SafetyCulture’s blend of insurance and workplace risk management

"We're really pleased so far but it's early days," says boss

SafetyCulture’s blend of insurance and workplace risk management

Insurance News

By Daniel Wood

“On every floor of the building we have different rooms set up for customers,” said Frank Costigan (pictured above). “For example, we have the IKEA room, the COLES room, the Rio Tinto and the Toyota room and we’ve designed these rooms around how they use the tools.”

Costigan is managing director of SafetyCulture Care, a workplace risk management and business insurance offering from Sydney-headquartered firm, SafetyCulture. His description of the Surry Hills office helped Insurance Business better understand the customer focused character of this offering.

“When someone signs up to SafetyCulture Care insurance they get access to the SafetyCulture platform, they get access to the training, the checklists,” said Costigan. “So we’re trying to offer more than just insurance.”

SafetyCulture Toyotoa  Room

In the office, Costigan said the Toyota room (pictured immediately above) has the chassis of a car hanging from the ceiling with tyres around the floor, the COLES room is set up like a supermarket and the Rio Tinto room has a generous number of hard hats.

Spreading the word to brokers

SafetyCulture Care launched in Australia in March.

“We set some goals for June 30, the biggest insurance month and we made our goals,” said Costigan. “We’re really pleased so far, but it’s early days and the biggest challenge for us is getting out and educating the market.”

The offering is distributed exclusively through brokers. Costigan’s firm is busy spreading word to the broker community through conferences like the Steadfast Convention in Australia and similar gatherings in New Zealand.

“We just get out and talk about our product and try to educate people about its features, the benefit and why we think it’s a good fit for brokers and their customers.”

One question brokers often ask, he said, is which business sectors are best suited to this blend of business insurance, workplace safety and risk management?

“Hospitality, manufacturing, retail and construction are the four industry segments where we think it [SafetyCulture Care] makes a lot of sense,” said Costigan.

How a hospitality business uses the offering

He gave an example of a hospitality business that signed up through a broker.

“We’ve won a business recently, an affiliation of clubs, where we’re rolling out the tools to each of those members and requiring them to do the checklist, such as looking for trips, slips and fall hazards and making sure staff have done training for the responsible service of alcohol, those sort of things,” said Costigan.

He said there are 100 individual policies within that risk management and insurance scheme and it’s a requirement that the SafetyCulture risk management tools are used.

“We’re delighted to work with that broker and those 100-plus customers and the insurer, which is Allianz, is delighted that we’re doing that as well,” said Costigan.

He believes the unique feature of their proposition is how it presents the evidence of whether a business like a club, hotel or café is carrying out the necessary risk management.

“Are the staff doing the training? Are they reporting trip, slip and fall hazards in the workplace? When they open and close the business are all the doors being locked properly and things being stacked away?” said Costigan.

Will it bring down a business’s premiums?

When IB asked him if he thought using the risk management tools could bring a business’s insurance costs down, Costigan cautioned against assuming this categorically.

“I think, absolutely, there is an opportunity and we think that can happen - but what I think we need to do is actually demonstrate the management approach to mitigating issues in the workplace,” he said. “A lot of these organizations haven’t done that before and it takes a little time for an insurer to say, ‘We hear what you’re saying but show me the evidence.’”

Bringing it all in-house

The March launch followed SafetyCulture’s decision to buy QBE’s 50% stake in the business and move the insurance backing over from QBE to Allianz. Costigan said 100% ownership of the business and the jump to Allianz has brought more control over their offering, including knowledge about how it’s performing in the market and direct interactions with customers.

“We wanted to bring the pricing and the product design in house,” he said. “So we designed a new package product, a cross between a commercial ISR and a business package product, so it’s a bit unique.”

Previously, QBE did the pricing.

“We now have actuaries and data scientists in-house so we price each and every risk,” said Costigan.

The client management is also in-house now, he said.

“The reason why we wanted to do claims was because that’s a continuous loop: ‘what’s happened? What’s gone wrong?’ Let’s feed that back into the underwriting and the pricing,” said Costigan. “Of course, with claims, we can now use the tools to help get the customer back on their feet and we can also see near misses through the tools.”

He said the aim is to “link it all into” SafetyCulture’s operations platform.

How do you see the evolving area of workplace safety risks and business insurance offerings? Please tell us below.

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