DUAL Australia news

DUAL Australia: Everything you need to know

Established: 2004

Number of employees: over 120

Headquarters: Sydney, NSW

Key figures: Damien Coates (CEO Asia-Pacific), Leonardo Abbruzzo (Managing director, Australia & New Zealand)

DUAL Australia is part of the Hyperion Insurance Group, focusing on underwriting specialty lines for the mid-market. It specialises in accident and health, financial lines, and general liability insurance.

The specialty lines underwriting agency is headquartered in Sydney, and has offices in Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane, with a total of over 120 employees. DUAL Australia underwrites risks on behalf of a number of Lloyd’s of London underwriters, as well as several other insurers regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

With over 40,000 policies processed each year, and over 8,000 individual insurance brokers across Australia, DUAL positions itself towards the small and medium enterprise (SME) market.

Internationally, the DUAL Group is one of the world’s leading underwriters, with gross written premiums of £751 million annually. It employs over 600 people in its offices across Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. It was awarded ‘Underwriting Agency of the Year’ by the British Insurance Awards in 2012 and 2014.

DUAL is Lloyd’s largest international coverholder, with insurance and reinsurance capacity provided by several major Lloyd’s syndicates. These include ANV, Arch, Argo, Aspen, Catlin, Hiscox, Liberty, QBE, and W R Berkley.

Accident and health claims

DUAL Australia handles its accident and health claims through specialist third-party claims handlers such as Fullerton Health Corporate Services for all non-sport claims, and Gallagher Bassett for sports-related A&H claims. These claims handlers work directly with DUAL to ensure all claims are handled in an expert and professional manner.

Financial lines claims

DUAL Australia handles financial lines claims, such as employment practices liability, statutory liability, and crime, through an in-house team. This team is composed of legally qualified claims handlers with substantial experience in the insurance and legal fields. The company also works with capacity providers and specialist law firms to ensure the satisfactory handling of claims.

Marine claims

Beginning October 30, 2018, DUAL Australia’s marine business has been merged with AMUA Australia Pty Ltd Trading, operating under the trade name SALT Marine Risks. The resulting entity continues to operate as a Lloyd’s coverholder. According to DUAL Asia-Pacific CEO Damien Coates, the merger complements and strengthens the reach of both organisations in their focused markets of Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific.

Cyber liability claims

DUAL Australia works together with Charles Taylor in managing cyber incidents throughout the entire process – from notification to resolution. A dedicated breach response team, composed of IT forensic investigators, forensic accountants, consultants, and specialist lawyers are available to assist insureds in case of a cyber incident.

More than 16,000 inquiries regarding cyber were generated on DUAL’s WebRater quotation platform, signifying that cyber remains a key uninsured risk for many brokers and SME clients. According to the underwriter, cybercrime costs the Australian economy over $1 billion annually.

Liability claims

DUAL offers a public & products liability insurance product targeted at businesses to protect them from expensive accidental injury or property damage claims. Meanwhile, its resource liability insurance covers the risks commonly encountered by the mining, oil and gas, and other resource sectors.

Awards gained

The company and its personnel have received industry awards, including several from Insurance Business. In the 2018 Insurance Business Awards, DUAL Australia was highly commended in the Australian Underwriting Agency of the Year category. It also finished as a runner-up in the Most Effective Internet Presence (Underwriting Agency) category.

Meanwhile, DUAL Asia-Pacific CEO Damien Coates was part of Insurance Business’s Hot List for 2018. The list is comprised of 40 individuals that are likely to make significant contributions to the insurance industry in the near future. Coates’ inclusion was in part due to DUAL’s outstanding performance, especially in the D&O liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, and management liability insurance categories, according to broker surveys.

Coates is also active in cycling, and is a frequent contributor to mental health charities. He completed the TourXOz charity bike ride, raising more than $15,000 for the Black Dog Institute. The 1,200km-long ride took Coates eight days, cycling six hours a day and travelling from Perth to Broome.

James Skiba, senior claims officer of DUAL Australia, is part of Insurance Business’s annual Young Guns, which lists the 35 rising stars of the insurance industry. The market’s most promising young brokers are nominated by their colleagues, managers, and peers.

Skiba handles various complex and high-value claims, and he is also a source of technical knowledge for the claims and underwriting teams. He has gained a reputation for expertise among fellow insurance professionals, and is one of the most notable up-and-coming figures in Australia’s insurance industry.