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Insurance Business | 20 May 2014, 08:29 AM Agree 0
Rapid growth in the number of financial lines players has prompted concerns some are unsustainable and could exit the market at the drop of a hat.
  • Stuart | 20 May 2014, 09:43 AM Agree 0
    Vero aren't immune from not offering their insured's renewal terms. This isn't a genuine concern but a market leader trying to maintain their market share by muddying waters by inferring instability in an increasingly competitive market. One in which they themselves lead the buying of market share by reduced pricing! Pot v kettle? It comes down to the financial security and balance sheet of the market in question. Appetite changes for all insurers as they're dictated to by the need to provide shareholders return on equity as their number one obligation.
  • Greg Cottrell - Insurance Professional Dinosaur | 21 May 2014, 09:37 AM Agree 0
    Does this guy have Dementia or what? or is it selective memory loss? Certainly a case of Pot v Kettle - ONLY 10 years ago I can recall only having 2 players (and very arrogant) left in the financial lines market. Vero/Suncorp did nothing back then to help me place my PI business, wouldn't even quote let alone write something.
    Easy to crow when the market suits you - you should be warning your property & general liability underwriters who are currently cherry picking risks they want to write, particularly in Northern Australia - a void just opens the door for other players to come into the market when the dynamics change- it is already starting to happen.
  • Damo | 21 May 2014, 09:50 AM Agree 0
    What a feeble unqualified statement by Vero. Who exactly are they referring to – international insurers such as AIG, Chubb, WR Berkley, ACE, or Lloyds syndicates? Either way, all have very similar long-term financial ratings to Vero, and employ qualified actuaries.

    This is just a whinge by an insurer whose uncompetitiveness is losing them market share, perhaps they need to get their own house in order first? I think the last line says it all, “declining profitability in the sector” – Vero simply aren’t making as much money as they used to!!
  • PI Guru | 21 May 2014, 09:56 AM Agree 0
    Thumbs up to Stuart / Greg. IB should introduce a like / dislike button for comments, or a survey at the end to see if brokers agree / disagree with the content!
  • Michael Vincent (Mickey V) | 23 May 2014, 04:27 PM Agree 0
    Some probing thoughts from a stalwart of the industry and subsequent level-headed (read: rash) responses. Having held a number of positions as a financial lines underwriter in succession since 1994 - recall: Oasis 'Definitely Maybe' and Blur's 'Parklife' (I appear on both albums as a session musician). Over that time, many markets have entered and exited, and interred and excited. Still, Oasis and Blur remain. Let's put this in perspective: No PI market Australia has had the longevity of the great Britpop bands.
  • John | 26 May 2014, 11:21 AM Agree 0
    I'm glad everyone else feels the same. Vero have been almost predatory in their pricing. Service is not up to standard and claims management is appalling. I am using specialist markets and finding the prices to be competitive without being stupid, and service standards to be far better. I had another major PI Insurer in my office last week (must be May!) bagging other Insurers claims service, until I had had enough and told him what I thought about their claims service - he shut up quick smart.
  • Damo | 26 May 2014, 11:23 AM Agree 0
    Mickey V - As a financial lines underwriter you will no doubt be aware then that most people in your profession barely stay with the same company for a period of more than 3-4 years (backing up your "number of positions" comment).

    Underwriters mess up a particular occupation for an insurer (including Vero), by offering premiums which are too cheap and unsustainable, then move on to another insurer for the same scenario to occur. Insurers (including Vero), then hike up their premiums or pull out of covering certain occupations altogether (including Vero), it's nothing but a vicious circle which they all allow to happen.

    But from a broker’s perspective, if you place business with an underwriting agency who has just a handful of staff in total, don’t be surprised if they aren’t around in a few years time.

    Nevertheless Oasis rock, but Blur suck bigtime.
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