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Aussie entrepreneur slams insurance brokers

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Insurance Business | 05 Sep 2012, 12:05 AM Agree 0
Jim Penman, the founder of franchise giant Jim’s Group, has claimed he started Jim’s Insurance brokerage due to the “poor service” and antiquated IT systems he had witnesses from brokers in the past.
  • Tim Allan | 05 Sep 2012, 11:23 AM Agree 0
    I think the last para sums up this story brilliantly
  • CGIO | 05 Sep 2012, 11:23 AM Agree 0
    Amazing that a Brokerage could have a Boss with NO Industry experience. Jim should stick to mowing lawns as most Brokers have been using latest IT systems for 10 years.
  • Gary Everdell | 05 Sep 2012, 11:32 AM Agree 0
    Good luck Jim , if you were not able to locate 1 Brokerage (who was represented Nationally) - to service your Franchise groups needs - I ask - how many Tender Proposals for the complete services and solutions did you seriously analyse ?

    The administration of it all will catch up with your best efforts sooner or later.
  • Broker | 05 Sep 2012, 11:36 AM Agree 0
    I spoke a Jim's Franchisor who was not very happy with their PI policy, but felt locked into doing business with Jims. Since Jim took over, they have seen major exclusions and a hike in premiums. It would be easy to get 5000 policies if your franchisors were forced to do business with you.
  • Paul Donnelly | 05 Sep 2012, 11:41 AM Agree 0
    Sounds like he's beating his own hollow drum. I was always taught to never deride your competitors. Doesn't go over too well with clients.
  • Jims Insurance Fan | 05 Sep 2012, 12:10 PM Agree 0
    The franchisors are NOT forced to take out all their insurances from Jims Insurance. The only mandatory policy is the public liability policy which received an exemption from the ACCC for third line enforcing...google it and you will see.
  • Chris Wright | 05 Sep 2012, 12:13 PM Agree 0
    Great start Jim! Give the competition more motivation to target your clients. Good luck.....you'll need it.
  • AR | 05 Sep 2012, 01:03 PM Agree 0
    Stick to mowing lawns Jimbo, you'll soon learn how hard insurance broking actually is, and 4 bosses in 1 year including your own son departed pretty much sums up how much of an idiot you are. I cringe at the technical advice your brokerage provides or the poor sod of an insurer who actually covers your PI exposure, fool.
  • CatalystAg | 05 Sep 2012, 01:05 PM Agree 0
    How did he get an AFSL with a boss with no insurance experience?
  • Phil McGuire | 05 Sep 2012, 01:57 PM Agree 0
    The disappointing aspect of the decision made by Mr Penman is that he has based his experience with insurance intermediaries on a very small and disproportionate number of providers. Unfortunately, those providers have not met his expectations and his entrepreneurial nature has driven him to try to 'do it better' and clearly, this has not been overly successful given the people he has put into the driver's chair. Once again, we see the industry lambasted in much the same way as it was with the floods. The media at the time focused only on the <3% of claiments who did not have their claims paid and painted the insurance industry with the same brush. Mr Penman has done the same thing for his own personal gain.
  • FlinBroker | 05 Sep 2012, 02:36 PM Agree 0
    When you look at his application to the ACCC (available on web)see we do use IT Jim ,how weak the ACCC are This needs to be challenged in the interest of the whole Professional Insurance Industry.This is just a cash cow and his Franchisees are being used to make Jimbo cash flow to venture into his next project of the day.
    Check out Jim's FSL charges (interesting ? )
  • Another David | 05 Sep 2012, 03:29 PM Agree 0
    I agree, the last paragraph says it all. It is no industry secret that the Jim's business has a ever active employee revolving door. How can you provide leading edge customer service when staff are not there long enough to build relationships. Traditional (good) brokers do this and their books grow year on year, most of us are indeed doing it the 'right way'. It may be easy to vocalise some throw-away lines about competitors, but I doubt that Jim has not already realised for himself that there is much more to broking than securing a wholesale product and selling it at a retail price thereby picking up a margin on the way. I suggest that Jim has a lot more to learn. 5,000 policies sounds impressive, but if they are all stand alone liability policies earning nominal income, its hard to fund a leading edge customer focussed business worthy enough to rival experienced brokers. Good luck, I think we all know how this will end.
  • Rural broker | 05 Sep 2012, 08:00 PM Agree 0
    I have a lot of respect for what Jim has done, but he's off the mark with these comments.
  • Friendly Advice | 06 Sep 2012, 10:14 AM Agree 0
    "Those whom live in glass houses should not throw stones". Jim has had a number of broking houses giving professional advices - both national & international. Does Jim realise that his current insurance manager is actually from one of the broking houses that used to service him - Good work!!
  • Andrew | 06 Sep 2012, 10:16 AM Agree 0
    Not a great start Jim...
  • Friendly Advice | 06 Sep 2012, 11:36 AM Agree 0
    Jim wasn't one of the broking house you were using linked to your SA Mowing franchisor - ie. he was silent director. Yep this was the one which recently went into receivership.......smile
  • James | 06 Sep 2012, 11:43 AM Agree 0
    How the hell do these people get licences!! our regulators should be ashamed of themselves
  • Epic Fail | 06 Sep 2012, 03:20 PM Agree 0
    “delays in treatment of claims and the sending out of renewals,”
    the only reason Jims Insurance were able to send out our renewals in April 2012 was because another party processed the paperwork off site ! So Jim’s Insurance –just how good are your IT Systems when it’s come to our attention (from your own insurance staff) that our renewals were being processed off-site ?? !!
    I called up Jims Insurance in April to see where by husband’s insurance paperwork was and a male employee (who’s name I cannot remember) told me that the invoices for this are being processed by another company. When I asked what company and how long it would take he told me it was the underwriter who was processing our renewal. So you reckon your systems are that good that you had to get someone else to do your work ? EPIC FAIL !!


    On the Jims Insurance website:
    "..Effective 1 December 2011 Fire Services Levy has increased. This has increased significantly in some country areas, and therefore may make a difference to the estimate you receive.*

    EPIC FAIL JIMS INSURANCE - you may claim to have “the most robust IT Systems” but maybe your own staff should familiarize themselves with changes to legislation including further updates to the Fire Levy in Victoria ???!! We’ve been told (by another insurance broker who does our other insurance that's not compulsory with Jims) that there have been at least 2 (maybe more) changes to this levy since the December 2011 update on the home page of your website Jim !! You really don’t need to have any insurance knowledge to know that by 01/07/2013 the existing Fire Services Levy will be replaced altogether by a property-based levy and the appointment of a levy monitor to oversee the phase out !! I’m no insurance guru – I just watch the news, read the paper and do what I can to keep up to date with current affairs !!!


    “looking to expand his Jim’s Insurance arm” ....wow !! if this is your attempt to expand your insurance arm you might want to think about telling the truth about what’s really going on in your own backyard !! as another blogger said: ” people in glass houses really shouldn't be throwing stones Jimbo !! and whatsmore – as is stated in the final paragraph of this insurance article “….Jim’s Insurance is already onto its fourth boss since launching just over a year ago…….”
    Nearly every time I have contacted Jims Insurance to discuss our insurance I have spoken to someone new and have had to explain my situation to them over the telephone all over again !

    I was contacted 8 times by Jims Insurance to pay our COMPULSORY liability policy. I told them 8 times it was paid and they asked me to provide proof. I sent them a copy of our business banking transactional account which showed the funds transfer of $253 to jims group and they still could not locate my payment. They then threatened to breach my husband as a result of non-payment ! Perhaps you could look at your IT systems a bit closer Jim & Jims Insurance !!!

    "...rigorous customer service systems and the most advanced IT with its brand awareness, it could provide “a first rate service to the public at competitive rates”…..
    EPIC FAIL Jims Insurance – you have zero customer service. Your latest / current ?? manager (a man) doesn’t seem to understand anything and doesn’t seem to have any sense of urgency. I very much doubt he understands the whole Franchise system – let alone Insurance !! He tells us he will “look into it” and we never hear back. There were some girls there about a year ago who at least gave us the impression they were doing all they could to provide us with “rigorous customer service” and who were pleasant to deal with and understood our needs. This guy and his team have no idea as far as we are concerned.

    In summary Jim’s Insurance I don’t think I’m alone when I say that you are nothing but a comedy act, a try hard competitor in the fierce and professional insurance world, a bunch of rouge cowboys who are out of date, backwards and have no respect or understanding for the law ! Speaking of Law – Jim, last I checked – you’re not even Insurance qualified – yet this article mentions that you encourage and invite franchisees to contact you directly to discuss Insurance. Are you serious. I’m sure you could be fined for giving insurance advice when you’re not meant to Jimbo. Stick to mowing, we all know you’re good at this.
    February 2011 = EPIC FAIL as far as I am concerned (and as I’m sure people who work in the insurance industry that may have read this article) you really should have a good hard look at yourselves and perhaps think twice about making negative comments and false accusations about your competitors customer service and IT Systems !! you have been around for 19 months, you’re a new player to the insurance industry – you should be trying to make allies not enemies !!!
    EPIC EPIC FAIL Jims Insurance. Goodluck, your going to need it !!!!!!
  • Broker of The Year | 06 Sep 2012, 03:44 PM Agree 0
    Couldnt agree more Epic Fail & Friendly Advice..nailed it! Qudos
  • Smokin' Broker | 06 Sep 2012, 03:51 PM Agree 0
    Jim has a pretty decent track record in business - some of you might be speaking too quickly here...
  • Epic Fail | 06 Sep 2012, 03:57 PM Agree 0
    hey Smokin'.........you don't by any chance work for Jim's Insurance do you ?? !!! ha ha !!! Noted - Jim DOES have a decent track record - in mowing lawns and Franchising. Jims Insurance (as far as we all kjnow) isn't a franchise and it doesn't mow lawns !!I aint speakin' too quickly - this and everyone elses comments are cold hard facts buddy !
  • Smokin' Broker | 06 Sep 2012, 04:00 PM Agree 0
    No I don't actually, I'm an insurance broker elsewhere. All I'm saying is, I'm sure people this successful have been doubted about their new ventures in the past and they often come out on top in the end.
  • Been There, Done That | 06 Sep 2012, 04:27 PM Agree 0
    I love that Jim is quick to put down those that assisted him when he needed it. There is no mention of the complaints of hundreds of franchisees who were unhappy with being forced to place there cover through Jims or of the debarcle caused when the change over happened. I would love to see the stats on how many franchiees went out on their own. He's very quick to pat himself on the back but he has very little experience and as proven in the many comments on here, the reality is very different to the story spun by Jim.
  • love it when people get it wrong | 12 Sep 2012, 01:33 PM Agree 0
    Friendly advice - before you accuse people of being involved in silent directorships you REALLY need to make sure your facts are accurate.... smile (back at ya)
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