2018 was a challenging year for New Zealand insurers on a number of levels, and with increased pressure on insurance companies to deliver their framework of support to customers at the highest level, those challenges will undoubtedly shape strategy for the year ahead.
NZI is one of the largest insurance players in the New Zealand market, and has stated that it will be focusing on three key themes in 2019; people, partnerships and business simplification. According to NZI executive general manager Garry Taylor, the cost of disaster claims, increasing risks and questions around conduct have been some of the biggest challenges faced by insurance businesses, and NZI’s strategy will be shaped around maintaining its strong nationwide footprint.
“NZI has been around for 159 years and we want to be around for at least another 159 more. We might have legacy, but we’re not resting on our laurels,” Taylor told Insurance Business. “We want Kiwis to continue to trust us and have confidence in us to be there when they need us most.
“The three things that will enable us to deliver on this are underpinned by: our people; our partnerships; and the simplification of our business. That’s our strategy for the year ahead.”
“Having strong partnerships is vital and we are determined to strengthen these further,” he explained. “Being local – and maintaining a regional footprint – is hugely important for NZI. We see this as a point of difference and a tangible commitment to our partnerships around the country.
We want our people trading and making common sense pricing, and underwriting decisions by using their knowledge and experience.
“We also need to simplify our business and remove duplication and inefficiencies, and we plan to achieve this through operational partnering and implementing risk-based pricing.”
Taylor says that a broader challenge has been dealing with advances in technology, and that the insurance industry is still lagging behind when it comes to allowing user-friendly interactions with its brokers and customers. He says NZI will be working closely with its broker partners over the next year, and will be looking to streamline its efficiency across the board.
“Simplifying the way both we and our brokers work will definitely enable more efficiency, and that’ll be a continued focus for us,” he stated.
“My own first 12 months was focused around resetting our strategic intent with our top broker partners, and we’ve focused on aligning some key initiatives with them around outcomes. I’m incredibly proud of the way our team has organised itself and put core business plans in place with all our broker partners, which didn’t really exist several months ago.
“These three things – people, partnerships and business simplification – are the foundations that have made NZI one of New Zealand’s oldest and most reliable brands, and we are continuing to focus on them, while adapting to the changing market.”
- Insurance Business
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