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CGU EDGE - March 2022
Check out news and views in this quarter's CGU EDGE
1. A message from Damien Gallagher
It’s hard to believe that we are almost two-thirds of the way through the financial year with the first three months of 2022 continuing to present challenges both in Australia and on foreign shores. In recent weeks SE QLD and many areas of NSW have experienced devastating floods, the damage from which will take many months to repair. As I write, IAG has recorded over 34,000 claims with over 8,000 lodged with CGU. Events such as these really do remind us in insurance of why we do what we do – to make our world a safer place. Whilst there has been much devastation, I do believe that capacity for optimism and the community spirit is quite incredible. No matter what is going on around us, we continue to strive towards our goals and pursue our ambitions with the hope for a better future.
Ambition has always been a part of CGU’s DNA and we’re proud to continue this journey through the lens of a character called Tall Poppy – she’s a metaphor for ambition, it’s fragility and uncertainty. Through the story of Poppy, we aim to reframe this perception and show brokers and small business owners that we understand what they go through, and that it’s okay to take pride in their ambition and will remain a core aspect of our value proposition into the future.
IIA recently announced our half-year results with some great momentum achieved and solid indicators that we are heading in the right direction. Severe perils in the first half of FY22 came in higher than expected, but CGU’s performance is pleasing with progress in targeted areas. We have set ourselves ambitious plans for growth and want to be a bigger part of your business than we are today. We’re clear on what we need to do well and remain focussed on delivering the best possible broker experience so we can achieve and celebrate success together.
It was wonderful to see so many of you at the recent Steadfast Convention in Adelaide, which will hopefully be first of many conferences we attend in 2022. The Conference theme of ‘Our time is now’ really resonated with team CGU as an acknowledgment of the heightened focus on our industry and recognition to meet and exceed the expectations of our partners, customers and the broader community.
It’s great to be back in the market again and I hope to connect with many of you in the coming months. We’re returning to our offices in hybrid ways of working and there is a noticeable feeling of excitement to be together again and doing more of what we do best. I hope you too are feeling a stronger sense of normality resuming and wish you the best over the coming months as we close out this FY.
2. Support following East Coast Floods
During late February, an unprecedented rain event impacted large areas of SE QLD and NSW, causing devastating floods, heavy rainfall, and flooding. At the time of publishing this story, over 157,000 claims have been received across the entire industry. Across IAG, over 34,000 claims have been lodged since 21 February with the Insurance Council of Australia estimating the event to total $1.3bn in claims.
As soon as the floodwaters receded, local government were able to conduct approximately 1500 rapid damage assessments in NSW with many properties being deemed uninhabitable. Accommodation, food, fuel, and water was provided to impacted residents with the support of 5,000 ADF personnel as significant power outages, road closures and evacuation orders continued to challenge support efforts on the ground.
Our claims teams set up operations at recovery centres in Caboolture (QLD), Lismore, Murwillumbah, and Mullumbimby (NSW) to provide our customers face to face support with claims lodgements and immediate assistance, ensuring they were safe and supported to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.
Our Assessors, partner builders and restorers were on the ground, were it was safe to do so.
We increased our supplier authority limits, while our business and our supply chain is scaling up to manage the increased volume.
ASIC streamlined the process for emergency payments under $5,000 providing much-needed relief for many customers 22-034MR ASIC streamlines process for insurers to provide consumers cash in emergency situations and the NSW government also announced additional support measures with grants of up to $1m for businesses who lost everything during the floods. Storm and flood assistance
We know the clean-up and repair efforts will take many, many months following what has been an unprecedented start to autumn for many areas of the East Coast of Australia. Our support for our broker partners and customers is unwavering and we will do our best to settle claims as quickly as possible to get people back into their homes and businesses back on their feet.
3. CGU Fusion
As many businesses emerge into a post-COVID world it is also a time when their assets are most vulnerable. Many are seeking the advice of their broker to ensure their machinery risks are adequately insured. In a changing landscape with uncertain operating conditions, Fusion provides peace of mind with comprehensive cover for your clients’ equipment and business interruption.
CGU Fusion combines Machinery Breakdown, Computer, Electronic Equipment and Business Interruption cover. It offers you and your clients a single, streamlined policy to protect against the inevitable interruption to their business when things break down.
In the event of breakdown of machinery, boiler/pressure vessels, electronic equipment and resultant business interruption, Fusion offers higher limits and extensive additional benefits, providing less chance of underinsurance and a quicker return to normal operation.
Click here to learn more about CGU Fusion.
4. Meet Tall Poppy
For over 165 years CGU has believed in Ambition. Not just the idea of it, but the power of it. We believe in working hard and getting things done, knowing that Ambition can push us forwards and upwards. We believe that Ambition should be celebrated. And we want to support our broker partners to build ambitious businesses, however big or small.
Australia has a long history of cutting down our Tall Poppies instead of celebrating them. So, we created the character of Tall Poppy with the hope that her unique story helps us to own our ambition and champion success. You’ve no doubt seen her by now at industry events, across Broker Trade Media, in your inbox and on various social platforms.
Through the story of Poppy, we aim to show brokers and small business owners alike, that we understand what they go through, and that it’s okay to take pride in their ambition. It speaks to the ambition of all people, who have worked hard to build their businesses and attain success.
Coming out of a tough year, Australians are hungry for new beginnings – with ideas that will see our business world thrive again. It’s our shared mission to kickstart the ambition of small business owners, and we’ll do this by striving to provide you and your clients with valuable product offerings and easy digital experiences.
We hope that the campaign re-ignites discussion in popular culture about Tall Poppy Syndrome, and why it hinders success, however above all else encourages growth and champions success. We also hope to inspire customers who want to make their big idea a reality and directs them to speak to an insurance broker to consider CGU as their insurer.
5. Fast 5 with Andrew Prout
In this instalment of Fast 5, we introduce you to Andrew Prout, Construction & Engineering Underwriting Manager. Managing our Southern Region team, Andrew is an experienced project engineer with 22 years’ international experience across the UK, China and Australia.
1. Tell us a little bit about your yourself and your role.
I spend most of my free time doing activities with my kids and together we spent most of the Melbourne lockdowns turning the yard into a “suburban farm”. At work I’ve spent most of my career working in or servicing the construction industry in a variety of roles. Since joining CGU six years ago, I feel very lucky to be able to continue to do this with the CGU Construction and Engineering Underwriting Team as the Southern Region C&E Manager (Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia).
2. What do you find most rewarding about working at CGU / IAG?
I get to work in an environment where people demonstrably care and we are constantly challenged to do things better for our clients, brokers and colleagues.
3. Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career?
It didn’t really have a name at the time, but the pursuit of lifelong learning instilled from my parents and then various managers has always made my career and work a really enjoyable place to be.
4. Name 3 things you enjoy doing outside of work.
Anything I can do with my kids is normally top of the list, but I also enjoy a round of golf or a sneaky trip to the pub.
5. What’s your latest Netflix or Stan binge?
Killing Eve – we just started watching mainly because my wife and I enjoyed Fleabag so much.