “so it’s essential to get vehicles back on the road as quickly as possible. We see our role as instilling confidence in brokers’ customers – they’ll have our backing in times of need; we can help them get back on their feet and allow them to confidently run their business. Support from our risk engineers also assists customers in developing quality risk management programs, which in turn help develop best practice.” At the same time, expectations of clients have also shifted; new COR laws have put an onus on each transport operator to ensure they meet the requirements. As the transport industry becomes more heavily regulated, Craig stresses that it’s vital for transport companies to have the appropriate coverage in place – and to meet or exceed any other legal requirements. Fines of up to $300,000 for individuals or $3 million for companies can apply for breaches to COR laws. “Brokers need to be speaking with their transport customers about things like strong fatigue management, strict driver controls, vehicle standards and safety management systems,” Craig says. “Investment in driver training programs, vehicle maintenance
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“The idea that insurance is just about paying claims has been outmoded for decades now. Customers pay premiums in the event that something does go wrong – but ideally nothing would go wrong in the first place” Jamie Craig, Zurich – including a strong procurement policy – and the utilization of technology, including telematics, is becoming the norm in the transport industry.” Companies that don’t conform will find themselves under the microscope of investigators and face potential fines and grounding of their fleets, Craig says. Those that are willing
to invest are likely to benefit in the long run with insurance premium savings, lower longterm operational costs, improved productivity and a better safety record. “From a cost perspective, this is a significant investment,” Craig says. “Transport operators are likely going to feel the pain in the short term – but operators and their
management who drive operational change and utilize emerging telemetry and other technology will reap the rewards. Brokers need to have these discussions with clients to keep them top of mind.”
Future trends There’s no doubt that the motor and transport sector is in a state of a flux at the moment. Business goals are often dictated by increasingly tight margins and stricter regulations, requiring companies to deliver under previously unknown levels of pressure. But Craig still sees insurance as a means for customers to holistically support the health of their business. Combined with the growth of technology within the industry, there are numerous ways operators can maintain standards and adhere to legal requirements, all while working to improve
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SECTOR FOCUS: TRANSPORT
ABOUT JAMIE CRAIG
“Brokers are one of the most effective ways we have to reach customers and help encourage best practice in the industry” Jamie Craig, Zurich margins and profitability. “We’ve seen a big uptake in telematics,” Craig says. “There’s a wide range of benefits, including fuel savings, monitoring driver behaviour and efficient route planning via devices such as Smartrak. As well as driving efficiency, technology is also transforming safety through tools like Seeing Machines.” However, one trend that does raise concerns for Craig is the shortage of drivers. The demand for domestic freight transportation is increasing, but more must be done to attract new drivers to the industry. “I’d say there are a few main causes – licensing restrictions for young drivers and incorrect preconceptions about the transport industry,” he says. “Additionally, drivers understandably expect that their employers are investing in their safety. Companies that aren’t delivering to best-practice standards will struggle to attract quality drivers.” There are real-world consequences for
current drivers, too. The shortage is putting greater load on them; Craig describes this pressure as a “key link” in the growing number of fatigue-related crashes in Australia, currently estimated to be at around 30% of all fatal road crashes. But how can the transport industry address this challenge? Craig feels the answer might lie in autonomous vehicles. Current testing in the US, he explains, has estimated potential savings of up to 40%. Completely autonomous trucks operate under a ‘platooning’ arrangement, whereby a wireless convoy of trucks is led by a lead truck on long-haul routes. “We’re obviously many years away from seeing autonomous trucks on Australian highways, but they could definitely be a future solution,” he says. “They could not only address the driver shortage, but would also reduce fatigue-based exposures and maybe even negate fatigue restrictions
Though a relative newcomer to the field of insurance, Jamie Craig has already marked himself as a high performer. Craig joined Zurich in 2015 and today serves as an underwriter for Zurich’s motor fleet department.
currently in place for drivers.” Although full autonomy is a long way off, Craig has no doubts that it would also drive profitability within the transport sector, as increased automation reduces the margin for human error. “Reduced wage costs and increased productivity could both emerge as driver fatigue restrictions are negated,” he says. This means brokers need to stay up to date on the latest developments in tech, AI and autonomous vehicles – but whatever form the industry’s future takes, Craig is convinced that brokers will have an essential role to play. “We always want to make sure that brokers are kept up to date on new products and legislative changes,” he says. “Our distribution, risk engineering and underwriting teams are key in promoting new product awareness – but brokers are one of the most effective ways we have to reach customers and help encourage best practice in the industry.”
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SECTOR FOCUS: HEALTHCARE
Just what the doctor ordered Eric Lowenstein of Tego Insurance tells IB about the significant opportunities for brokers who dedicate themselves to ensuring medical practices and practitioners have the right insurance
Medical practices interact with patients, support practitioners and ancillary services, all of which can cause potential issues. Additionally, practice protocols, staff errors and system failures can create or contribute to poor patient outcomes, exposing practices to legal action or complaints. Some common areas where issues can arise include: • Services and equipment provided to doctors who rent rooms • Administration errors made by employees, including nurses and practice staff • Failure of protocols, including triaging, scheduling and recalling patients
MEDICAL-RELATED INSURANCE can be a challenging space to work in – there are limited insurers, and even fewer are writing life sciences and clinical trials. Appetite is drying up amongst some insurers, and several others have retreated. Those still writing business are becoming more conservative about issues like vicarious liability and abuse liability, as well as restricting cover or adding sub-limits. “It’s a complex area of insurance law, and removing cover can create significant uninsured losses and potentially expose brokers to E&O risk,” says Eric Lowenstein, CEO of Tego Insurance. But not everything is dire, by any means; in many cases, the truth is that under insurance tends to result more from the need for client education rather than limited capacity. Specialist insurers are still dedicated to providing coverage for the field – and Lowenstein believes brokers are key to helping plug the knowledge gap among Australian medical professionals. “At the moment, we’ve got thousands of
Australian medical practices with no entity medical malpractice insurance,” he says. “That creates untapped potential for brokers.”
Helping close the gaps Medical practices often rely on individual medical practitioners to have their own insurance, which covers any adverse outcomes from their patient care, Lowenstein explains. But this coverage isn’t necessarily comprehensive, and practices can also face risks that fall outside of practitioners’ individual policies.
• Mishandling of personal information and patient records, resulting in breaches of privacy “These interactions aren’t necessarily covered by a practitioner’s individual professional indemnity insurance,” Lowenstein says. “So there are other varieties of insurance available to cover these gaps and help ensure that medical practices are able to continue operation without interruption.” Medical malpractice insurance, for example, covers the risk assumed of patient injury arising from care and treatment in a medical setting. Medical malpractice includes
ABOUT TEGO INSURANCE Tego Insurance is a specialist healthcare underwriter offering competitive premiums, unparalleled quality of cover and specialist claims support backed by leading healthcare lawyers. The company’s deep understanding and experience in healthcare risk enables it to provide flexible, comprehensive and compelling solutions to one of Australia’s biggest industry growth sectors. Tego’s nimble approach and specialist healthcare knowledge allow it to offer enhanced solutions to help you and your clients navigate emerging risks in healthcare. Products include entity medical malpractice, medical indemnity insurance for medical practitioners, and life sciences and clinical trials insurance. For more information, visit tego.com.au.
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“At the moment, we’ve got thousands of Australian medical practices with no entity medical malpractice insurance. That creates untapped potential for brokers” Eric Lowenstein, Tego Insurance
brokers have expectations of their own. “Brokers are trying to achieve the best outcome for their clients, so they want competitive pricing, innovative product coverage and customisation, and access to knowledgeable underwriters,” he says. “Insurers need to be making sure they’re bringing their best to the table if they’re wanting to operate in this field, and we take a lot of steps to ensure that we can help brokers however they need.” For brokers who are willing to engage with the complex challenges facing the industry, there are numerous opportunities, including among existing clients. “AHPRA [the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency], for example, has a register of practitioners containing the name, qualifications and registration details of any health practitioner that falls under the 15 national boards,” Lowenstein says. “So a broker looking after a GP clinic may find numerous leads through the individual medical practitioners working at the clinic.” Lowenstein also recommends several other key spaces brokers can tap to reach out to potential clients, including social media, industry conferences, annual scientific meetings [ASMs] and practice visits. “We regularly engage with our broker network to provide specific training about the market and product specifics to arm them with the tools they need to win business,” he says. “It’s an industry where marketing emails and fliers do little for engagement, but engaging warm leads through an introduction by a peer or dropping into a practice to provide insights has been incredibly successful.”
Risks to watch the liability of the entity and its healthcare and medical staff, providing a safeguard beyond the practitioner themselves and leaving less room for potential exposures.
The opportunity for brokers Given the magnitude of these risks, the healthcare sector is highly reliant on advice from brokers. Lowenstein is keenly aware that
Healthcare is a fast-moving industry, and advances in treatments and legislative reform both have a constant and ongoing impact on insurance in the field. Some of the common
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SECTOR FOCUS: HEALTHCARE
challenges centre around life sciences and clinical trials, including ageing populations; increasing life expectancy; a rise in diseases; and fragmented, complex regulatory regimes across borders. “New treatments, major scientific breakthroughs, technology and AI play increasingly important roles as companies evolve,” Lowenstein adds. “They’re changing how research is conducted and how companies innovate, manufacture, and distribute products and better meet consumer expectations.” Currently in Australia, increased legislation and scrutiny for cosmetic services are presenting a number of challenges for practitioners. AHPRA and the Therapeutic Goods Administration [TGA] are taking a closer look at businesses that offer these services to ensure that they aren’t breaching TGA’s advertising code and AHPRA guidelines. “We’re seeing other shifts, too,” Lowenstein says. “In some states and territories, all cosmetic surgery – such as liposuction – must be conducted at certified licensed premises. There are also proposed changes requiring
THE IMPORTANCE OF CYBER LIABILITY COVER Many medical practices are adopting cloud-based solutions for data storage, including confidential patient and research records. However, this doesn’t mean they’re necessarily taking adequate steps to secure that data, and many healthcare entities have no cyber cover at all. This is a deeply concerning situation, says Tego Insurance CEO Eric Lowenstein. “The truth is that businesses just can’t afford to be underprepared,” he says. “The impact of cyber attacks can be severe and wide-ranging – patient care and relationships can be compromised, not to mention brand reputation and regulatory compliance issues. Brokers need to be raising these issues with their clients to ensure they’ve got proper protection.”
ranging consequences for practitioners – if they’re using unapproved medical devices, they can find themselves liable.” Lowenstein is quick to note that these considerations are important for protecting the integrity of the industry, but they also present an opportunity for brokers to discuss these and other issues with clients. “It’s an opportunity for them to ensure
“New treatments, major scientific breakthroughs, technology and AI play increasingly important roles as companies evolve” Eric Lowenstein, Tego Insurance doctors to be consulted and on-site when cosmetic procedures like injectables and fillers are performed. This may have a significant impact on beauty clinics.” Other changes can have immediate and serious consequences. “For example, in September this year, the TGA suspended eight models of breast implants,” Lowenstein says. “These developments may have wide-
they’re aware of their obligations – and also that they have the right insurance in place in the event of a patient complaint,” he says. It’s not solely the cosmetic side of the industry that’s facing change. July 2019 saw the introduction of the Shared Debt Recovery Scheme, which aims to introduce a fairer approach to organisational billing practices. “The scheme enables the Health Depart-
ment to hold organisations responsible for a portion of debts incurred from incorrect Medicare claims,” Lowenstein says. “A lot of practices will be looking to ensure that they’ve been compliant over the years, and concerns have been raised around whether there is insurance available to cover their portion of the debt refund.” On that point, Lowenstein notes that while legal costs may be covered, the mandatory debt refund (which could run into the hundreds of thousands) is currently uninsurable in the market, something his firm is looking to address. Nonetheless, he stresses that changes like this shouldn’t be cause for panic – rather, it’s an opportunity for organisations to get themselves up to speed and ensure that previous issues aren’t carried into the future. Brokers can add a steering hand to the process. “If you’re committed to learning a lot about the field, it’s an opportunity to really enhance the overall industry,” Lowenstein says. “Helping organisations get the fundamentals in place means they can pivot to future changes with much greater ease – and with the support of a good insurer, that’s where you can step in.”
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GOING FOR GOLD Peter Brooks has never shied away from taking on a new field – and insurance is his most recent industry to conquer In the audience when his brother-in-law’s band played in a Battle of the Bands final, Brooks found himself taken by the scene. Within weeks, he had started a company out of his parents’ house to manage that band and others. “Within a couple of years, I was managing multiple bands with recording and publishing contracts. Working on the inaugural Homebake Festival in Byron Bay was a real highlight.”
1990 JOINS THE BAND
HITS THE ROAD Brooks and his wife packed in their jobs, put their things in storage and travelled the world on a lengthy timeline built around employment as camp counsellors in the US. They covered much of North America and Europe, and Brooks developed a skill set that would benefit him later in life. “[I learned] people skills, time management skills and team-building. All come into play managing an office of 150+ staff from varying backgrounds.”
2005 BECOMES A COACH Not long after his victories in Athens, Brooks began building a coaching career, starting with volunteer positions before scaling up to the post of high-performance scholarship coach with the Australian Sports Commission and later his own private coaching business. His greatest joy came from seeing his charges do well – one of his para-cyclist athletes qualified for the 2012 London Paralympics and went on to medal.
MOVES INTO OFFICE LIFE After two years as a stay-at-home dad, Brooks set his sights on a more conventional role and found a place with AIG. “I’d never been an office administrator before; however, looking at the job description, it was clear I could use all the skills and experience developed over the years to perform this role. AIG Australia CEO Noel Condon told me that he wanted to support Paralympics Australia and welcomed the opportunity to have me on board.”
GETS INTO PROPERTY Jaded by the music industry, Brooks tried his hand as a property manager, armed with an Advanced Certificate in Property Agency, which he had earned during his band management years. His portfolio included both houses and apartments – even entire apartment buildings – some of which were high-end waterfront properties. “It was quite incredible.”
WINS GOLD Inspired by the Paralympic Road Race around Moore Park at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Brooks set out on a path that led him to win two gold medals in cycling at the Athens Paralympics, along with the Medal of the Order of Australia.
“Being the fastest in the world on two wheels at the biggest sporting event in the world was truly a life-changing experience. I had a tear in my eye as the national anthem was played” 2012
MANAGES BEHIND THE SCENES Brooks’ relationship with Paralympics Australia continued in the fields of development and events. Not only did he conduct Talent Search Days all over NSW to identify potential future Paralympians, but he also staged several major events, including the Paralympic team launch at Parliament House, the team welcome-home parade and the Paralympian of the Year Awards. “It’s not every day you get to coordinate events at such high-security locations as Parliament House and Sydney International Airport.”
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TELL US ABOUT YOUR OTHER LIFE Email email@example.com
Carter plays three types of field hockey: grass and turf hockey in the winter and indoor hockey in the su mmer
Games Carter plays each week (on top of coaching twice a week)
Number of hockey sticks in the Carter family
Goals Carter scored last season (“The season before, I scored over 20!”)
TAKING TO THE FIELD
In her downtime, there’s nowhere Lisa Carter would rather be than on the hockey field A LOVE of hockey runs in Lisa Carter’s family – she, her father and her sister all played. These days, Carter, the director of Brisbane-based Clear Insurance, not only still plays, but also coaches her 6-year-old daughter’s team. “I wanted my children to play a sport,
and hockey was the obvious choice,” she says. “Our club, Commercial Hockey Club, has a strong family culture.” It’s a demanding schedule – but when the turf and grass seasons end, Carter often finds that playing indoor hockey only once a week leaves her missing “the
busy schedule and hockey mates.” Beyond the social element, Carter loves the game for its “demanding and even dangerous nature. I like how challenging it can be; you have to be disciplined and also fearless. Every game, I get a good-sized bruise. It’s fast; I have to push myself.”
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WORKING WITH YOU At GT Insurance we work with you to provide: •
Flexible programs to suit your clients’ business;
Fast and reliable turnaround on all enquiries;
Knowledgeable people who provide you with carefully designed options for your clients’ business;
Claims reporting to support risk management;
Professional assessors and an efficient claims recovery team;
Direct access to our senior management;
Access to GT Accident Assist - immediate and effective response to accidents.
Speak to your BDM or visit our website www.gtins.com.au to see how GT Insurance may be able to assist with your customer’s heavy motor and transport insurance needs.
LOCAL REPRESENTATION THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA WITH DIRECT
ACCESS TO DECISION MAKERS. NEWCASTLE SYDNEY
www.gtins.com.au Insurance products are issued by Global Transport & Automotive Insurance Solutions Pty Ltd ABN 93 069 048 255 AFS Licence No. 240714, trading as GT Insurance, as agent for the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFS Licence No. 234708. Neither we nor the insurer provide any advice on this insurance based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision about it please refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording which can be obtained from www.gtins.com.au
1800 783 251
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