Everything you need to know about Vero
Vero is a specialist provider of business insurance and one of the largest insurers in Australia. It traces its roots back to 1833, when UK-based Alliance Assurance established an office in Australia. Following a series of mergers over the decades, Sun Alliance Insurance and Royal Insurance merged to form Royal & SunAlliance (RSA) in 1992.
In 2003, Royal & SunAlliance announced a reorganisation in the Australia and New Zealand markets, changing its name to Promina. The general insurance business subsequently changed its name to Vero. It is currently part of the Suncorp Group, which is a major player in the Australian insurance industry.
Today, Vero provides insurance for all sizes of business in Australia, as well as professional and financial risks insurance, workers’ compensation, and other general insurance lines such as marine cargo and commercial hull, as well as cover for not-for-profit organisations. It also provides retail insurance products such as motor (including recreational vehicles), and home & contents insurance.
According to Vero, it offers its products exclusively through insurance brokers and authorised agents. It works closely with brokers and relies on their specialist advice to meet the varied needs of its clients.
Vero in the news
2003: Vero is formed following the reorganisation of Alliance Assurance
2004: Vero acquires Aviation Office of Australia and Booker Aviation
2004: Achieves A+ credit rating from Standard & Poor
2005: Gains exclusive renewal rights over Suncorp's intermediated commercial marine business
2006: Acquires 50.5% of the shares in Australian Surety (ASC) and its subsidiary New Zealand Surety Corporation
2006: Vero launches affinity business unit
2006: Acquires Australian Pacific Underwriting Agency
2005: RM Advancer awards launched to recognise clients with outstanding performance in risk management
2007: Promina Group and Suncorp Group merge
2008: Vero is designated as Suncorp’s primary intermediated insurance brand
2012: Vero becomes co-major sponsor of Brisbane Lions AFL club
2012: Vero launches SME Insurance Index
2016: Vero launches the Business Success Hub, providing information and advice for businesses
2018: Vero launches its Risk Register tool, which helps brokers educate SME owners about business risks
2018: Vero wins Bronze award in Insurance Business’s Insurer of the Year category, moving up four spots from the previous year
Need to know
Type of company: Insurer
Service areas: Business insurance, professional and financial risks insurance, other general insurance products
Headquarters: Brisbane, QLD
Key people as of 2019
Steve Johnston, group chief executive officer and managing director, Suncorp
Johnston was appointed to his current position in September 2019. He joined Suncorp in 2006 and held various executive roles, including chief financial officer and later, acting CEO. Prior to Suncorp, Johnston was general manager for corporate and government relations at Telstra. In the past, he also held senior positions in the Queensland government.
Gary Dransfield, chief executive officer insurance, Suncorp
Dransfield joined Suncorp in 2009 and has held various roles on the group’s senior leadership team including CEO for customer platforms, CEO for personal insurance, and CEO of Vero New Zealand. He played a vital role in the recovery activities for two significant recent events – the 2011 Queensland floods and the Christchurch earthquakes.
Sam Sanfilippo, national manager, Vero
Sanfilippo, who has been with the Suncorp Group since 2011, is now the national manager for international intermediaries, broker distribution, and commercial insurance at Vero. His main role involves heading the distribution function for the general insurance brand. Initially interested in accounting, he has been in the insurance industry for over 25 years. In 2019, he was named to the Insurance Business Hot List.
Vero has a long-standing association with sports. In 2011, it took over parent company Suncorp’s sponsorship of the Australian Rugby Union as well as the Wallabies national rugby team. The sponsorship came before that year’s World Cup competition in New Zealand. It featured the Wallabies in several of its advertising campaigns.
The insurer has also sponsored the Brisbane Lions Australian rules football club. It began the sponsorship in 2012 as sponsor of the coaching group, before becoming a major partner in 2013 to 2016. It then extended the sponsorship for two years as co-major partner, until the contract ended in 2018.
On the insurance and risk management fronts, Vero and sister firm GIO have hosted the RM Advancer awards since 2005. The awards recognise the strong risk practices of companies and organisations from across Australia and seek to inspire improvement in the risk management culture in the market. In the most recent edition, Rapid Plas, Aurizon, Collins Foods, and AKD Softwoods were the recipients of the awards.
Vero was also the strategic underwriting partner of the Underwriting Agencies Council (UAC) from 2011 until 2016. It was succeeded by QBE after Vero decided not to continue the partnership following a review of its sponsorships.
In February 2019, following flooding in Northern Queensland, Vero’s parent group Suncorp donated $200,000 to the Australian Red Cross to provide “flexible finance options” for residents that were affected by the harsh weather.