Arch leader lifts lid on two growth sectors: A&H and property

"No signs of slowing down anytime soon"

Arch leader lifts lid on two growth sectors: A&H and property


By Daniel Wood

“The demand for A&H insurance is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon,” said Dominic Brannigan (pictured above). The Melbourne-based regional manager for Arch Insurance Australia (Arch) said his firm is seeing “a huge increase” in accident and health business conducted by brokers via their online platform, CoverHub.

He said this A&H demand is coming from SMEs through to multinational firms.

Arch is a specialist, broker-focused underwriter and part of Arch Capital Group. The Bermuda headquartered company writes more than $19 billion in gross written premium (GWP) globally. According to a video on its website, in recent years, Arch has more than doubled its GWP in Australia.

Australia: second largest A&H market

Statistics from GlobalData support Brannigan’s observation of the A&H uptick.

Across the Asia-Pacific, the value of A&H insurance covers is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.0% and could reach more than US$400 billion in 2026. According to the figures, Australia is the second largest market in the region.

“There are several reasons for this growth in demand [in Australia] such as businesses travelling more as face-to face transactions once again become the preferred means of doing business following COVID, and new government contracts being issued as large development projects ramp up around Australia,” said Brannigan.

He said the firm’s “new suite of policy wordings” released late last year is also helping to bring in broker business.

Property challenges and opportunities

Brannigan said the property sector also has opportunities for growth.

“One area of the portfolio we are looking to expand is our industrial special risks (ISR) footprint across a wide range of industry types, including manufacturing, wholesale, retail, financial and professional services, education, warehousing, and healthcare,” he said.

However, he said the “significant levels” of nat cat activity and the consequent large industry losses are “a key challenge.” Brannigan referred to “record breaking events” across flood, bushfire and hail and the prospect of the shifting climate driving an increase in the frequency and severity of these disasters.

“While these exposures show no signs of abating, several insurers, including Arch, are looking at the opportunities these dynamics provide for growth,” he said. “This, in turn, is driving up levels of competition across the market, sparking a rise in new players and an increased flow of capacity.”

Brannigan said Arch is “committed to being a stable, strong, long-term insurance provider for our brokers and clients in this market.”

A “spike” in broker interest for a growing firm

However, Brannigan also said broker interest has increased across all of Arch’s local business lines. He described the last few years as “transformational” for his firm.

“Areas where we have seen a particular spike in interest include the aged care and general healthcare sectors, manufacturing, warehousing, and general retail,” he said.

Brannigan said his Australian team, with offices in Melbourne and Sydney, has more than trebled in size in five years.

The firm’s LinkedIn account reports a steady stream of recent hires.

Brannigan said a “key driver” behind their growth is providing “comprehensive” solutions. He put their success with brokers down to “an ability to transact business quickly and efficiently, offer competitive pricing, and deliver a high-quality service.”

The firm, said Brannigan, is also committed to adding underwriting team members while also expanding product lines. He referred to the recent launch of a cyber insurance practice for Australia and the Pacific region.

“We have re-structured our teams regionally to deliver local expertise and greater underwriting authority to speed-up decision making and turnaround times,” he said. “We have also brought our claims teams in-house which has enabled us to be much more responsive and provide faster resolutions in the event of a loss.”

AI and new talent

Brannigan also said the adoption of AI capabilities is “both a market opportunity and challenge.” He said companies are looking to “maximise such technology” but at the same time manage the potential exposures that may come with it.

Finally, he noted that the industry is still talent challenged. Brannigan called for greater investment in attracting and developing the next generation of underwriting professionals.

Please tell us below about an insurance sector where you are seeing broker opportunities

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