Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is the largest general insurance group in Australia. It is an umbrella organisation that contains many well-known insurance brands, including NRMA Insurance, SGIO, SGIC, CGU, and WFI. Combined, these businesses underwrite around $12 billion in premiums each year.
Outside of Australia, IAG is also active in New Zealand, as well as in Asia, where it holds significant stakes in several insurers.
In 1920, the National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA) began providing insurance to motorists in NSW and ACT. It began expanding throughout Australia and became one of the largest general insurers in the market. NRMA was demutualised in 2000, with its shares returned to members. Two years later, it changed its name to Insurance Australia Group.
At present, IAG has over 8.5 million customers and holds a wealth of information on motor vehicles and residential dwellings in its markets.
IAG’s NRMA Insurance brand offers a wide range of insurance products, including motor, travel, home, pet, and recreational vehicles insurance. Meanwhile, CGU offers various commercial, rural and personal lines insurance, as well as workers’ compensation insurance. Through its acquisition of CGU in 2003, Insurance Australia Group inherited its over 160 years of experience providing insurance in Australia.
Insurance Australia Group in the news
1920: National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA) begins offering motor insurance
1994: NRMA begins nationwide expansion
1998: NRMA acquires Western Australia-based SGIO and Southern Australia-based SGIC
1999: Joint venture between NRMA and Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) formed
2000: NRMA is demutualised, splitting its insurance operations from the motorists’ association
2001: NRMA acquires New Zealand’s State Insurance and HIH workers’ comp in Australia
2002: Name changed to Insurance Australia Group (IAG)
2003: IAG acquires CGU in Australia and NZI in New Zealand
2005: IAG conducts Asian expansion in Thailand and Malaysia
2007: IAG acquires UK-based Equity Insurance Group
2009: IAG enters joint venture with State Bank of India
2012: IAG acquires New Zealand-based AMI Insurance
2014: IAG acquires Wesfarmers’ insurance underwriting businesses in Australia and New Zealand
2015: Berkshire Hathaway invests in Insurance Australia Group, with a 3.7% share
2016: IAG launches Firemark Ventures, a start-up investment fund worth $75 million
2017: Insurance Australia Group unifies Australian businesses
2017: IAG consolidates its nine Australian insurance licences into two entities: Insurance Australia Limited and Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Limited
2017: IAG among 50 companies on Fortune’s Change the World list
2017: Insurance Australia Group CEO Peter Harmer criticised over “spirit” bonus
2018: IAG announces sale of operations in Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam
2018: IAG changes head office registered address
2018: IAG, QBE, and 14 other insurers join global climate initiative
2019: Insurance Australia Group takes out first catastrophe bond
2019: IAG appoints George Savvides as non-executive director
2019: IAG and SAP Ariba launch diversity marketplace
Need to know
Type of company: Insurance Group
Service areas: Underwriting, general insurance, reinsurance
Headquarters: Sydney, NSW
Key people as of 2019
Peter Harmer, CEO
Harmer has served as CEO of Insurance Australia Group since November, 2015. In 2010, he joined IAG as chief executive of CGU from Aon. Harmer has held several leadership positions at IAG, including chief executive of the commercial insurance division, chief digital officer, and chief executive of the IAG Labs division. He has more than 40 years’ experience in the insurance industry.
Julie Batch, chief customer officer
Batch has been IAG’s chief customer officer since December 2015. She heads Customer Labs, which is responsible for improving the group’s products and customer experience through innovation. Prior to this role, she was chief analytics officer, a position she had held since 2014. Before that, she was chief risk officer in IAG’s direct insurance business. She has been part of IAG since 2005.
Mark Milliner, CEO Australia
Milliner became CEO of IAG’s Australia division, upon its creation in July 2017. With over 20 years’ experience in insurance, he joined IAG in 2016 as chief operating officer. Before joining IAG, Milliner was with Suncorp, where he held several leadership roles, last of which was CEO of personal insurance. Milliner was appointed to the board of the Insurance Council of Australia in 2009, and he works to boost private and public sector investment into access to insurance and disaster resilience.
According to Insurance Australia Group, its social and environmental policy institutes a framework to understand and manage the company’s social and environmental impacts, both direct and indirect. It also guides it as it tackles risks and opportunities, and supports and informs its role in the community. Its stated goal is to help create safer, stronger, and more confident communities.
IAG has pledged its support to the State Emergency Services in Queensland and New South Wales as a principal partner. It works together with the two states’ SES to help communities prepare for and respond to disasters. According to IAG, each storm season, it helps residents prepare as well as provide a ‘hero discount’ to SES volunteers on selected insurance policies.
In May 2019, IAG and 13 other organisations announced their support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for the recognition of Indigenous Australians in the nation’s constitution. The organisations came up with a response to the Uluru Statement. IAG chief executive Peter Harmer stressed the importance of giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the opportunity to have a stake in decisions that affect their communities.
As a result, Insurance Australia Group adopted an Elevate reconciliation action plan (RAP) to guide its actions in support of the national reconciliation program. The Elevate level is the highest tier of RAPs.
With the insurance industry being at the forefront of dealing with natural disasters, Insurance Australia Group has put in place a climate action plan. It has led various initiatives that seek to tackle risks linked to climate change, and the insurance group is actively taking steps to minimise its carbon footprint. According to IAG, it has been carbon neutral since 2012, and it has been able to reduce its carbon emissions by around 25% since 2015.