Expert names two firms to watch

Expert names two firms to watch | Insurance Business Australia

Expert names two firms to watch

Two Australian firms should be paid close attention to in 2017, according to one industry expert.

Sharanjit Paddam, principal at Deloitte Actuaries & Consultants, singled out two firms to watch over the coming year as the industry continues its march toward disruption.

The first is Huddle Money.

“They’re very interesting because they’re not just selling insurance online,” Paddam told Insurance Business. “They’re much more about building up consumer education about risk, looking at ways that people can improve their understanding of what kinds of risks they carry or what kinds of insurance they might need.

“They have some interesting approaches to understanding their customers and meeting their customers’ needs.”

Paddam also singled out icare.

“I think they’re going to have a huge impact on the market next year, in terms of how they’re setting up their business and how they intend to run their business going forward,” he explained.

In 2016, Paddam said the release of the Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce’s final report in March was a highlight for the insurance industry. The report backed mitigation as the best way to address the high premium situation in the region.

“I think it basically said that the market is functioning well, and that, to me, is the bigger insight from that [report] – that it’s not a market failure that’s driving the cost up of insurance premiums in Northern Australia, but the cyclone activity itself and the risk that we have there,” Paddam says.

He’s looking forward to seeing the introduction of mandatory data breach notification legislation in the near future.

“It will firmly raise cyber risk in the minds of boards of directors of companies… potentially, next year could be a very busy year for cyber insurers,” he said.

Paddam also mentions insurers’ heightened focus on customers.

“We’ve seen restructures of IAG and Suncorp to have very large consumer-facing businesses and customer divisions, and the increasing focus on what are our customer needs and how do we improve the experience for insurance customers,” he said.

He anticipates that trend to continue through 2017 and adds that insurers still have to focus on getting the right product, the right type of service and the right ways to access customers.

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