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INSURANCEBUSINESSONLINE.COM.AU ISSUE 9.05

GOING GREEN

How will electric vehicles change transport and logistics cover?

PRODUCT LAUNCHES What insurers can learn from the auto manufacturing industry

THE FINAL FRONTIER The race to figure out how to cover commercial space travel

DRIVING DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Marsh’s Lyle Steffensen on what the industry needs to do to make real progress on D&I

TOP 10 BROKERAGES 2020 Insurance Business names Australia’s 10 best brokerages

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ISSUE 9.05

CONNECT WITH US

CONTENTS

Got a story or suggestion, or just want to find out some more information? @InsuranceBizAU facebook.com/InsuranceBusinessAU

UPFRONT 02 Editorial

Donald Trump’s TikTok brouhaha and its implications for cyber insurers

30

04 Statistics

MANUFACTURING THE FUTURE OF INSURANCE

08 Intelligence

FEATURES

18

How the right technology platform can make it easier to launch new insurance products

38

SPECIAL REPORT

PEOPLE

STRIVING FOR INCLUSION Marsh’s Lyle Steffensen opens up about her own experiences with discrimination and how they’ve pushed her to advocate for greater diversity and inclusion in the industry

14

06 News analysis

A new era of commercial space flight is here – so how are insurers responding? Lloyd’s reveals plans to insure delivery of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine

10 Insurer update

A closer look at QBE’s efforts to foster diversity and inclusion

12 Underwriting agencies update

How ProRisk is allowing brokers to build custom coverage

17 Opinion

Marine insurers must stay on top of the changes COVID-19 has wrought

FEATURES

TOP 10 BROKERAGES

During a year of uncertainty, these 10 brokerages have met the challenges head-on to reach new heights

Key data that should be on your radar

FEATURES

ELECTRIC HIGHWAYS

What will the transport and logistics industry’s shift to electric vehicles mean for insurers in the space?

26 Hard times for hospitality

Three hospitality brokers on how their clients are faring amid COVID-19

34 Making cyber insurance personal

Why every Australian needs to consider personal cyber cover

PEOPLE

44 FEATURES

CREATING A WELCOMING SPACE

What two major insurers are doing to make meaningful progress on diversity and inclusion

42 Supporting clients in the second wave

How Melbourne broker Scott O’Neill is guiding his clients through a year of uncertainty

48 Other life

A portrait of artist and insurance executive Tetiana Maier

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UPFRONT

EDITORIAL

The front lines of the data battlefield

D

ancing grandpas, baby-bottle flips, epic lip syncs, celebrity clips – you can find it all on TikTok, a user-generated short-video app owned by Chinese firm ByteDance. In recent months, TikTok has exploded into an internet sensation, surpassing 2bn downloads worldwide and around 800m monthly active users. But the Chinese app’s heyday has been short-lived. On 7 August, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order that would ban TikTok from operating in the US unless the social media app is sold by ByteDance within 45 days. The Trump administration cited concerns over national security, alleging that the app censors content and could allow the Chinese government to access Americans’ private data. The US is not alone in scrutinising TikTok: India recently blocked the app completely amid rising tensions with

The quick rise and potential fall of TikTok is important because it revolves around data – an area of increasing concern for cyber insurers China over the two countries’ disputed border in the Western Himalayas. Australia is among the countries – also including Canada and the UK – that have looked closely at whether the ownership of personal data leaves their respective borders via the app; the Australian government ultimately decided against banning TikTok just days before President Trump issued his order. The quick rise and potential fall of TikTok is important because it revolves around data – the privacy of data, the protection of data, the storage of data and, perhaps most importantly, the politics of data. These are all areas of increasing concern for cyber insurers, who must find solutions to protect companies that handle, store and use data in their daily operations. Today’s technology- and data-heavy firms are not only subject to increasingly stringent and punitive data privacy laws, but they must also contend with volatile international relations, trade disputes and arguments around intellectual property – and those are just the visible threats. Under the surface, a much darker cyber force is bubbling away. A growing global network of threat actors is looking to exploit cyber vulnerabilities in order to steal data for financial and/or political gain. Not a week goes by without news of a data breach, a ransomware attack or some other cyber-related incident. The challenge for companies and cyber insurers alike is that the tactics used by threat actors keep evolving. While cyber may no longer be considered an emerging risk, new exposures in the cyber realm will continue to emerge for many years to come. The team at Insurance Business

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EDITORIAL Managing Editor Paul Lucas Editor Bethan Moorcraft Journalists Camilla Theakstone, Tom Goodwin, Alicja Grzadkowska, Ryan Smith, Ksenia Stepanova, Mia Wallace News Writers Lyle Adriano, Terry Gangcuangco, Roxanne Libatique, Gabriel Olano Copy Editor Clare Alexander

CONTRIBUTORS Joel Mitchell, Steve Croney

ART & PRODUCTION Designer Cess Rodriguez Production Manager Alicia Chin Production Coordinator Kim Kandravy Traffic Coordinator Kristine Jamir

SALES & MARKETING General Manager Peter Smith Commercial Development Manager Sophie Knight Global Head of Communications Adrijana Monevska

CORPORATE Chief Executive Officer Mike Shipley Chief Operating Officer George Walmsley Managing Director Justin Kennedy Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Editorial Enquiries camilla.theakstone@keymedia.com Subscription Enquiries subscriptions@keymedia.com.au Advertising Enquiries sophie.knight@keymedia.com.au peter.smith@keymedia.com.au

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Insurance Business is part of an international family of B2B publications, websites and events for the insurance industry Insurance Business America cathy.masek@keymedia.com T +1 720 316 0151 Insurance Business Canada john.mackenzie@kmimedia.ca T +1 416 644 874O Insurance Business NZ peter.smith@keymedia.com.au T +61 2 8437 47OO Insurance Business UK gemma.powell@keymedia.com T +44 20 7193 0935 Insurance Business Asia peter.smith@keymedia.com.au T +61 2 8437 47OO Copyright is reserved throughout. No part of this publication can be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the editor. Contributions are invited, but copies of work should be kept, as the magazine can accept no responsibility for loss.

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UPFRONT

STATISTICS GLOBAL INSURTECH FUNDING REBOUNDS

COMPOUND ANNUAL GROWTH RATE OF INSURANCE PREMIUMS 15%

2009–2019 2019 2020–2030 (projected)

71%

Total amount of global insurtech funding in Q2

Amount of global insurtech funding in the previous quarter

5%

The global insurance industry was growing strong through 2019, when premiums rose by 4.4% – the highest rate of growth since 2015. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has turned everything on its head: Allianz’s latest Global Insurance Report predicts that premium income will decrease by 3.8% worldwide this year, a plunge that’s three times larger than the one the industry experienced during the global financial crisis in 2008. However, Allianz noted that while the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy, it is also expected to reinforce several insurance trends, including the push toward digitalisation and an increased focus on emerging Asian markets, along with heightened significance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors as a driver for insurance business.

$1.56bn

$912m

10% 2.2%

4.2% 3.5%

0%

COVID-19 HAMPERS GLOBAL INSURANCE GROWTH

Quarterly increase in insurtech funding in the second quarter of 2020

North America

15%

United States

10% 5%

2.0%

4.2% 3.5%

0%

Global 15% 10% 5% 3.2% 4.3% 4.4% 0%

CRISIS COULD ERODE CAPITAL BUFFERS The economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis could soon eat into many insurers’ capital buffers, S&P Global Ratings warned in mid-July. While S&P noted that insurers’ capital strength helped them weather the first wave of the pandemic, it expects asset value declines, rating migrations and heightened default rates to erode capital buffers as the pandemic rages on.

SIZE OF INSURERS’ CAPITAL BUFFERS, 2019 Less than 0%

0%–4%

4%–7%

7%–10%

10%–15%

More than 15%

GLOBAL APAC

4

Number of insurtech mega-deals (over US$100m) completed in Q2 Source: Willis Towers Watson Quarterly InsurTech Briefing, Q1 and Q2 2020; all figures in US$

4

EMEA NORTH AMERICA LATIN AMERICA Source: Resilient For Now: A Second Wave Could Eat Into Insurers’ Capital, S&P Global Ratings, July 2020

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CYBERCRIMINALS PREYING ON FEAR OF COVID-19

China 15% 13.1% 9.2% 9.5% 10%

Cybercriminals are increasingly using the fear and uncertainty swirling around the COVID-19 pandemic to attack victims, according to Beazley’s latest Breach Insights report. Both ransomware and phishing incidents have risen since the onset of COVID-19, and Beazley has also recorded a significant jump in phishing messages purporting to offer information about the pandemic.

5% 0%

15%

Western Europe

Japan

0%

1.1%

0%

10% 5%

4.3% 1.7%

25%

5%

2.2%

Quarterly increase in ransomware incidents in Q1 2020

-0.5% -2.3%

-5%

Asia (ex. Japan)

156%

15%

10% 9.7% 5%

Rest of the world

Quarterly increase in ransomware incidents in the manufacturing sector

8.1% 6.8%

16%

0%

Quarterly decrease in business email compromise scams in Q1

15% 10% 5%

5.8%

100%+

6.8% 5.6%

Increase in new COVID-19-related phishing templates between January and March 2020

0%

Source: Beazley Breach Insights, June 2020

Source: Allianz Global Insurance Report, July 2020

CONSTRUCTION RATES RISE Despite construction capacity in the London international market remaining stable at around US$3.7bn, the uncertainty and project delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have driven rate increases by an average of 15% to 20%, according to a July analysis from Willis Towers Watson.

CONSTRUCTION RATE INCREASES, LONDON INTERNATIONAL MARKET 50%

50%

40%

10% 0%

TOTAL SHIPPING LOSSES WORLDWIDE 140

100

20%

20%

Large shipping losses hit a record low after posting a 20% year-overyear drop in 2019, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty – although the firm warned that the COVID-19 pandemic could endanger long-term safety improvements in the shipping industry.

120

30%

30%

SHIPPING LOSSES AT A RECORD LOW

80 60

5%

40

5%

20 General liability

Excess/umbrella

Annual program builder’s risk/CAR

Single project Professional liability builder’s risk/CAR

Source: Global Construction Rate and Trend Update, Willis Towers Watson, July 2020

0 2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Source: Safety & Shipping Review 2020, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

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UPFRONT

NEWS ANALYSIS

The new space race SpaceX’s recent launch of NASA astronauts has ushered in a new era of space commercialisation – and insurers are rushing to figure out the best way to insure all of the risks involved

IT’S BEEN a historic year for the global space industry. On May 30, millions of people around the world tuned in to watch the launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. This monumental event marked not only the first time that NASA astronauts have taken off from US soil since 2011, but also the first time that a commercially designed and built spacecraft carried astronauts into space. Now, after the astronauts’ safe return to Earth on 2 August, hopes are high for the future of commercial space travel. “A new era for space commercialisation is unfolding right now,” says Peter Elson, CEO of Gallagher’s aerospace practice. “Some events in the wider space industry may have a déjà

Until 2012, space insurance premium was typically in the range of US$750m to US$1bn a year, says Chris Kunstadter, global head of space at AXA XL. From 2012 to 2019, that number steadily dropped; 2019 was an illuminating year for the global space insurance sector. Total written premium was approximately US$500m, while total losses amounted to around US$800m, which is well within the typical range of losses over the past 20 years. However, combined with the lower premium, this caused concerns for some space insurers over the volatility of the line of business. Some pulled out of the sector altogether, while others cut capacity or put in restrictions to minimise their exposures.

“For the brave investor, rewards can be exceptional – and insurance is critical to underpin the financial risk that goes hand in hand with those potential rewards” Peter Elson, Gallagher vu quality, such as the [use of the] Falcon 9 rocket. But what was new in those operations was the central role played by a commercial company. In the past, missions of this scale and complexity were the sole preserve of government agencies.”

6

“It will be interesting to see how the rest of this year goes,” Kunstadter says. “July, for instance, turned out to be a huge month for insured launches – and uninsured launches, too. Up through the first half of this year, the global insurance premium for space insurance

amounted to about $120m, and we’re expecting the same amount of premium just from launches in July alone.” With so much renewed attention on the opportunity for space commercialisation, it’s likely that the insurance industry’s role in driving the next step will also be subject to increased scrutiny. Insurance is, and will continue to be, a key enabler of space commercialisation, Elson says, explaining that space projects require significant investment, much of which is incurred way ahead of any revenue coming on stream. “For the brave investor, rewards can be exceptional – and insurance is critical to underpin the financial risk that goes hand in hand with those potential rewards,” he says. “In the long run, insurers and brokers will need to get to grips with some fundamental shifts in demand.” In time, Elson says, the pace at which technology can be developed and implemented is

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FAST FACTS: THE COMMERCIAL SPACE INDUSTRY

10.3m

Number of people worldwide who watched SpaceX’s first astronaut launch in May 2020

$350m

Revenue currently generated by the global space industry

$1.1trn+

Revenue the global space industry is expected to generate by 2040

1,100

Projected number of annual satellite launches by 2025 Photo courtesy of SpaceX

likely to expand commercial opportunities in both the space industry itself and for the insurers supporting those ventures. Today, the commercial space industry is in the development stage, which poses some real challenges to

insuring risks – AXA XL is involved in a broad range of space industry activities, from business development to outreach and advocacy. Kunstadter says insurers must be at the very forefront of understanding to address the risks

“We want to make sure we have smart clients, smart brokers and even smart competitors. If we have these, then people aren’t going to be doing silly things” Chris Kunstadter, AXA XL insurers in terms of the products and services they provide for unproven technology, as well as the resource-heavy technical process they follow in evaluating risks. Kunstadter stresses that insurance companies’ involvement must go beyond simply

that others have not yet figured out how to deal with. “We’re working with the industry to try and develop standards [and best practices],” he says. “And we have a lot of statistics that we share within the industry because we want to make

Sources: Space.com, Morgan Stanley, MIT Technology Review; all figures in US$

sure we have smart clients, smart brokers and even smart competitors. If we have these, then people aren’t going to be doing silly things, and [this prevention] will help the industry overall.” The coming years should present new opportunities within the insured launch sphere, Kunstadter says, citing the development of space systems by Virgin’s Richard Branson and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who will likely be looking for insurance solutions to protect their investments. Meanwhile, Elson notes that SpaceX is part of a very successful cadre of commercial businesses with the vision and backing to open up a raft of new opportunities in space. From Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Bezos’ Blue Origin to the space communication arena, where Amazon’s Project Kuiper and SpaceX’s Starlink are looking to provide accessible global broadband services using constellations of loworbiting spacecraft, the future of space commercialisation is clearly already underway.

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UPFRONT

INTELLIGENCE CORPORATE ACQUIRER

TARGET

PRODUCTS COMMENTS

Arch Worldwide Reinsurance Group

Precision Marketing Asia Pacific

Arch’s majority stake in Sydney-headquartered PMAP will provide it with increased distribution opportunities for life and accident and health products

Medibank

East Sydney Private Hospital

Private health insurer Medibank has purchased a 49% stake in the hospital to support its strategy to advance the short-stay model of care

Oracle Group Insurance Brokers

Affinity Insurance Services

Affinity co-founder Jacob Ross and his team will be responsible for supporting brokers in NSW

Paytm Group

Raheja QBE General Insurance

The offloading of its joint venture in India marks the latest step in QBE’s strategy to simplify its business

Emergence unveils personal cyber product

Cyber underwriting pioneer Emergence Insurance has launched what it described as Australia’s first stand-alone personal cyber insurance product. Designed to provide cover for families and individuals, the policy protects against threats like malware, cyber espionage, denial of service and identity theft, while also responding to cyberbullying and harassment. Citing Australians’ increasing vulnerability to cybercrime, Emergence CEO Troy Filipcevic said the new product is “designed to combat the impact of cyber and identity fraud faced by Australian families and individuals.”

Oracle Group expands its footprint in NSW

Balcatta-headquartered Oracle Group Insurance Brokers has expanded, bringing Affinity Insurance Services into the fold. The merger will see Affinity Insurance Services co-founder Jacob Ross join the executive team at Oracle Group as director of technology and state director for NSW; his eight-strong roster will be in charge of supporting NSW brokers from Affinity’s Central Coast office in East Gosford. Oracle Group described Affinity as an “excellent asset” for its authorised representatives in NSW. “From the beginning, our vision at Oracle has been to create a genuine national broker network with individual state-based support and representation,” said Oracle Group managing director Matthew Denehy. “This is especially important as we continue to grow and attract new ARs drawn to our unique and compelling offer.”

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ARAG and WTW roll out legal expense insurance

Willis Towers Watson Australia has partnered with ARAG Services to introduce business and private legal expense insurance. The business version covers legal costs and expenses arising from tax protection, criminal prosecution defence, property/goods damages, statutory licences, compliance and regulation, employee protection, employments, employment restrictive covenants, and identity theft. The private policy covers damage to property or goods, personal injury, tax investigations, consumer contractual disputes and employment disputes. Both feature access to a legal information helpline and customisable legal documents.

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PEOPLE Lloyd’s to insure delivery of COVID-19 vaccine

Lloyd’s of London has launched a new syndicate, Syndicate 1796, designed to insure the storage and transportation of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine to emerging economies. The specialised syndicate was developed by Lloyd’s Lab alumnus Parsyl, in partnership with Ascot as managing agent, along with support from AXA XL, McGill and Partners, and vaccine organisation Gavi. The new syndicate forms the foundation of Lloyd’s new Global Health Risk Facility, which aims to provide comprehensive insurance and risk mitigation services to support vaccine development efforts.

CoreLogic bolsters COVID-19 business planning tool

CoreLogic has unveiled a premium version of its weekly Early Market Indicators report, which pinpoints indicators that can help with business planning during a COVID-19-mandated lockdown. The new version of the report offers access to a broader range of data, including a wealth of new data at the state level. According to Lisa Claes, CoreLogic’s international CEO, the new report is designed to arm decision-makers with “unique navigation tools to optimise market positioning, and we are confident these will be quickly adopted by those who recognise the value of a competitive advantage.”

CFC expands life sciences insurance solution

Specialist insurance provider CFC, which has been operating in the life sciences market since 2009, has expanded its life sciences insurance solution to accommodate the needs of mid-market companies on a global basis. CFC can now provide excess products liability, E&O and clinical trials coverage for global clinical research organisations and companies that manufacture or sell medical devices, functional food and dietary supplements and have a revenue threshold of £2.5bn (around AU$4.5bn). The expanded insurance solution offers limits of up to $20m.

NAME

LEAVING

JOINING

NEW POSITION

Vivek Bhatia

QBE Insurance Group

Link Group

Managing director and CEO

Anja Dix-Eberhardt

QBE Group

HDI Global Specialty Australia

Head of risk and compliance

Don Ferguson

N/A

icare NSW

Interim CEO and managing director

Lisa Harrison

N/A

Suncorp

CEO, insurance product and portfolio

Joachim Holte

Flight Centre

Youi

Chief marketing officer

Peter Horigan

Holden Financial Services

ProRisk

National business development manager, motor and consumer lines

Kerrie Lalich

N/A

Lawcover

Chief executive officer

Scott Leney

N/A

Marsh

Risk management leader, Asia and Pacific; country corporate officer, MMC

Nick Newton

1Cover

HDI Global Specialty Australia

Head, finance and operations

Sharon Ooi

N/A

Swiss Re

Head, Australia and New Zealand

Marsh Australia CEO takes on broader role

Marsh Australia chief executive Scott Leney has been promoted to risk management leader for the Asia and Pacific regions, charged with overseeing the broker’s risk management teams in both regions. The Sydney-based executive also assumed the position of country corporate officer for Marsh parent firm Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC). In this capacity, Leney will work closely with colleagues across MMC companies Marsh, Guy Carpenter, Mercer and Oliver Wyman on key client and corporate initiatives in Australia. “As a strong client advocate with a track record for delivering innovative solutions for complex problems, [Scott] is well placed to ensure we bring the full capabilities of the firm to our clients across the region,” said Flavio Piccolomini, president of Marsh International.

HDI Global Specialty brings in 1Cover CFO

HDI Global Specialty Australia has snapped up former 1Cover chief financial officer Nick Newton to serve as its new head of finance and operations. Newton, an industry veteran who also previously spent time at QBE and Hollard Insurance, represents “a further key appointment within our growing branch operation,” said Mark Fleiser, general manager and head of branch at HDI Global Specialty Australia. “He has the kind of skills and industry insight from both the insurer and distribution perspective to stand him in very good stead and allow him to quickly add value to the broader finance and accounting function of the team,” Fleiser added.

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UPFRONT

INSURER UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS Suncorp revamp sees exit of insurance chief executive

Suncorp Group has undertaken a major overhaul in a bid to further improve its core insurance and banking businesses while accelerating digital and data-driven transformation. Suncorp has combined several of its Australian insurance and group functions, promoting Lisa Harrison to the new role of CEO of insurance product and portfolio and Paul Smeaton to COO of insurance. As a result of the management shake-up, Gary Dransfield, the incumbent CEO of Suncorp Insurance (Australia), departed on 17 July and also stepped down as Insurance Council of Australia president.

QBE’s profits slip into the red for the first half of 2020

In line with the forecast it announced in July, QBE Insurance Group has posted a net loss after tax of US$712m (around AU$994m) for the first six months of 2020. In the same period last year, the global insurer enjoyed a net profit after tax of US$463m. QBE’s results for H1 2020 included a US$90m investment loss, which represented a massive drop from its US$755m investment profit in the first half of 2019. Additionally, QBE revealed that it had taken a US$335m underwriting hit from COVID-19. The group’s underwriting loss for the period amounted to US$524m.

Hollard Insurance makes new investment in insurtech Open

Digital insurance platform Open, developed by the same duo behind industry disruptor Huddle, has received a $3.1m capital top-up led by top-tier venture capital firm AirTree Ventures

and previous backer Hollard Insurance. Open said it plans to use the investment for continued development and to facilitate its global growth strategy. The platform, which allows brokers to create tailored insurance products for their customers, currently operates in Australia and has plans to expand to New Zealand, the UK and across Europe. Open’s broker platform was launched in beta in July.

IAG reports a 60% plunge in its full-year net profit

IAG has posted a 39.5% decline in insurance profit, to $741m, and a 59.6% plunge in net profit after tax, to $435m, for FY20. The insurer also revealed an underlying insurance margin and a reported insurance margin of 16% and 10.1%, respectively, for FY20, both of which are down from its 2019 numbers. IAG did have some positive news on gross written premium, which grew by 1.1% to $12.1bn. However, the insurer said its underwriting profit in both Australia and New Zealand took a hit.

HDI Global Specialty rolls out aviation platform

HDI Global Specialty, in partnership with Precision Autonomy, has launched a new platform designed to deliver general aviation policies to brokers in minutes. Known as Aviation IQ, the platform is initially available only in the Australian market, but an international expansion across the insurer’s global aviation teams is in the works. Jamie Bowes, aviation head at HDI Global Specialty Australia, described Aviation IQ as a “bespoke full insurance life-cycle platform for general aviation policies”, adding that “the aviation market has lacked disruption and innovation; this seeks to considerably change that”.

Making progress on D&I What one insurer is doing to move the needle on diversity and inclusion in the insurance industry

The death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the US earlier this year has led to a surge in calls for racial equality worldwide. Australia has seen reflections on the country’s relationship with racial injustice as protesters have taken part in the Indigenous Lives Matter movement. The spotlight has also shone on representation in the business world, particularly in the insurance sector, which remains dominated by the white male demographic, especially at the senior leadership level. Among those doing their part to address the issue is industry giant QBE, which has committed to building an inclusive culture where the entire workforce can expect to be appreciated and respected for who they are. “We believe that seeing diversity valued and included at a leadership level opens up possibilities and opportunities for people who identify with these same diverse qualities,” says Vivek Bhatia, QBE’s former AustraliaPacific CEO, who spoke to Insurance Business prior to his departure from the insurer in August. “At QBE, cultural diversity is reflected in both the executive leadership team and at the board level. The company also has an ongoing review of its talent lists that will flag any biases to ensure it leverages the full diversity of the talent pool.” Additionally, Bhatia says QBE has a longstanding commitment to reconciliation and supports sustainable employment for Indigenous Australians.

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“This includes employment pathways through Indigenous internships with CareerTrackers and the New Colombo Plan,” he says. “QBE also supports community organisations such as Toys Change Lives, which supports the employment of young Indigenous men following a period in juvenile detention. This work remains a key focus, and [QBE is] launching its third Reconciliation Action Plan later this year.”

“Seeing diversity valued and included at a leadership level opens up possibilities and opportunities” Bhatia adds that QBE strives to ensure that cultural inclusivity is embedded in its everyday operations. The Australia-Pacific executive team and board, for instance, have “strong representation” of people from culturally diverse backgrounds, including chief underwriting officer Phuong Ly and board member Ming Long, who was recently recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours as a Member of the Order for her services to the financial and real estate sectors, as well as to diversity and inclusion. Bhatia says it’s important for QBE to build a workforce that reflects the community in which it operates “if we wish to have a diversity of voices around the table” to create products and solutions that “really matter and really make a difference”. However, he concedes that the insurance industry is still “shaking off ” its heritage of being dominated by white men. “It’s critical that we ensure we have positive symbols of diversity in our leadership team so that other people from culturally diverse backgrounds – and even women and the LGBTIQ community – can see that there is a place for them at the top,” he says.

Q&A

Steve Marshall Executive general manager of business distribution IAG

Years in the industry 30 Fast fact Marshall joined IAG in 2016 and took on a new role in May; he now oversees the insurer’s business products and strategic partnerships

The commercial insurance outlook How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted the commercial insurance business of your CGU Insurance subsidiary? COVID-19 has been challenging for many of our customers and, for some, has caused significant financial hardship. We moved quickly to provide a number of support measures to assist customers – including CGU small business customers – experiencing financial hardship, and this support has been extended to the end of the year. This included options such as premium deferrals and reductions, waived cancellation fees, and waived excess amounts in the event of a claim. While it has been a difficult period for some customers, we’ve also heard great stories of resilience from our customers, including businesses pivoting quickly and finding new ways to continue to operate. On the commercial side, we have a diversified customer base across different regions and industries, which has allowed us to mitigate the risk of a shock in a particular segment. The impacts of the pandemic on commercial businesses have varied across the country due to different restrictions and lockdowns across states affecting businesses to varying degrees. Our experience to date is that most commercial customers have retained their insurance, with some seeking to update their policies to reflect their business requirements.

What’s your outlook for CGU in the medium term? In the medium term, our focus for CGU is on how best we serve our broker partners. Brokers play an important advisory role to customers, particularly business owners, and during times of uncertainty, they are able to provide specific advice to their clients to ensure their business and assets are protected. The strength of the IAG group backing the CGU brand and our commercial portfolio also gives us more certainty about our performance in an uncertain time.

How do things look for the insurance market in general? It’s clear that COVID-19 has had significant economic impacts and has affected many industries and people. While not immune to these impacts, what we’re seeing is that insurance continues to be valued by customers for the protection it provides. Arguably, at a time of great economic uncertainty, insurance can help provide some financial certainty to customers if something does go wrong. However, over time, any reduction in household spending is likely to have an impact on the broader insurance market. For instance, customers may reduce their level of cover to a more basic option or switch products or brands based on price. This will make it even more important for insurers to demonstrate value for money, provide quality customer service and develop unique product offerings to ensure they remain competitive and retain market share. Brokers, who are adapting and becoming more digitally connected, will also play an important role in educating customers about the value of insurance.

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4/09/2020 10:28:59 AM


UPFRONT

UNDERWRITING AGENCIES UPDATE

Giving the market more control How one underwriting agency is letting brokers and policyholders instantly tailor their coverage

individual client’s needs.” Burke-Douglas believes that unlike most providers in the market, ProRisk is offering more choice by letting customers select their limits and deductibles rather than implementing a ‘one size fits all’ underwriting approach. The outcome, he says, is a seamless end-to-end transaction via a digital portal. So far, the products on ProBind include ProRisk’s allied health product, Healthcare

“You can slide your limit up and down, or you can slide your excess up and down”

It’s not an easy feat to set yourself apart in the insurance market, but ProRisk is aiming to do just that with its proprietary quote and bind trading platform, ProBind, which features a slider that gives brokers and their clients ultimate control over their insurance coverage. “When you log into our ProBind underwriting platform, there is a slider, and you can slide your limit up and down, or you can slide your excess up and down,” says Jaydon BurkeDouglas, ProRisk’s general counsel and head of product. “That gives you real-time dynamic

NEWS BRIEFS

pricing. A broker will be able to log into our platform and come up with a program that specifically meets the needs of their client in real time just by clicking on a slider.” Burke-Douglas offers the example of a broker representing a customer with a set budget for insurance. “For example, we’ve got a broker who had a client with a budget for, say, $1,000, and they wanted to get the most cover they could get for $1,000,” he says. “They can fiddle around with the sliders, and they can get to a package that suits their

Stella Insurance makes its debut in Australia

Freedom Services Group chief executive Sam White, a well-established figure in the UK insurance industry, has forayed into the Australian market with the launch of Stella Insurance, a digital underwriting agency that will provide female-focused car insurance, underwritten by QBE and available on the Aventus digital operating platform. In addition to being founded by women, Stella will also be staffed by women and will donate a percentage of its premiums to help support local women-led companies.

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Professionals Civil Liability, as well as its Sole Traders & Partnerships Management Liability policy, which was added in August. The company is working to adapt its entire product suite for online transaction, with the goal of eventually handling all ProRisk offerings through the platform. “With the products available on ProBind, they can go online and get a quote in less than five minutes, and it’s a very quick and easy, painless experience – they get a quote, and they can quote and bind online,” Burke-Douglas says. “All of our claims are handled in-house, and the product itself is really designed with our clients in mind. We’ve got products that provide incredible value, and I think it’s going to be a big success in the marketplace.”

High Street adds new liability underwriter

High Street Underwriting Agency has welcomed James Irvine as a liability underwriter. With previous stints at Pro-Insure, Comsure Insurance Brokers, Aon and CGU, Irvine brings more than 11 years of industry experience that spans both broking and underwriting. “Aside from the great new office and people, I’m enjoying specialising in liability products and working with the London market,” he said. “I feel that High Street offers great products and service to brokers, particularly with risks that don’t fit in the ‘box’.”

www.insurancebusinessonline.com.au

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4/09/2020 10:32:41 AM


Q&A

Graeme Berwick

Insuring with empathy and expertise

Executive director COMMUNITY UNDERWRITING

Years in the industry 40 Fast fact In addition to leading Community Underwriting, Berwick has also been running a management consultancy for the past two decades

As an insurance provider to the not-for-profit (NFP) sector, how has Community Underwriting been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis? The NFP sector is amazingly resilient, and we are seeing organisations that have vastly contrasting experiences to each other. Some providing crucial support, such as Meals on Wheels, in-home support and mental health, have had their funding substantially increased to enable them to continue to support vulnerable people in the community. Others have experienced a dramatic fall in revenues, with inability and/or uncertainty around being able to meet, raise funds and receive donations. Small charities, including local independent churches, have been particularly hard-hit, and we have witnessed this through policy cancellations and paring back of coverage.

Moving forward, where do you foresee the biggest changes in insurance products? Changes are already happening. If we are to have a sustainable insurance industry to provide ongoing protection to all clients, there needs to be greater clarity around what can and cannot be effectively priced and covered. Events like war, terrorism, nuclear disaster and pandemics impact entire nations, and insurers do not price or capitalise for these types of events. Better clarity around exclusions that refer to government-declared diseases are occurring for business package and industrial special risk policies. General liability and association liability policies, previously silent on pandemics, are having restrictions

Fusion bags underwriting agency deal

POP International Holdings subsidiary Fusion has teamed up with HDI Global Specialty Australia to bring additional capacity to the mergers and acquisitions insurance market. The deal will see HDI Global Specialty delegate its underwriting authority to Fusion to write warranties and indemnities insurance on its behalf. According to POP and Fusion co-founder Killian McDermott, the partnership “further enables us to lead local solutions, with a more efficient and flexible approach for small to mid-market M&A transactions”.

imposed by reinsurers that range from a broad communicable diseases exclusion to a more reasonable listed human diseases.

What’s the biggest challenge in insuring charities and community organisations? Empathy. Forging strong relationships with supportive insurers, having enthusiastic and passionate staff, and working with brokers who understand that the NFP sector is different. Many organisations that provide immensely valuable services and support to the community are run on the smell of an oily rag. Every cent is ploughed back into providing these services, and they need help and support to ensure that their organisations are adequately protected when they suffer a loss. Most have finite sources of revenue and have no means to ramp up production and sell more product if there is volatility in their insurance premiums or coverage. We are here to help find ways to cover a broad range of activities and support them when they are able to run fundraising events again.

As executive director, what are your priorities for Community Underwriting? We continue to work on our reputation as a specialist in this sector with empathy, expertise and a flexible approach. Each year, as we grow, our business model allows us to provide increasing support back into the sector through our donations and small grants.

London underwriter tapped to join ATC in Melbourne

Australian Trade and Construction (ATC) Insurance Solutions has hired London-based Jenny Arkell as a senior underwriter for cyber. Arkell, who plans to relocate to Melbourne as soon as travel restrictions are lifted, has underwritten cyber risks for Tokio Marine HCC and, most recently, CFC Underwriting, where she focused on the Australian market in her capacity as international cyber underwriter. ATC touted Arkell’s ability to “bring a great depth of knowledge and experience to the Australian cyber marketplace”.

ProRisk adds liability product for sole traders

ProRisk has unveiled another new product on its ProBind trading platform: a management liability policy for sole traders and partnerships, which is designed to fill the coverage gap left by traditional management liability policies that are typically targeted at small to medium-sized private companies. The new offering features premiums as low as $300, as well as liability limits of up to $2m, and includes access to features like a whistleblower hotline, contract review service and free legal advice.

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4/09/2020 10:32:50 AM


PEOPLE

THE BIG INTERVIEW

STRIVING FOR INCLUSION Marsh Care Solutions leader Lyle Steffensen tells IB how growing up in South Africa during the apartheid era inspired her ongoing fight for equality

AUSTRALIA IS still “far behind the eight ball” when it comes to diversity and inclusion, according to Lyle Steffensen, Pacific practices leader at Marsh Care Solutions. Growing up in South Africa during the apartheid era, Steffensen has witnessed the crippling impact of discrimination and says she never wants the colour of her skin to determine her opportunities. Steffensen moved to Australia at age 15 and joined the insurance industry shortly after completing a commerce and IT degree. While she admits she’s been privileged to have had the support of great mentors throughout her career, she’s also had frequent experiences of gender and racial discrimination. “I notice it much more when I am working in regional towns and outside of Sydney – I have to explain my accent; I have to explain where I come from,” she says. “I do that every time I speak. I say where I come from to put people at ease because they spend the whole time wondering whether I’m Fijian or Jamaican or what. The first thing they want to know is where you’re from, and so when I say I’m from Sydney, it frustrates people, and I do that just because I’m being funny sometimes because it’s just boring.” On another occasion, Steffensen found herself excluded in a meeting due to a client’s unconscious bias. “I remember a meeting with a retail

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client that was, ironically, owned by Jewish South Africans,” she says. “I had a junior male staff member who the client spent the entire meeting speaking to because they just assumed that I was the junior. “I had another big client who was buying another company, and I was on the phone to them several times a day because there’s a lot of work that goes into that,” she continues.

we actually still judge people based on their position, their parental status, their age and their colour.”

Starting the conversation At Marsh, Steffensen has forged her own role to support organisations that have a purpose beyond profit. While she has only been with the company since the beginning of 2018, she

“I’ve spent a lot of time researching casual racism, and it’s something that in Australia, if we’re going to work on inclusivity and diversity, we need to work on, because that is particular to our community and culture” “I did all of the insurance, and as I spoke to their CFO, he told me he had to go catch a plane to a football match. I found out on the Monday after that he had gone to the football with my boss. They basically said, ‘Because you’re a mother, we don’t think you should do those things because you’ve got other responsibilities.’ “I found that incredibly disrespectful, but that’s not unusual. That’s just one example out of a number of similar experiences, where

says she’s proud to see the steps being made on diversity and inclusion. “Before I came to Marsh, in my previous role I was the only senior female broker in a company of 135 and the only person-of-colour broker as well,” she says. “I was the only senior female, person-of-colour broker in the entire Asia-Pacific. When I came to Marsh, the first thing I realised was it was actually the first company where there were many women in senior roles, and that was lovely and refreshing.”

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4/09/2020 11:22:22 AM


PROFILE Name: Lyle Steffensen Title: Pacific practices leader, Marsh Care Solutions Company: Marsh Based in: Sydney, Gadigal Land Years in the industry: 20+ Career highlight: Spearheading inclusion practices at Marsh

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4/09/2020 11:22:37 AM


PEOPLE

THE BIG INTERVIEW

One month after Steffensen joined, Marsh celebrated World Black Day, hosting an array of African American speakers in senior roles at the company’s New York headquarters. “They were talking about unconscious bias, and I had never even heard that term before,” Steffensen says. “I had the realisation that for most of us in Australia, we don’t even have conscious bias, never mind unconscious bias. I think that we’re actually so far behind the eight ball in terms of inclusion and diversity that it hasn’t even been a conversation until the last couple of months in Australia. At Marsh, I know the company is still working very hard to change this, but there is still a glass ceiling for most women.”

I approached our executive to ask whether we could get people to complete that, particularly in interviews, and that then changed the system,” she says. “What Marsh did was they turned it into unconscious bias training. This is the difference with Marsh – you might not think your little idea is going to go anywhere, but it actually is taken on board and actioned in a really helpful, practical way. “I’ve been asked to participate in our inclusion and diversity training that we currently have undergoing, and the work that’s come through – particularly our US head office around Black Lives Matter as well – has been hit head-on directly, spoken about frankly, and it’s such a powerful, clear state-

“I would really like to see our leaders, the CEOs and board members in the insurance industry, take a personal interest in this subject” Steffensen believes people are “a bit scared of ” conversations around race. She likens unconscious bias in Australia to what the Indigenous community calls “casual racism”. “I’ve spent a lot of time researching casual racism, and it’s something that in Australia, if we’re going to work on inclusivity and diversity, we need to work on, because that is particular to our community and culture,” Steffensen says. “It’s very difficult to get people to realise that they are inherently biased, and I have had lots of people say to me, ‘I’m not racist, but …’ and then the next thing that comes out of their mouth is something about ‘lazy Aboriginals that sit around drinking all day, wasting all our money’.”

Next steps Marsh is spearheading action on inclusion and has enabled Steffensen to share her solutions for addressing unconscious bias. “As a function of that World Black Day, they mentioned the Harvard Business Review unconscious bias questionnaire, and

16

ment with integrity. I never feel like I don’t belong at Marsh.” Other diversity initiatives at Marsh include the Reconciliation Action Plan to create employment pathways for people from Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, as well as a “focus on the Indigenous community” at events, where elders perform a traditional Welcome to Country. “There’s a lot of real conversation that goes on in those events where we actually get to see Indigenous people as people, and I think that’s important – they’re not a label, not an entity, not a generalisation,” Steffensen says. “I think that’s what’s going to be key for us to continue to engage with it as a human problem.” Going forward, diversity and inclusion can be bolstered, Steffensen says, if people in leadership roles take an interest and work hard to address the issues. “I would really like to see our leaders, the CEOs and board members in the insurance industry, take a personal interest in this subject and get up underneath some of these women.”

MARSH AT A GLANCE

FOUNDATION Established in Chicago in 1905 and now operates in more than 130 countries

OWNERSHIP A wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, which has annual revenue of more than US$17bn

SERVICES Offers risk management and consulting, insurance broking, alternative risk financing, and insurance program management to businesses, government entities, organisations and individuals

DIVERSITY INITIATIVES Celebrates World Black Day, has unconscious bias training for staff and recruiters, has changed ‘maternity leave’ to ‘parental leave’ to be gender-inclusive, and offers Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander workplace pathways

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4/09/2020 11:22:50 AM


UPFRONT

OPINION

GOT AN OPINION THAT COUNTS? Email ibo@keymedia.com.au

Shaping up and shipping out COVID-19 has brought a range of new considerations into play for the marine sector, write Joel Mitchell and Steve Croney of HDI Global SE, Australia THIS YEAR has presented a variety of challenges for the shipping and supply chain sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a range of new – and time-sensitive – considerations into play. To provide effective insurance solutions, it’s important that the marine insurance industry understands the changing landscape and challenging conditions in which their clients are operating. During this pandemic, we have seen usual supply chain and logistics arrangements being impacted, with restrictions on both the movement of cargo and the workforce in those industries. This has led to longer shipping times, reduced availability of ship repair and dry dock facilities, and increased accumulations at warehouses, ports, and aboard vessels. Laid-up vessels, which would ordinarily be spread across the globe, are instead aggregated together and exposed to the same hazards. From a pure risk and insurance perspective, accessibility for surveyors and risk management due to travel restrictions and quarantines adds further struggles. All marine insurers will see reduced turnovers across a variety of customer segments. However, we are also seeing some customers diversifying and gaining traction during these difficult times. A reduction in global trade doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in insurance exposures for underwriters. In Australia, we are liaising closely with our clients and their advocates to understand their challenges and, where possible, provide underwriting solutions to meet their immediate and projected needs. Aside from COVID-19, marine insurance

faces several other challenges. Comparable to other segments of the market, marine insurance is experiencing reduced capacity globally, which is more of a concern on programs with large limits and increased risk factors. We are seeing clients searching outside their traditional home markets to secure capacity, which causes challenges for global insurers with regard to consistency and channel conflict. As the Lloyd’s market corrects its pricing and risk selection, it’s been pleasing to see that business is returning to the Australian marine

and mitigate risks; while insurtech and IoT will play a role in managing these risks, they remain a work in progress. The push for cost efficiencies within the logistics chain also continues to increase risk and resulting losses. The introduction of the Chain of Responsibility legislation has yet to show its expected outcomes – however, it does show promise as a longer-term investment. Finally, trade relationships, including new trade agreements and escalating tensions throughout the Asia-Pacific region, continue to create an evolving risk environment. The marine market needs to be across these changes to learn and develop with our clients. The marine insurance sector also needs new faces and new ideas. Even prior to the pandemic, there had been a reduction in experience across underwriters, brokers, claims professionals and surveyors. The push to commoditise transactions in marine insurance has produced efficiencies – but the core understanding of the cover has reduced, especially when losses occur. HDI Global has a proven track record of developing junior staff into established market practitioners within underwriting, claims and

“A reduction in global trade doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in insurance exposures” market – however, the expectation from some clients has been for pricing and/or conditions to remain within the same range, even though their previous insurers are seeking increases and/or changes in conditions or have exited the market completely. The 2015 Tianjin port explosion and the recent Beirut port explosion demonstrate that the global marine market can have significant aggregated insured values. Additionally, the cargo-carrying capacity of vessels continues to increase, as does the unit value of cargo being shipped. These factors mean insurers’ aggregations on land and sea can be substantial, thus increasing catastrophe exposures and potential general average contributions. The global market will need to work together to better understand combined exposures

risk control. In Australia, we’ve employed qualified engineers, actuaries and lawyers, using their interrelated skill sets to mould them into insurance experts in their specific fields. The marine insurance market will continue to evolve to meet the challenges in the logistics environment. However, insurance cannot be the sole solution – risk management and risk mitigation will continue to be key components. Irrespective of external circumstances, HDI Global will still look to support our clients in managing their risk exposure. Joel Mitchell and Steve Croney are the marine underwriting managers for Australasia and the Southern Region, respectively, at HDI Global SE, Australia.

www.insurancebusinessonline.com.au

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4/09/2020 11:23:03 AM


SPECIAL REPORT

TOP 10 BROKERAGES

TOP 10 BROKERAGES Insurance Business reveals its annual ranking of the 10 best-performing brokerages in Australia

WHO’S NUMBER ONE? Since 2013, only two brokerages have made it to the top spot on more than one occasion. This year, Shielded Insurance Brokers claimed its first win after placing second in 2019.

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2013

Mega Capital

2014

Mega Capital

2015

2016

BizCover

2017

BizCover

2018

2019

SRG Group

2020

Shielded Insurance Brokers

Allinsure

(CAR of Insurance Advisernet Australia)

Insure 247

SO FAR, this year has been one of dramatic change. From the Black Summer bushfires, floods, hail and drought to the unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic, 2020 has forced brokers to step up to help their clients survive. In this year’s edition of the Top 10 Brokerages, IB set out to identify the brokerages that are leading their clients and the industry through the pandemic while pioneering new innovations, establishing new trends and setting the standards for best practice for the insurance broking sector. To ensure that all brokerages in the country have a fair shot at being showcased, IB evaluates a qualitative set of data to establish the 10 brokerages that are truly performing at their best. Revenue alone isn’t a golden ticket to the list, nor is sheer number of brokers. Given the ongoing fluctuations, challenges

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4/09/2020 11:15:44 AM


TOP 10 BROKERAGES 1

Shielded Insurance Brokers

2

Centrewest Insurance Brokers

3

Trade Risk

4

Brookvale Insurance Brokers

5

Austbrokers Coast to Coast

6

Aviso WA (tie)

6

McLardy McShane (tie)

8 10 9

Omnisure Oracle Group (Australia) Pty Ltd Roderick Insurance Brokers

10

Elliott Insurance Brokers

THE METHODOLOGY The Insurance Business Top 10 Brokerages ranking is an objective means of ranking the top-performing brokerages in the country. This year, IB made a slight update to the criteria from previous years, removing the client retention metric. The criteria now spans seven business-critical areas:

Total revenue Policies written Revenue per policy Revenue per broker Policies per broker New clients Company growth

and unique circumstances currently facing the insurance market, IB once again took a look back at previous instalments of the Top 10 Brokerages to highlight the remarkable changes the industry has experienced over the years. While some areas experienced positive momentum, the hostile environment brought on by COVID-19 has had a significant impact on others. Most notably, revenue has taken a nosedive in 2020 – however, the number of policies written per brokerage has increased year-on-year, emphasising how vital the services brokers provide truly are to the community. In the coming year, Australian brokerages will undoubtedly face several significant challenges. The hardening market that has been apparent over the past few years is only accelerating due to the catastrophic natural disaster

season and the COVID-19 pandemic, both of which have made insurers and underwriters more conservative. The uptick in class actions is also weighing heavily on the industry; many brokers claim they have seen D&O insurance policy prices increase by up to 200%. While this environment seems to be working against the industry, it’s not all bad news. Many brokers and insurers alike have used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to reboot tech systems, reconnect with clients, and develop more innovative and valuable policies. The time is ripe for new products and platforms, and many brokerages around the country are pursuing new opportunities to meet demand. Each of the brokerages featured on the following pages has triumphed over year’s tumultuous events and emerged even stronger.

As in previous years, each brokerage was required to supply its own details for the 2019–20 financial year. 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. IB’s ranking system rewards brokerages based on business per broker rather than critical mass, which ensures that the very best brokerages are singled out, regardless of size.  

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4/09/2020 11:15:54 AM


SPECIAL REPORT

TOP 10 BROKERAGES 10

ELLIOTT INSURANCE BROKERS

A member of the Steadfast Group, Elliott Insurance Brokers places more than $6bn in premium every year, giving the brokerage access to a majority of the Australian insurance market, significant buying power, and a broad range of tailored insurance packages and policy wordings. The WA-based brokerage, in operation since 2008, is committed to serving “all clients regardless of size” and endeavours to make insurance “quicker and easier”. Its product offerings include business insurance, professional indemnity, public liability, specialty insurance, trade package insurance, and travel and life insurance. Making its seventh appearance on the Top 10 Brokerages list and reprising its 10th-place finish from 2019, Elliott Insurance Brokers enjoyed a substantial increase in new clients between July 2019 and June 2020, despite the COVID-19-driven cratering of consumer confidence, which has worked against the insurance industry. “One of the biggest challenges we face over the next 12 to 24 months is the hardening market,” says Rachael Milne, Elliott Insurance Brokers’ chief financial officer. “Usually a hardening market provides opportunity for the

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stronger brokerages and is welcome; however, the unavailability of capacity in the hard-toplace property market and in some D&O and professional indemnity sectors is seeing clients unable to obtain coverage or dropping coverage due to the cost.”

It’s clear that these challenging conditions haven’t impeded the brokerage’s growth, though. Elliott Insurance Brokers has seen a 20% increase in its client base over the past year, along with a significant number of new policies written.

RODERICK INSURANCE BROKERS

Operating out of Victoria’s Geelong and We r r i b e e , Roderick Insurance Brokers is a locally owned family business. Led by managing director Keith Roderick, who has been running the business since 1986, the brokerage has enjoyed significant growth over three decades to become one of the largest and most established regional brokerages in Victoria, offering an

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David Powell, senior account executive

extensive portfolio of both personal and commercial insurance. Between July 2019 and June 2020, Roderick Insurance Brokers enjoyed a 10% increase in client growth, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a catastrophic natural disaster season. However, it was in the number of policies written over the past year that Roderick Insurance Brokers truly stood out – the brokerage wrote a total of 14,188 policies, the third most out of all the Top 10 Brokerages. “The biggest challenge we are facing at the

moment revolves around the ability to find suitably qualified staff to manage the increasing complexities of our insurance offerings,” says Paul Codd, the brokerage’s sales and operations manager. “As a number of technically experienced brokers retire from our organisation, we see the gap left in skill set as we struggle to replace them with similarly qualified people. To try and combat this issue, we have implemented a trainee program to get younger people exposed to various areas of the business in a bid to fast-track them to a broker role.”

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OMNISURE Located in North Sydney, Omnisure prides itself on being a “progressive and dynamic” brokerage that tailors innovative insurance solutions for its clients. Established in 1982, the brokerage offers both personal and professional products across a diverse range of areas. With family values at the core of its business, Omnisure focuses on building long-term relationships with its clients, forging a reputation for trustworthiness and approachability. This model helped the brokerage achieve a 13% increase in new business revenue and a client growth rate of more than 28% between July 2019 and June 2020. However, Omnisure’s standout performance came in the revenue per broker category – its average of $515,691 per broker placed it third among this year’s Top 10 Brokerages in this category. Looking to the rest of 2020 and beyond, Schalk Van Der Merwe, managing director at Omnisure, told IB that the brokerage’s biggest challenge will be “supporting and educating clients through the COVID-19 situation and subsequent hard market”.

Schalk Van Der Merwe, managing director

TOTAL REVENUE PLUMMETS

NEW REVENUE DROPS AGAIN

After a catastrophic natural disaster season that included the Black Summer bushfires and now the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that the total amount of revenue across the Top 10 Brokerages has fallen off sharply this year.

Similarly, new revenue across the Top 10 Brokerages continued its downward trend this year, coming in below the $1m threshold for the first time since 2013.

$3.5m

$150m

$3m $2.5m

$120m

$2m $1.5m $1m

$90m

$500k $0

$60m

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

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4/09/2020 2:45:26 PM


SPECIAL REPORT

TOP 10 BROKERAGES 6

MCLARDY MCSHANE Don McLardy, CEO

6

AVISO WA

Clients are the focus at Aviso WA – the brokerage seeks to build lasting relationships by making clients’ business its business. Aviso WA provides a wide array of insurance products, including business and personal insurance, specialist insurance, mining insurance, rural and farm insurance, and premium funding, as well as coverage for a wide range of industries, from aviation and marine to transport and logistics. Between July 2019 and June 2020, the brokerage enjoyed healthy increases in number of clients and new business revenue, growing by more than 19% in both areas – a testament to the hard work and diligence of its staff. Those qualities will be even more important as the brokerage confronts a number of challenges in the year ahead.

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Headquartered in Melbourne, McLardy McShane is a national brokerage with branches in Victoria, NSW, Qld and WA, and offers a broad range of insurance products across all industries. Fun, flexible, forward-thinking and growing fast, McLardy McShane is making its fourth appearance on the Top 10 Brokerages list in 2020, tying for sixth place this year. “Our success is down to our positive culture,” says CEO Don McLardy. “It’s something we’ve tried to cultivate since the company began, and we’re extremely proud of it.” The last 12 months have seen McLardy McShane triumph in sheer number of policies written and new revenue. It’s a clear testament to the importance of insurance during a pandemic and how positive culture and engaging with challenges can breed success in spite of wider global circumstances. “Looking ahead, we’re going to be focused on managing the repercussions of COVID-19,” McLardy says. “We want to make sure that our staff, clients, branches and entire network have the support they need during these unprecedented times.”

“The unfolding COVID-19 situation is our biggest challenge affecting both our clients and staff,” says Mike Thomas, senior account executive at Aviso WA. “As the uncertainty continues, we won’t know the full impact on both the business and our mental health for some time. Another equally important challenge for our business is climate change due to a significant amount of our client base [being] involved in farming pursuits.”

Rick Purslowe, managing director

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22/09/2020 9:44:36 AM


5

AUSTBROKERS COAST TO COAST

Making its third consecutive appearance on the Top 10 Brokerages list, Queensland-based Austbrokers Coast to Coast proclaims that “risk is our business”. Offering tailored corporate insurance solutions for Australian and multinational corporates in the transport, manufacturing, construction, not-for-profit and government sectors, the brokerage covers a lot of ground for its clients. It’s not surprising, then, that Austbrokers Coast to Coast came in fourth for revenue per broker, with an average of $503,009 per broker. The brokerage also saw a 10.5% boost in new business revenue between July 2019 and June 2020. Nigel King, director of finance and corporate affairs at Austbrokers Coast to Coast, says the brokerage’s biggest challenge is “remaining relevant in a market that is driven by price and not advice or service. Our industry seems intent on commoditising at the expense of service and advice. We provide a very high level of service to our clients and manage their risk for them. We charge a fee for our service commensurate with the service we provide, and our clients are happy to pay for that service. However, the broking industry in general is trying to compete

4

Dale Hansen, CEO

with the direct-to-market insurers on price. We should be considered as trusted professionals by our clients rather than trying to obtain the

lowest price for our clients at the expense of service, advice and the right coverage to ensure that our clients’ risk is managed appropriately.”

BROOKVALE INSURANCE BROKERS

Located in S y d n e y ’s Northern Beaches, Brookvale Insurance Brokers boasts local insurance knowledge alongside global insurance expertise. Since its inception in 1983, Brookvale Insurance Brokers has offered business and commercial insurance, professional and financial liability, industry association packages, household and motor insurance, as well as specialty insurance for niche markets, from motorcycle dealers to mobile coffee vans. As a “preferred broker for major domestic and international underwriters”, Brookvale

Insurance Brokers is able to command extremely competitive terms and conditions on behalf of its clients. Between July 2019 and June 2020, the brokerage recorded a 7.3% increase in client growth. It also brought in more than $8m in revenue over that period, ranking third out of all the Top 10 Brokerages in both categories. While the year ahead will undoubtedly present many challenges, Craig Olofinsky, general manager at Brookvale Insurance Brokers says “affordability and availability of insurance in the market” is the biggest obstacle the brokerage is facing at the moment.

Craig Olofinsky, general manager

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4/09/2020 11:16:57 AM


SPECIAL REPORT

TOP 10 BROKERAGES 3

TRADE RISK

Shane Moore, founder

2

brought in nearly 1,300 new clients between July 2019 and June 2020, the second highest tally among this year’s Top 10 Brokerages. Trade Risk also ranked first among the Top 10 in terms of policies written per broker and second for new business revenue growth, which jumped by more than 22% between July 2019 and June 2020. “Finding the right staff to keep up with growth is a massive challenge,” says Trade Risk founder Shane Moore. “For much of 2020, we’ve been turning away a lot of new business enquiries, as we just can’t get through them in a timely manner. We never compromise on service to our existing clients, so it’s the new business that suffers. Thankfully, our online system means we can continue writing plenty of straightforward new business that doesn’t require manual quoting.”

CENTREWEST INSURANCE BROKERS

Centrewest Insurance Brokers has been providing commercial insurance to businesses in Western Australia since 1987. The Perthbased brokerage serves both commercial and personal insurance clients with life insurance, superannuation, financial planning, income protection insurance, buy/sell agreements and shareholder agreements. The brokerage also offers comprehensive business insurance options and financial services for personal insurance clients, as well as home, motor and domestic coverage designed to protect clients and their personal assets. Centrewest Insurance Brokers had a standout year in 2020 despite the harsh insurance environment, posting an impressive $8.9m in revenue between July 2019 and June 2020. The brokerage also saw a significant number of policies (15,083) written over the same period – the second most of all of this year’s Top 10 Brokerages. Moving forward, Centrewest Insurance

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From its humble beginnings in Brisbane more than a decade ago, Trade Risk has grown into an award-winning business with clients spanning all Australian states and territories. The brokerage prides itself on its family-owned heritage and a pro-client culture that meets clients’ needs and expectations with superior standards. Trade Risk has also racked up an impressive 23 awards over the past eight years – a remarkable feat that few brokerages can equal. With a client growth rate of more than 10% over the past year, it’s clear that Trade Risk has established a trustworthy and valuable reputation in the market. The brokerage

Brokers is focused on improving its tech capabilities to propel it to even greater heights. “Clearly COVID-19 has been and is an enormous challenge, but this has brought forward a greater challenge of implementing the correct technology to drive us into the future,” says Rick Post, the brokerage’s managing director. “We will shortly implement

into the business a CRM that will help us with client engagement, streamlining of processes and giving us real-time data to increase our effectiveness with the client’s experience. This is an enormous challenge but will help us to reap the rewards of machine learning so our people can focus on what matters: getting the best outcome for our clients.”

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SHIELDED INSURANCE BROKERS

1

Queensland-based Shielded Insurance Brokers boasts a “young, energetic and driven” team of insurance experts – so it’s no wonder the brokerage claimed the number-one spot on this year’s Top 10 Brokerages list. With a mission to challenge the status quo of insurance broking, Shielded Insurance Brokers offers a wide array of coverage, including business, home and contents, vehicle, landlords, truck insurance, rideshare, criminal convictions, luxury and prestige homes, the security industry, restaurants and vacant land. The brokerage cemented its first-place finish with a staggering 91% client growth rate from July 2019 to June 2020. Its new revenue total was also far and away the highest among this year’s Top 10 Brokerages at $3.2m. That record-setting growth has also presented some challenges, however. Managing director Stuart Brady told IB that the biggest challenge currently facing Shielded Insurance Brokers is “how we manage workload, growing smart and reviewing efficiencies constantly because of our fast growth”.

Joshua Scutts, principal

REVENUE PER BROKER SLIPS

RECOVERY IN POLICIES WRITTEN

Average revenue per broker dropped back down to 2018 levels this year. But many economists have forecast a strong comeback for the insurance industry, so next year’s results could see a big boost.

Despite the pandemic, the total number of policies written across the Top 10 Brokerages bounced back this year from the low point hit in 2019.

400k

$424,106

350k

$436,730

300k

$986,380

250k

$1,285,954

200k

$904,908

150k

$422,812

100k

$667,040

50k

$424,086

0

2013 $0

$300k

$600k

$900k

$1.2m

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

$1.5m

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4/09/2020 11:17:40 AM


FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: HOSPITALITY

Hard times for hospitality Insurance Business checked in with three hospitality-focused brokers to uncover the unique risks and advantages their clients have experienced in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 IS rearing its ugly head again. Victoria is in an extended state of disaster, and much of the rest of the country has been slowly grappling with increased cases. For those in the hospitality industry, the resurgence of COVID-19 represents a grave threat to their businesses, depending on where they’re located. Insurance Business spoke to three brokers from across the country to discover how their hospitality clients are faring during one of Australia’s biggest economic disruptions in more than a century. Mike McShane, director at McLardy McShane in Shepparton, Victoria, says this year has been “a disaster” for his clients. Just as the first wave of COVID-19 was beginning to ease in Victoria and restrictions were loosening, a devastating second wave mounted, prompting Premier Daniel Andrews to declare a state of disaster in Victoria at the start of August. “It is incredibly sad and devastating for a lot of businesses,” McShane says. “It was made worse by the fact that we opened up for two weeks, and businesses got a taste of

26

what life was going to look like when they’re back to normal. All the businesses thrived in those two weeks when things got back moving, and it really just whickered their appetite for what was looking like everything being OK again.

industry has proved to be “incredibly resilient” during these unprecedented times, his clients were still having to remove staff from their payroll. Many had to let go of all of their casual employees just to survive on JobKeeper. “JobKeeper is still playing its part, which is good, but the ones with single venues are the ones that are really finding it hard,” he says. “Most hotels would have a number of key staff and a lot of casual staff, and their real focus is making sure they keep their key staff almost without exception. JobKeeper is going towards helping that, and there’s still this false state of optimism that everything is going to be OK and they’re going to ride through it. In, say, October or November when things open up again, in some way then things will start looking a whole lot better for them.” The silver lining, McShane says, is that so far, none of his clients have had to permanently shut their doors. “I spoke to two clients this morning, and I’m amazed at their resilience because they’re still chirpy. They just think, ‘It is what it is, and we’re just

“The reality is that some businesses will close, and that’s the sad truth, but the ones I’m talking to, I’m amazed by their resilience and optimism” Mike McShane, McLardy McShane “But then to have that carpet pulled out from under you is almost worse than not having opened up in the first place. It really has put certainly a physical barrier for people entering their businesses, but also from a mental point of view, it’s really taken the wind out of their sails, which is really sad.” While McShane says the hospitality

going to ride through it’. I think the reality is that some businesses will close, and that’s the sad truth, but the ones I’m talking to, I’m amazed by their resilience and optimism.”

Creative solutions Michael Stewart, director at Stewart Insurance Group in Melbourne’s Sandringham,

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COVID-19 CASES BY STATE AND TERRITORY

Northern Territory

Queensland

1,126

33

South Australia

New South Wales

461

4,079

Victoria

Western Australia

655

19,224

ACT

113

Tasmania

230

Source: Australian Government Department of Health, as of 2 September, 2020

says his clients have softened the financial blow of the pandemic by negotiating rent reductions or other special deals with their landlords. “Most of them that I know that have had major reductions have been able to get 25% to 50% discounts,” Stewart says. “I had one client very early on … his client rang him and said, ‘This is all over; I’m coming in to hand in the keys.’ He’s been a tenant for 15 years, and this old man said, ‘No, this is what we’re going to do. I’m going to give you six months’

free rent; I’m going to spend $50,000 and you’re going to spend $50,000, and we’re going to renovate your shop. We’re going to do a double renovation, and I’m going to help you fund it, and when we come out of this, you’re going to give me a 5% increase every year for the next three years, and we’re going to sign on for another 10.’ And the tenant was very surprised by that but accepted the offer. “This landlord has given six months’ free rent, spent $50,000 of his own money and asked the tenant to chip in a little bit,

done all the place so that when they come out of this, they’ll have a fully renovated, brand-new café. The landlord will have gotten an increase on his rent with another two increases over the next two years and a tenant signed on for 10 years. He said the way they value commercial real estate is what your rental income is and how long the lease is for. So, effectively, he’s increased the value of his property by doing this.” However, not all of Stewart’s clients have had such luck. He says the businesses that

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4/09/2020 10:35:57 AM


FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: HOSPITALITY

COVID-19 IN AUSTRALIA BY THE NUMBERS

25,923 Total cases

21,684

Total recovered cases

2,622

Estimated active cases

432

Total hospitalised cases

are really suffering – the cafés, restaurants, function rooms and function settings – have been “completely devastated”. “I think some of them are trying to limp over the line with takeaway food, takeaway coffee, wine and stuff like that,” he says. “I think some of the larger ones just aren’t worth opening … there’s nothing that they can do until they’re given the OK, so they are just dealing with it on a financial level with banks and landlords.” As an example, he points to one client that maintains a large café and restaurant

“For WA, some of the accommodation clients actually rode through COVID-19 really well, and that’s because [of the] strong mining community continuing through the pandemic” Andrew Clarke, Aon with seating for 250 people. “They’ve just shut their doors, and there’s nothing they can do until Victoria reopens,” he says. “So, I would imagine that they just have to say to their landlord, ‘You’re just not going to get another tenant; you’re just going to have to forgo the rent’ and then go to the bank, if they owe money, and say ‘You’re just going to have to add it to the loan because I just don’t have any money to give to you.’ We may not ever be having restaurants with more than 20 people in them.”

Sunnier skies in WA

663

Total deaths Source: Australian Government Department of Health, as of 2 September, 2020

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other states can. “What we’ve seen so far from a WA perspective is that none of them have not reopened,” Clarke says. “They’ve all, to a large extent, reopened in the same shape and form they did before COVID-19 impacted them. For some it was a bit of a staggered restart, so some of them were doing the takeaways and the like to generate a bit of revenue, and then some of them also expanded that to the element of seating if it’s a restaurant or a bar. “Interestingly, for WA, some of the accommodation clients actually rode through

While things are fairly dire in Victoria, it’s been a different story in Western Australia, says Andrew Clarke, client manager at Aon. His WA-based hospitality clients have enjoyed an economic advantage very few

COVID-19 really well, and that’s because with a strong mining community continuing through the pandemic, they found themselves some strong occupancy rates through mining companies using their accommodation for their FIFO workers whilst they were on their rotations. So, some of those clients did quite well and are still doing quite well.” In fact, the economic environment in WA is so robust that Clarke says some of his clients are reporting even better results than before the pandemic struck. “The client I’ve spoken to had one of the best Junes and Julys they’ve ever had,” he says. “I think that was just a sugar hit, so to speak, of people coming out of lockdown and wanting to socialise and interact, so even with the restricted seating, he found himself doing extremely well.”

F

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02/09/2020 10:15:26 am 4/09/2020 10:37:38 AM


FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: TECHNOLOGY

Manufacturing the future of insurance Shaji Sethu of Duck Creek Technologies tells IB how the right technology can streamline the process of launching new insurance products

WHY DO new insurance products take so long to hit the market? The gaps can be obvious, the risks well known and the market open, yet insurers will still drag their feet to address the situation. From a broker’s perspective, it can be intensely frustrating to see business walk out the door simply because a product doesn’t exist or can’t be tailored to customer demand. It’s also a source of frustration for Shaji Sethu, managing director for Asia-Pacific at Duck Creek Technologies. Why let needs in the business community go unaddressed until it might be too late? And what can be done to prevent this from happening in the future? “Realistically, there are still too many

obstacles in place,” Sethu says. “The insurance industry as a whole tends to be pretty conservative in its approach – that’s a tough one because it’s so ingrained into the culture. We’ve seen it reflected in the way new technologies and procedures are adopted and the way it informs daily practices.” Additionally, Sethu believes that data isn’t always being used effectively. “Obviously you want to make sure the market is actually there and that your products are viable from a financial standpoint,” he says. “The datadriven approach we’ve seen in the industry is really positive from a costing and risk assessment standpoint, but surely we could be using it to innovate more directly at a product level as well.”

ABOUT DUCK CREEK TECHNOLOGIES Growing business is hard enough. Wrestling with disparate systems shouldn’t be part of the challenge. A single, unified suite of insurance software products can take inconsistency, poor integration and lack of transparency off general insurance companies’ lists of worries. Duck Creek is in the business of technology, but we also know that technology is a means to a bigger, more hopeful purpose – to incubate the ideas that will make insurance companies faster, smarter and stronger, and to revolutionise insurance for the greater good. To find out more about Duck Creek Technologies and its SaaS solutions, visit duckcreek.com.

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Sethu believes a great deal of the industry’s conservatism is driven by the high costs and long lead time for new product launches. Insurers are understandably averse to investing time and funds into products that might prove to be non-starters. “One thing I really want to stress is that we are big believers that insurance is a noble, positive thing,” he says. “Insurance is pivotal in keeping the global economy running – without insurance, you have industries that are incapable of taking risks, and in turn, there isn’t an economy. It often goes overlooked, but it’s a critical part of the global economy.” Given insurance’s underlying importance, Sethu says it’s critical for insurers to stay competitive and innovative. If there were a way to make either – or preferably both – of these considerations less daunting, Sethu believes the wider market would see a significant shift. “One of the problems with a conservative industry is that it can be much harder for new businesses to enter it and, in turn, more difficult for anyone to innovate,” he says. “That’s not an optimum place to be, whether that’s companies, brokers or clients.”

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A new way of doing things Sethu likens the current state of the insurance industry to the early stages of the auto industry. In its early days, car manufacturing was something of a cottage industry with a diverse array of models and manufacturers, and most automobiles were custom-built. However, this meant there was also very little standardisation. “If you had the means, you could get something built precisely to your needs,” Sethu says. “But, conversely, you had the majority of people who were never going to be able to afford to own a car – the custom nature of manufacture meant it was cost-prohibitive.” From 1908 onwards, though, things

“The data-driven approach we’ve seen in the industry is really positive from a costing and risk assessment standpoint, but surely we could be using it to innovate more directly at a product level as well” Shaji Sethu, Duck Creek Technologies changed. That’s the year Henry Ford introduced the Model T, which, thanks to Ford’s efforts to increase the efficiency of the assembly line process, became the first automobile to be both widely available and affordable for the average person.

On its surface, the shift was a net positive, but it wasn’t without its drawbacks, Sethu notes. While the Model T increased accessibility, it did so at the expense of individualised treatment for customers. “You can have any colour you want, as long as it’s black”

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4/09/2020 12:12:33 PM


FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: TECHNOLOGY

might have been an apocryphal statement, but Sethu feels that some insurers have inadvertently adopted it as a mantra. “In order to drive down costs, insurance companies have adopted standardisation and ‘one size fits all’ approaches,” Sethu says. “It’s never been easier to find a provider, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that brokers are getting access to products that meet their clients’ needs as effectively as they could. They’re forced into compromises.” So how can the insurance industry advance past this point? Sethu once again points to auto manufacturing as a potential source of inspiration. “Some decades after the Model T, Toyota would eventually introduce a method of car manufacture that we call ‘platform architecture’ today,” Sethu explains. “You design a base platform and then assemble a car from a set of mass-produced parts, thus preserving the cost efficiencies of mass production but retaining the ability to offer a customised product.”

ABOUT SHAJI SETHU Based out of Duck Creek’s Sydney office, Shaji Sethu started his career as an engineer before quickly transitioning into IT as a developer and then into consulting roles and managing consulting practices within the region. Most recently, Sethu drove sales and delivery of cloud-based platform solutions, managed services and IT transformation consulting for an Australian consulting organisation that was subsequently acquired by a global Japanese telco. In his current role at Duck Creek, Sethu works with clients in Australia and across the APAC region as they grapple with the challenges of modernising their legacy technologies and transitioning to Duck Creek’s innovative SaaS platform.

The tech solution At the moment, Sethu believes that brokers are among those who lose out the most as a result of the insurance industry not taking a platform architecture approach. “Currently, customers show up with very specific needs – all of a sudden, brokers are the ones who have to work behind the scenes with multiple insurers and policies to settle it,” he says. “Wouldn’t it be easier to be able to

“Technology needs to support a company’s strategy, not dictate it” Shaji Sethu, Duck Creek Technologies He notes that such an approach also cuts down on the time and expense involved in developing new models; when you’ve got a solid foundation and the facilities in place to configure from standard parts, you don’t require such lengthy turnaround times to launch something new. “I think the analogy is pretty straightforward,” Sethu says. “Bringing that platform architecture framework to the insurance industry is something that has a huge amount of potential. I think we’re starting to see elements of it coming into the market, but I don’t think it’s widespread among enough different areas of insurance. There’s still a long way to go.”

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just build the policy with a single insurer by mixing and matching coverages to suit?” Sethu believes that time to market can be further reduced by adopting software as a service (SaaS) insurance platforms, as having centralised resources can enable a far speedier process. He points to Duck Creek’s OnDemand platform as an example. “It’s a means of managing policy, billing, claims and insights from one platform,” he says. “Really, technology needs to support a company’s strategy, not dictate it. Accordingly, we work to continuously deliver new functionality so that insurers are better equipped to deal with changes and demands as they arise in the insurance sector.”

Sethu highlights cyber insurance as one space that could use customisable approach, given its still-emerging nature. “I think there’s a tendency to see cyber insurance as a monolith – people think it’s just something for businesses to look after their data, and it’s mostly a difference in scale of cover,” he says. “Dig a little deeper, though, and it’s not the case at all. The needs of a cyber café are drastically different from the needs of a doctor’s practice. In turn, these are drastically different from the needs of an individual or family. Having said that, it does provide an opportunity to build a base chassis and mix and match coverages with varying options to meet an individual need, similar to a Tesla Model S. With a slight tweak, the same product could then be sold through multiple channels, akin to selecting your own trim on a car.” These are changes that Sethu believes can lead to the betterment of the industry, but he’s also keenly aware that they can’t occur in a vacuum. Support from all sectors is necessary – and general insurers need to take an integrated approach across business and IT when considering a platform architecture approach. “Insurers who are looking to innovate need the right tech in place,” Sethu says. “We’re looking forward to helping build the future and supporting such a noble profession.”

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Innovate Faster with SaaS Duck Creek OnDemand • Faster Upgrades • End-to-End Support • Easy 3rd Party Integrations www.duckcreek.com/product/ duck-creek-ondemand

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4/09/2020 12:17:44 PM


FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: CYBER INSURANCE

Making cyber insurance personal As our lives continue to move online – and cybercrime grows in response – Troy Filipcevic and Jeff Gonlin of Emergence share their insights on the increasing importance of personal cyber insurance

AS THE USE of technology continues to expand through every layer of society, it’s become increasingly evident that the importance of cyber insurance simply isn’t understood well enough across Australia, particularly at a personal level. “The truth is that most of Australia isn’t properly insured against cyber threats at the moment,” says Jeff Gonlin, Head of Product Development and Underwriting at Emergence Insurance. “Plenty of businesses still haven’t got their heads around it, so how are individuals meant to if there isn’t that broader cultural awareness?” For Troy Filipcevic, CEO and Founder of Emergence Insurance, raising awareness of the importance of personal cyber insurance for families remains a critical day-today concern. “I think there’s still an attitude of ‘it won’t happen to me’ extant in the community,” says Filipcevic. “People think that their antivirus program and a firewall will make them immune to being hacked. Fortunately, families are starting to become aware of cyber

34

risks in the household, but it’s still a big issue that we encounter on a daily basis.” Gonlin agrees. “Practically every household needs cyber insurance, but there’s a perception that everyone has gotten along fine up to this point – so why start now?” says

“That number is expected to grow to 37 by 2023,” says Gonlin. “That’s more than some small businesses might have. Count the number of smart or connected digital devices you’ve got in your home. Who manages them?” It’s not just down to smartphones, laptops and home computers, either, notes Filipcevic. “Pretty much every home appliance is becoming ‘smart’ – the Internet of Things has spread across devices like TVs, fridges, radios and home security systems, just to name a few,” says Filipcevic. “Their protection against hackers or malware isn’t created equal, either; the more devices you have attached to the internet in your home, the more vulnerabilities you have.” Gonlin also points to the increased number of cybersecurity risks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The pandemic has really reinforced and expedited trends that were already established,” says Gonlin. “People are living more of their lives online – buying more, working, schooling, sharing more and, with every click, risking more.” So how can insurance be effectively secured in the wake of all this additional exposure? The truth is that there hasn’t

“We wanted something holistic that could cover multiple exposures that differed from ordinary business coverage” Troy Filipcevic, Emergence Insurance Gonlin. “The truth is a bit different – cybercrime is on the rise, and families are increasingly exposed as they have more and more devices in their homes.” Families, Gonlin notes, are not merely adopting technology – they’re actively relying on it to help run their lives. During 2016–17, the average Australian home had six smart devices1. In 2019, this figure nearly tripled, rising to 172.

been a specific product catering for these types of exposures in Australia. Well, until now, that is – as of August 2020, Emergence have launched Australia’s first stand-alone personal and family cyber insurance product. “It’s not just about tech support when the home computer gets hacked,” says Filipcevic. “It’s also about providing help with the emotional fallout that can occur in the wake of incidents like cyberattacks, cyberbullying

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Emergence’s Troy Filipcevic (left) and Jeff Gonlin (right)

ABOUT EMERGENCE

or cyberstalking.” “Delving into personal cyber is just an extension of what Emergence has been doing from the start –making cyber understandable, affordable and accessible,” says Gonlin. “When it comes to cyber risks, there’s crime, identity theft, threats to reputation and the economic costs that arise from time required to rectify any damage. We developed our personal product to respond to each and every one of these threats.” “It’s a real game-changer,” says Filipcevic with pride. “We’d looked at personal coverage products in other markets, and frankly we weren’t very impressed. We wanted something holistic that could cover multiple exposures that differed from ordinary business coverage.” “The limits needed to be meaningful,”

Since 2015, Emergence has been providing specialist cyber insurance cover so brokers and clients can be at their best. As Australia’s 2019 Underwriting Agency of the Year, they understand how to best help Australian businesses succeed through expert risk prevention and specialist cyber cover. Emergence Personal Cyber Protection Insurance takes a holistic approach. Their groundbreaking insurance is a multifaceted and meaningful part of cyber risk management. Emergence believes cybersecurity doesn’t have to be complicated; Australian businesses and families of all sizes should be able to feel confident about their insurance. That’s why Emergence works with brokers and equips them with the tools to have cyber discussions. And because brokers’ time is best spent advising clients, the Emergence platform enables them to quote and bind with ease and efficiency. Whether in the family home or across small or large businesses, Emergence is 100% focused on cyber insurance. To find out more – and to get Emergence’s latest white paper, Personal Cyber Insurance – visit www.emergenceinsurance.com.au.

agrees Gonlin. “In other markets, we were seeing simple cash payment solutions, but that doesn’t necessarily provide affected families with all of the tools they need. We also wanted to make sure that there was a risk management component in order to help ward off events before they occur.” Accordingly, Emergence’s product includes:

• Cyber Event Cover: response costs for technical hazards such as hacking, denial of service, cyber extortion and cyber espionage • Cyberbullying Cover: provides payment of an additional benefit, including attending critical guidance sessions and for a cybersecurity coach and forensic IT investigator

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4/09/2020 10:49:34 AM


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SECTOR FOCUS: CYBER INSURANCE

• Cyberstalking Cover: response costs for (anti-) social threats, including legal costs or a cybersecurity coach • Personal Crime Cover: payment of a personal financial loss due to cyber theft, sim-jacking and cryptojacking • Identify Theft Cover: payment of identity theft response costs, including reporting and re-establishing identity and records • Reputation Cover: pays costs incurred in connection with both cyber harassment and harmful publication • Wage Replacement Benefit: covers economic fallout from time required to sort out issues that result in the wake of cybercrime, whether identity theft, cyber theft or cyberstalking Both men believe that brokers have a critical role to play in educating families about the importance of cyber insurance – arguably

and clients alike, Filipcevic notes. “I think since Emergence was founded, the media has tended to focus on celebrities who are victims of hacks, or large-scale data breaches,” says Filipcevic. “That’s sometimes made it tricky to explain to individuals how it might affect them.” Ultimately, though, both men feel that personal cyber insurance represents a “huge” opportunity for brokers to engage with new and existing clients alike. “Brokers are the ones equipped to engage with the market,” says Filipcevic. “Brokers have personal books of business. This product is the perfect value-add for those clients. There’s no reason why enterprising brokers can’t be the first to identify broader opportunities for individual or family accounts. We are in a position to support their endeavours.” Of course, with new products comes pressure to deliver as well. Filipcevic and his team at Emergence are keenly aware of their need to step up during these challenging times. “There’s a lot of short-term economic pressure at the moment, but cyber spend is still

CYBER STATS 88% of the Australian population – 22.3m people – uses the internet

71% of the population uses social media $328m is the estimated annual loss to individuals and small to medium-sized businesses who self-reported to ACSC’s cybercrime reporting tool, ReportCyber 22% of the population has been a victim of identity crime

ID theft costs each victim $3,696 on average Australians lost $634m in 2019 from online scams and made 353,000 scam reports during the year

“Cybercrime is on the rise, and families are increasingly exposed as they have more and more devices in their homes”

Sources: Australian Internet Statistics, 2020, Prosperity Media; Cybercrime in Australia, July to September 2019, Australia Cyber; Targeting scams 2019, 2020, The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Jeff Gonlin, Emergence Insurance more than ever before. Accordingly, they’re keen to aid with the process. “I always like to say that we’re a company who’s big on broker education – we just happen to sell insurance,” chuckles Filipcevic. “Realistically, though, brokers need to be across so many different tools, products and industries – so we want to make them as comfortable as possible with cyber insurance products and the need for them so that they can be professionally and effectively discussed with clients.” Considerable time has been spent on debunking cyber insurance myths for brokers

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critical,” says Filipcevic. “Brokers sometimes have a tough time even getting the airtime – particularly with new products – so we want to do everything we can to help them get their foot in the door with clients. In practical terms, that means the pressure is on us to ensure that we’re delivering real value for every dollar the client spends – whether that means providing brokers with pre-sale support or supporting insureds with aftercare in the event of an incident.” As Emergence looks towards the future, Gonlin believes that the environment is going to continue to evolve rapidly, and

personal cyber insurance will become increasingly important. “At the moment, 22% of the Australian population has been a victim of some kind of identity theft,” says Gonlin. “It’s a far higher likelihood than experiencing a break-in or having your car stolen – so why haven’t we seen the insurance solutions until now? That’s something Emergence very much looks forward to addressing.” 1

Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2016–17, Australian Bureau of Statistics

2

“Australian IOT@Home Market Cracks $1bn, Paving the Way for IOT-Commerce Services,” Telsyte, 2019

Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply to the product(s) referred to above. Product(s) can only be purchased through a broker. Emergence Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 46 133 037 153, AFSL 329634) distributes the product(s) as agent for the insurer, certain underwriters at Lloyd’s. Please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement available by contacting Emergence or visiting emergenceinsurance.com.au, in deciding whether the product is appropriate for you, and whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, the product(s).

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FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS

Electric highways There’s an increasing push for businesses to ‘go green’, and the transport and logistics space is no exception. NTI’s Nick Dendrinos shares his insights

THE PRESSURE on business to ‘go green’ isn’t anything new – it’s been happening for decades in a variety of forms, but it’s fair to say that it’s taken on an increased urgency in recent years. With motor vehicles as a whole frequently being singled out as key contributors to pollution, it was inevitable that the transport and logistics sector would come under scrutiny. Heavy vehicles are under pressure to reduce carbon emissions, investigate alternative fuel sources and introduce

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technology such as electric vehicles. There are wider implications than just reducing pollution – what will the increasing amount of green technology mean for insurers? For his own part, Nick Dendrinos, head of NTI’s motor portfolio, is positive about the changes on the horizon. “Look, the conversation has already been happening for a lot longer than most people realise,” he says. “We’ve known that diesel was a larger pollutant than other sources for

a long time, so when you look at worldwide concerns about global warming and carbon emissions, it’s not really a surprise that it’s taken on greater prominence.”

Modern solutions for modern problems Dendrinos says the conversation has likely sped up in part as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As transport operators have been realigning to cater for short-haul freight, there’s been a greater awareness of how their

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carbon emissions affect the environment and air quality. “Since the pandemic really hit in Australia, we’ve seen an increased number of light, rigid trucks passing through urban and suburban areas,” Dendrinos says. “That’s largely been driven by a switch to online shopping and parcel delivery – people are wanting to stay home, while SMEs and larger retailers are looking for ways to keep their own businesses sustainable.” Most of these vehicles are operating within a 100–300km radius, which Dendrinos notes is relatively short-haul. Accordingly, there will be increased pressure on transport operators both internally, from operators who want to be leaders in reducing carbon emissions, and externally, from contractors who are looking to bolster or protect their own green credentials. “It’s a natural outgrowth of the Chain of Responsibility legislation,” Dendrinos says. “Companies are already required to operate in safe conditions and take preventative

seen the adoption of tech for things like ADAS [advanced driver assistance systems], fatigue management, driver management and staff induction. It’s an industry that can be dangerous – you’ve got huge distances, big vehicles and long hours in the car, so why wouldn’t we want to support tech that can make an improvement? Electric vehicles and alternative fuel sources are part of a wider drive within the industry.”

Roadblocks to progress That’s not to say there aren’t obstacles ahead in the move to a more sustainable future for transport and logistics. Dendrinos names upfront cost, range and recharge infrastructure as three of the biggest current roadblocks to investment in electric vehicles. “Certainly I think we’re going to see more electric vehicles on the road in the coming years, but cost, range and recharge infrastructure are all pretty big considerations,” he says. “It’s starting to become more palatable, but I think that we’ve still got to raise

“When you look at worldwide concerns about global warming and carbon emissions, it’s not really a surprise that it’s taken on greater prominence” Nick Dendrinos, NTI steps. So I think as things return to normal after the pandemic has died down and we begin to see more traffic on the roads in general as well as trucks, emissions will become increasingly topical around considerations of healthiness and sustainability.” Dendrinos also sees it as an extension of wider tech-based safety measures within the industry. “Really, it’s about making the whole industry safer,” he says. “We’ve already

more awareness around the long-term benefits – they’re not the same as regular vehicles. There’s less maintenance required, less wear and tear, and their depreciation value is certainly better than on petrol vehicles.” Realistically, Dendrinos believes that regulation will play a role in driving the adoption of such technology. Tax rebates or similar benefits will likely help stimulate demand and encourage uptake by helping

NTI’S BUSINESS HEALTH CHECK Nick Dendrinos believes brokers are integral to building a better culture of safety in their clients’ companies. That’s why NTI has developed the Business Health Check, which enables brokers to work with customers to find out what they’re doing well, where performance can be improved and how premiums can be consistent with risk reduction. “Risk management is just so critical in our industry,” Dendrinos says. “We want to make sure that our clients have the right tools to be able to assess themselves honestly, and brokers are an integral part of that process.” to offset the current cost. “We’ve seen similar initiatives in other parts of the globe, and now you have a whole host of European companies that are very proud of their electric fleets,” he says. “It won’t happen overnight here, but I’m reasonably confident we’ll eventually see it here, too.”

New partnerships and new horizons Dendrinos points to NTI’s new partnership with SEA Electric as a means to encourage further sustainability in Australia’s transport and logistics industry and to offer greater insights into the best ways to provide effective insurance solutions. “We want to be at the forefront and, accordingly, made a concerted effort to try and understand the nature of these vehicles,” Dendrinos says. “What sort of limits do they have? What sort of implications does that have from an insurance standpoint?” From his perspective, education and advocacy are the two critical components. “Realistically, we want to be able to point

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FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS

Brought to you by

brokers in the right direction for insurance,” he says. “So we’ve almost gone in at the grassroots level to cement our stance around providing that to the industry and support the electric truck movement in the process. It’s been great to connect with SEA Electric, as they’re really at the forefront.”

Future planning equals futureproofing At present, Dendrinos says, some companies are treating electric vehicles as a fringe outlier with a premium to match. He understands the thought process, but he doesn’t think it’s a sustainable long-term approach. “It’s the future. These aren’t just topical issues here; it’s the world over,” he says. “The considerations that companies and insurers alike are worried about – cost, how much load an electric truck can carry, battery lives, the time required to train drivers – all of these are going to improve.” To this end, Dendrinos is dedicated to having NTI advocate within the broking space for effective coverage. “We’re heavily connected to the industry as a whole, and we want to ensure that brokers have confidence in the products we’re offering,” he says. “We want to make sure they know that we’re going to be supportive of customers who want to invest in new technology and provide them with the insights they need.” These are logical extensions of existing initiatives that NTI has in place, Dendrinos

“We want to be at the forefront and, accordingly, made a concerted effort to try and understand the nature of [electric] vehicles” Nick Dendrinos, NTI says, including TruckAssist and the Business Health Check. “Whenever we see new features emerging in the market, we want to make sure we’re

ABOUT NTI With more than 45 years of experience in the insurance industry, NTI is the company you can count on to protect your transport and logistics assets. Our award-winning combination of tailored products and services, experienced people, accredited repair and recovery networks, and industry advocacy have seen us become Australia’s leading specialist insurer. Yet insurance is just a piece of paper – a promise. It’s not until you really need us that you understand our point of difference. For more information, visit nti.com.au.

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on top of them,” he says. “With services like TruckAssist, we’re providing roadside assistance. So, accordingly, we need to be prepared for servicing electric vehicles, too, and looking at what sort of data we’re seeing in terms of incidents. It’s helpful for us and also, in turn, for everyone else involved in the insurance chain.” Ultimately, Dendrinos believes that the more that can be done to reduce risk and promote environmentally friendly tech, it’s to the ultimate benefit of the industry and the world. “It’s all part of helping take care of the industry – making environmentally sound choices is part of that.”

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PEOPLE

BROKER INSIGHT

Supporting clients in the second wave As the director of Melbourne’s CP Insurance Services, Scott O’Neill is currently in the thick of COVID-19’s second wave. He tells IB how he’s navigating one of the biggest economic crises to hit Australia in more than a century

IB: What’s your current role, and how long have you been in it? Scott O’Neill: I’ve been providing insurance broking support for national retail-based associations for the past 17 years. My focus is on assembling insurance programs for the associations and their members. I also specialise in providing individual members access to levels of coverage traditionally reserved for larger organisations. I became a corporate authorised representative of the McLardy McShane Partners Group in 2015, commencing as a director of a joint-venture operation, CP Insurance Services.

IB: You’re based in Melbourne, which has experienced two waves of COVID-19 this year. What did this mean for your clients? SO: The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered the strongest challenge to business owners, forcing them to change the way they operate their businesses. For retailers, the challenge has been to find a way that they can continue operating their store. These include finding ways to continue operating their physical store presence, selling different products or shifting to online sales. Retailers that had good business plans have fared the best. Those that have kept to the traditional form of operating without adopting modern practices have struggled the most. In

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all cases, however, the outcome and ability to survive the second wave will be determined by how long it lasts. So far, the second wave is looking to be longer than the first.

IB: What have been the biggest challenges for your clients throughout the second lockdown, and how have you supported them through it? SO: The biggest challenge has been the great level of uncertainty toward how long the second lockdown will last. Businesses can prepare, have good planning and adjust their operations; however, if the lockdowns are going to extend for months upon months without ending, that will present a completely different level of challenges. For now, businesses are just getting through day to day, week to week, dealing with what presents itself. My role hasn’t changed much from the first lockdown, which has been to clarify coverage, adjust and provide accurate advice toward the impact of those adjustments.

IB: How could the state and federal governments further assist your clients during this time? SO: We [all] just want to get a good grasp of the extent of the second lockdown. We need to know what we are or aren’t permitted to do if changes are being made – then ultimately, of course, how long it will be for. Unfortunately, our governments are dealing with an everchanging, unprecedented environment. If government decides to shut down sectors or industries, financial assistance to those being shut down is key and will assist them getting through. Clear messages and directions of changes being implemented are also important.

IB: What do you see as your biggest challenge over the next six months, and how do you plan to overcome it? SO: With the second wave now worse than the first wave, the duration and extent of the lockdown is of paramount concern. Initially, the second lockdown looked to be much the same

ABOUT CP INSURANCE SERVICES Located in Melbourne, CP Insurance Services was founded in 2015 and serves businesses of all sizes, from large commercial operations to new startups, for which it customises coverage so that “the policy grows as the business grows”. In addition, CP Insurance Services has assembled and manages combined group and member insurance programs for various associations, including Associated Retailers Limited, Independent Workwear Sellers and the Intersport Retail Group.

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FAST FACTS: CP INSURANCE SERVICES AREAS OF SPECIALTY Commercial insurance Personal insurance Management liability Life and income protection Commercial motor Business liability

“Businesses can prepare, have good planning and adjust their operations; however, if the lockdowns are going to extend for months upon months without ending, that will present a completely different level of challenges” as the first. However, as time has progressed, a completely different picture has emerged, resulting in a much longer and possibly stronger lockdown. My plan is to continue providing what we have been doing all year for all of our clients: provide support to those requiring it, and if they need to make changes, provide them with accurate advice so they are making informed choices. If they need or decide to cancel their policy, support them through the difficult decisions.

IB: What have been some of your most

rewarding experiences this year? SO: One of our clients had a long-term tenant vacate the building due to their inability to trade during COVID-19. This resulted in the building being vacated for an indeterminable period. At the same time, the policy coverage on the building was also due for renewal; however, due to vacancy, the existing policy could not be renewed. The greatest challenge was in providing accurate advice to help the [client], who had never dealt with any such challenge in the past, make informed decisions. My focus was ensuring they understood the new policy

Groups and associations

Year founded: 2015 Headquarters: Richmond, Victoria Awards: Branch of the Year (2017) and the Outstanding Performance Award (2018) from the McLardy McShane Group coverage, along with the additional risk requirements for a vacant building.

IB: What’s your biggest career goal for 2020? SO: To survive it and get through to the end of the year with a healthy as possible operation, which includes retaining all our staff and supporting our clients as best we can. Hopefully one that can enter 2021 as positive as it can, preparing to assist our clients into a more prosperous set of years to come.

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FEATURES

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Creating a welcoming space in insurance Diversity and inclusion are considerations that should be fundamental to the modern workplace. IB takes a closer look at what two insurers are doing to shake things up in this area

THERE IS an oft-cited analogy about the distinction between diversity and inclusion: diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance once you’re there. While it’s not a perfect analogy – there are multiple factors beyond diversity that contribute to both who is ‘invited’ and the

a buzzword and present a carefully curated image to the wider world, but it’s a façade that won’t hold up to scrutiny unless real work around inclusion is also being carried out. The two should be closely linked and translated into practical results, all the way from the boardroom to baseline workers.

“I fundamentally believe that we are all unique and should be able to bring our whole selves to work, and that an inclusive culture is a foundational building block for diversity” Catherine Carlyon, AXA XL level of participation they are allowed to have – it does clearly illustrate that diversity and inclusion are not the same thing. It’s easy enough for businesses to co-opt ‘diversity’ as

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Insurance has a lot of work to do on both the diversity and inclusion fronts – although to be fair, so do a lot of other industries in Australia. The good news is that there are

insurance companies that are up to the task – and that don’t merely see it as a challenge, but rather a means to better represent and serve the communities they work with.

Case study: AXA XL “One catalyst for real change at AXA XL Australia was in 2016 – our sponsorship of the flagship event at the inaugural Lloyd’s Festival for Diversity & Inclusion in Insurance, otherwise known as the Dive In Festival,” says Catherine Carlyon, head of claims for Asia-Pacific at AXA XL. “Inspired, I helped set up our internal Inclusion and Diversity Committee with the aim to elevate awareness, drive inclusive behaviours and culture, advise on best practices, and promote greater diversity within our company. I fundamentally believe that we are all unique and should be able to bring our whole selves to work, and that an inclusive culture is a foundational building block for diversity.” In 2020, AXA XL’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee is more active than ever. Together with regional leader Craig Langham, Carlyon is now a sponsor for the committee. The committee is also supported by global business leaders, including AXA XL CEO Scott Gunter, along with a dedicated global I&D partner. The Australian committee is led by Pete McAllister and is made up of colleagues who are passionate and dedicated to help drive change – a role that they have all volunteered for above and beyond their usual responsibilities. In 2020, the committee elected to focus primarily on two areas: mental health and equitable recruitment, promotion, and talent. The focus on mental health has included the publicising of a new employee assistance program and internal presentations aiming to educate and remove any stigma surrounding mental health, including how to identify signs of possible issues and the importance of checking in with colleagues. Committee members also work with external partners and industry bodies to share ideas and participate in educational forums

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that are then shared through articles, webinars, management training, guest speakers and sponsorship of events such as R U OK Day and Mental Health Awareness Month. They also make best practice recommendations to management, drawing on the latest research from bodies such as the Diversity Council of Australia. The importance of this education and awareness has been heightened during COVID-19, which has made resilience and mental health an ongoing focus. In the area of equitable recruitment, promotion and talent, “our management team have participated in unconscious bias training, and we are planning to review our recruiting, promotion and succession planning processes to ensure they are both gender-neutral and

ABOUT AXA XL AXA XL is the P&C and specialty risk division of AXA, known for solving even the most complex risks. For mid-sized companies to the world’s largest multinationals, we offer traditional and innovative insurance solutions and services in more than 200 countries and territories. Whatever path your business is on in these uncertain and fascinating times, we’ll be there. Wherever and whenever you need us. How? It starts with a strong and efficient capital platform, data-driven insights, leading technology, and a flexible approach. Driven by a culture of superior service, our talented and recognised teams are empowered to create relevant solutions across all our lines of business: property, casualty, professional and financial lines, and specialty. For more information, visit axaxl.com.

appealing to a diverse workforce,” Carlyon says. “Earlier this year, we surveyed colleagues on our approach to return-to-work policies after parental leave or other absences to identify areas for improvement.” Additionally, AXA XL supports many other

areas of diversity and inclusion. For example, in July 2020, the company logo was changed to recognise Pride Month. Racial inequality issues have also been highlighted. “Beyond our focus on driving change internally, many of us also participate as speakers

AXA XL is a founding supporter of Dive In and committed to building a global workplace that works for everyone; one in which all employees are treated with dignity and respect, and where individual differences are encouraged and valued.

axaxl.com AXA XL is a division of AXA Group providing products and services through three business groups: AXA XL Insurance, AXA XL Reinsurance and AXA XL Risk Consulting. AXA, the AXA and XL logos are trademarks of AXA SA or its affiliates. © 2020.

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FEATURES

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION in external events and contribute to articles such as this to help drive industry change,” Carlyon says.

QBE’s Sam Morgan and his family

Case study: QBE In 2019, QBE became the first general insurer in Australia to adopt a gender-equal, flexible paid parental leave scheme, known as Share the Care. The goal of the program was to make parenting, career breaks and flexible working business as usual for both men and women. A year after launching the initiative, QBE has seen a 300% increase in male employees taking paid parental leave; men now represent more than a quarter of parents in the organisation who are accessing paid parental leave, up from just 10% the year before. Share the Care also helped QBE come in fifth in the 2019 Top 20 Australian Workplaces for New Dads, published by HBF’s Direct Advice for Dads. Jason Clarke, QBE’s chief customer officer, says that since the introduction of the program, there has been a marked shift in attitude, and he’s looking forward to the equal division of work and care becoming business as usual. “Inclusive workplaces that are grounded in equality not only deliver for society broadly, but also for our business,” he says. “It’s also central to family wellbeing, allowing both parents to be present in the important early years. By taking this step and mainstreaming caring and flexibility for all, we’re sending a strong and overdue message that we can only achieve gender equality in the workplace when both men and women have equal opportunities to thrive in their career and at home.” Sam Morgan, national manager of intermediated property, was one of the first dads to take advantage of the program and says it has delivered unexpected value. “It’s an immensely important initiative, not just for our industry but beyond,” he says. “It’s causing our people to re-evaluate long-held perceptions of gender roles and their negative impact to equality in the workplace, specifically on parental responsibilities and more generally. The real genius behind it is not only the direct benefits to the leave recipients and their partners, but the unexpected ones it’s

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“[Gender-equal parental leave] is an immensely important initiative, not just for our industry but beyond” Sam Morgan, QBE brought our business through encouragement of more agile mindsets. This promotes leaders and staff to find innovative ways to overcome perceived barriers, in turn enabling each use of this new leave benefit to be a step forward.” Others who have used the program have also been passionate advocates of it. “What I continue to find most meaningful about it is how it changes perspectives of not

only the recipient, but also their colleagues,” Morgan says. “It’s always first seen as just ‘leave’, but when they share their stories, it really gets everyone to realise what it opened up for partners, how it changed family dynamics and what it’s done for the bond with their children. It’s funny because the most frequent comment is ‘Why isn’t every company doing this?’, and I think it’s a great question.”

ABOUT QBE QBE Australia is part of the QBE Insurance Group. Headquartered in Sydney, we have offices across all states and territories. Our purpose is to give people the confidence to achieve their ambitions. We provide a broad range of insurance products to personal, business, corporate and institutional customers, from car and home insurance to tailored business packages and specialist cover for industries such as aviation and farming. We’re all about meeting our customers’ needs. We do this by seeking to understand our customers and developing competitive, flexible insurance cover that works for them, and by continually striving to deliver the highest level of service from quote to claim. For more information, visit qbe.com.au.

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We value and respect our people for what makes them unique.

We know it’s not just what we do that matters, it’s how we do it that makes the difference to our people, customers, communities and shareholders. Diversity is part of our QBE DNA.

Our people, their stories “The Share the Care program of paid parental leave for all employees regardless of gender allowed my son to see I play an equal role at home and has seen my team step up, feel empowered and grow.” Sam Morgan, QBE Australia Property Claims Manager

“I’ve had varying experiences over my career. I have had workplaces where I was told it was probably better for my career if I didn’t come out and others where I came out only after being there a while. QBE has been by far my most positive experience. Given the visibility of QBE Pride and so many openly out people, I felt comfortable enough to be out as soon as I arrived.” Lisa Hilton, QBE Australia Pacific Head of Technology

QBE recognises the value of diverse perspectives and experience. We are committed to an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and respected for who they are. We are proud to have been Voted #5 in the 2019 Top 20 Australian Workplaces for New Dads – HBF Direct Advice for Dads and achieved Gold employer status in the 2020 & 2019 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards.

qbe.com/au

QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd. ABN 78 003 191 035 | AFSL 239545. Consider the PDS to see if a product is right for you. J10906

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PEOPLE PEOPLE

OTHER LIFE

TELL US ABOUT YOUR OTHER LIFE Email ibo@keymedia.com.au

Maier began her art journey at the Espai Medusa School of Art in Barcelona

600

Approximate number of paint tubes Maier has used in her life

3

Degrees Maier holds, none of which are art-related

20

Estimated number of paintings Maier has exhibited

IN FULL COLOUR

Tetiana Maier splits her time between a busy insurance career and her work as a professional artist BY DAY, Tetiana Maier oversees strategy and operations at Blue Zebra Insurance, where she also serves as acting head of claims. But after hours, the Sydney-based insurance executive transforms into an abstract painter. “At work, I am a very logical and fact-

driven person,” says Maier, who ran a solo exhibition in 2019. “This is how I was trained early on in my career as toptier strategy consultant and economist. Abstract art is the exact opposite of logic and facts – pure chaos and imagination.” Yet Maier has found that the disorder

inherent in abstract art has actually helped her in her insurance role. “Even chaos consists of patterns if you are looking at the whole picture,” she says. “Art teaches me to step away and look at the situation as a whole – most of the time, there is a pattern to it, and if I see it, I can address it.”

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IBAu W


24 SEPTEMBER 2020 IBA’s Women in Insurance series has been a global success story, empowering and celebrating women across the US and the world – and, as the global workforce re-emerges from lockdown, we’re determined to continue our mission. That’s why Women in Insurance Australia is coming as a virtual event on September 24. Whether a female professional or a male ally, join us for: • • • •

Essential sessions and panel discussions from industry experts, including speakers from organisations like Allianz, AIA, nib Group, Gallagher Bassett and more Networking opportunities with empowering industry leaders Strategies for becoming a bold female leader – or mentoring the next generation The lowdown on the biggest issues that women in insurance encounter today

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

PETER SMITH General Manager Sales – APAC P: (02) 8437 4740 E: peter.smith@keymedia.com.au australia.ibwomenininsurance.com

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