"New business insurance arm" launches with brokers at its heart

It has also made a high profile switch from QBE to Allianz

"New business insurance arm" launches with brokers at its heart


By Daniel Wood

“We provide visibility for managers around how they are running their company - which has never been done in commercial insurance,” said Frank Costigan (pictured above). “We think that’s why it is a really unique offering.”

Costigan is managing director of SafetyCulture Care, which launched last month in Australia and expects to launch in the US later this year. The firm described itself in a media release as the “new business insurance arm” of a workplace safety tech company founded in 2004: SafetyCulture.

Both of its commercial insurance businesses - Mitti and SafetyCulture Care - are broker focussed.

A global firm founded in Townsville

SafetyCulture is headquartered in Sydney with offices, according to its website, in Townsville, Kansas City, Manchester, Amsterdam and Manila. Townsville makes the global list as home of founder, Luke Anear, a former private investigator. Anear, according to the website, established SafetyCulture in response to “witnessing the tragedy of workplace incidents” while investigating workers’ compensation claims.

His company has evolved from providing businesses with simple risk management checklists on paper to offerings that include a digital platform that captures and crunches workplace data and issues reports to improve workplace safety, risk mitigation and business efficiency.

The commercial insurance offerings are more recent steps, starting with Mitti in 2020.

For the Guinness Book of Records?

Costigan told IB that SafetyCulture is the most downloaded checklist app “in the world.”

According to SafetyCulture’s website, its digital risk management offering is already used by 70,000 organisations, including the United Nations. Costigan said many of its customers are in the US, among them NASA.

Amicable parting with QBE?

Some industry observers may find it surprising that, last month, QBE sold its stake in Mitti.

The insurtech Mitti is a risk management and business insurance offering, launched in 2020 in Australia by QBE in partnership with SafetyCulture. The offering includes a quote and bind facility for brokers.

“In the last month or so, SafetyCulture purchased QBE’s 50% share,” said Costigan. “So we now own the business 100%.” The business is now rebranding as part of SafetyCulture Care.

A QBE spokesperson suggested the parting of ways was expected and amicable.

In a written response to IB, the spokesperson said that after two years of collaboration “to launch Mitti”, QBE was “proud of our contribution…and wish the team continued success.”

“Now is the right time for SafetyCulture to grow Mitti,” said the spokesperson, adding that QBE Ventures exists to partner, build and invest in start-ups and new technology.

Costigan said all of Mitti’s employees are now part of SafetyCulture Care.

“Which I’m really pleased about,” he said. “So we have 31 people.”

He said that includes four people in the US, in preparation for launching in America later in the year.

“So we’ve started the journey there,” said Costigan.

Allianz is the new carrier

He suggested a motivation behind buying QBE’s share in Mitti was to develop a new business insurance product and also because it changed insurance carrier.

“One of the reasons why we wanted to take control of Mitti - but also we moved our carrier to Allianz - was because we wanted to develop a new product for the Australian market,” said Costigan. “So we’ve done that and we call it commercial package.”

He described it as a blend of a traditional business insurance package (BPK) with industrial special risk (ISR) insurance.

“BPK usually has an asset value of $10 million,” he said. “Our commercial package has an asset value of $25 million any one location, $40 million total.”

Costigan said his firm has written the policy wording which he described as “a simplified wording and it’s only got five sections that include liability, management, liability, property and crime.”

He said a team of actuaries and data scientists worked alongside Mitti to develop the new product’s pricing. The claims management is also in-house.

“We now do that with our team,” he said. “Allianz has been very supportive of that, which we’re delighted with, and so we now have much greater control over the product, the design, the implementation but importantly, also, the customer service that we’re driving with the new product.”

He said the target market is small to medium sized companies that need a mixture of coverages including property, crime and liability. Costigan said one advantage of this insurance is that it offers various covers within one product.

“These companies might have a factory in Melbourne and a factory in Sydney, or have three or four hospitality venues,” he said. “So their asset values are getting up there and this package could appeal to them because it provides various covers within the one insurance product.”

How do you see the evolving area of workplace safety risk management and insurance? Please tell us below.

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