Celebrating the “unsung” as Australia’s insurance industry takes on bushfires, COVID and floods

Credit given where it's due after a year of hard work

Celebrating the “unsung” as Australia’s insurance industry takes on bushfires, COVID and floods

Catastrophe & Flood

By Brendan Day

There’s no denying that 2020 has been a tough year for many in the insurance industry, which is why an opportunity to recognise those who’ve put in the hard work shouldn’t be passed up. Last week, Insurance Advisernet held its annual awards event, shining the spotlight on some of the individuals who excelled during difficult times.

More than 400 authorised representatives and other members of the insurance industry tuned in to the awards show, held virtually this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Chubb won the Insurer of the Year award while Insurance Advisernet Merimbula took home the Practice of the Year and Central Region – Practice of the Year awards, a testament to the brokerage’s ability to combat numerous setbacks throughout the year, according to Insurance Advisernet managing director Shaun Standfield.

“Insurance Advisernet Merimbula had to deal with both bushfires and floods earlier this year, and then, of course, COVID-19 hit,” Standfield (pictured) told Insurance Business. “Despite this, they were still able to look after their clients throughout it all and deserve to get this credit for all their hard work.”

Theresa Holland was recognised as the Employee of the Year as she’s received “consistently great feedback from clients”, in the words of Standfield, while Carissa Mitchell scored the Chairman’s Award as a sign of her diligence in “making sure we’re the best in the industry at delivering advice.”

“Both Theresa and Carissa are unsung heroes and it’s great to see their efforts rewarded,” he added.

A silent auction was also held to coincide with the event, with gift vouchers, trips to holiday homes around Australia, and other hot-ticket items donated by authorised representatives and practices. All up, over $100,000 was raised for the Insurance Advisernet Foundation, which has donated more than $2.5 million over the past 10 years to a collection of worthy charities.

Though this year’s virtual awards were a success, Standfield stated that next year’s iteration will hopefully be held in-person at the company’s annual Australia/New Zealand conference.

“We’ve got the 2021 conference scheduled for the Gold Coast in October and so, depending on COVID-19, I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to return to a physical event,” he noted.

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