Peter Chamberlain lifts the lid on his Australian Brokerage of the Year award

One of Insurance Business’s most prestigious awards is Australian Brokerage of the Year. The 2021 winner is the Canberra based brokerage, allinsure. Peter Chamberlain, allinsure’s managing director, talks about some of the reasons for his company’s success including how this recognizes the brokerage’s investment across the business. Chamberlain also discusses technology, the importance of building strong relationships with clients and insurers and some of the challenges facing the insurance industry.


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Speaker1: [00:00:13] Hello and welcome to Insurance Business TV. I'm Danny Wood, news editor of Insurance Business Australia, and today we're celebrating the winner of one of our most prestigious awards, Australian Brokerage of the Year, which is a National Award. The 2021 winner is Canberra based brokerage all insurer, and I'm joined by Peter Chamberlain, who's the director. Hi, Peter.

Speaker2: [00:00:35] Danny.

Speaker1: [00:00:37] This is quite an achievement, but having said that, your brokerage is no stranger to awards, you've won the Elite Broker award. But from your brokerages perspective, why is this award important to you?

Speaker2: [00:00:50] Thanks, Danny. This is brilliant recognition as our team as a whole when you add in to the award that we won for best customer service for an individual office. It just shows that it's not an individual award. It focuses on all aspects of our business and it's fantastic to see that the investment throughout the entire business has been recognized.

Speaker1: [00:01:13] What do you see as some of the strong points of your brokerage?

Speaker2: [00:01:16] Locally owned and locally operated would be the key point for us there. The insurance advisor that are model who also won the best they are authorised representative for the awards last year, allows its heirs to really focus in on what they do best and that serve the customer and its provide quality advice. We don't have to worry about all the back end, all of the all of the compliance provided. We've got market leading technology use of data and it really armed us. It enables us to go out and do what we should be doing and that's focusing on the client's needs.

Speaker1: [00:01:55] I've spoken to you before, and you just sort of echoed it there. You often talk about the importance of building strong relationships. I mean, how exactly does that play into your role as a brokerage?

Speaker2: [00:02:07] No matter what role technology has to play in our industry moving forward, Danny, I think it's crucial to understand that relationships will always be key. Our our industry has been one that historically has struggled with has been as seen as untrustworthy, where its trust is a key focus for what we should be doing as an industry and and how we should be seen or perceived by our customer base and by the wider public. And from that point of view, our relationships will always be key. We need we need to build that trust with clients. We need to. That will make our jobs easier. It makes our ability to pass our knowledge and to teach our clients what they need or do, educate them on their requirements and to ultimately make sure they've got the correct policies in place. We also need to build relationships with our business partners. They value add, they help engage with experts, and it helps us in these hard market when we start talking about premium increases and the challenges with underwriting. So bringing in external partners, whether that be quantity surveyors, whether it be surveys on buildings, whether it be providers or whether it's time of claim and be quality clients, preparers, building consultants, shows, etc. It's really key to have those quality relationships throughout our industry. And then with our insurer partners, brokers often focus very heavily on their client base and are often quite vocal in what they require from their insurers. But it's extremely important for us to recognize that our insurance companies are partners of ours and are critical in what we do as an industry and in serving our client base. So having quality relationships with our insurers that are to wait. I've got a one way street. It's two way relationships is absolutely key to what we do. So as you can see, no matter no matter what, where we go with technology, no matter how many systems we come up with, to quote, to bind, to manage claims, relationships are always going to be key in serving our client base.

Speaker1: [00:04:19] It's interesting you mention the insurers because the brokers often talk a lot about customers, but obviously the the insurers are the other side of that relationship. But when it comes to customers, I guess some brokerages are more interactive than others. I mean, how interactive are you with your clients business? I mean, what what do you do when you have a a new a new customer?

Speaker2: [00:04:40] Yeah, great question, Danny. We we try and form really strong partnerships and relationships with all of our clients. We assign a senior and a junior to every client, no matter what their size. We make sure that we understand the client's needs, wants, desires and the way they want to be served. Ultimately, it's all well and good for us to sit here and go, Hey, where market leader at customer service and we've got a or B that we do. But unless that fits in with the needs of our clients and the wants of our clients, it really isn't market leading, after all. So the critical thing is to understand your client to really get to know your client's business and then to be seen as a quality professional partner with our clients. So with most of our clients, we're seeing in the exact same way as their accountant, their lawyer, their financial planner, their banker, we're seen on that same level we are. We visit our clients regularly. We don't just see them at renewal time. We complete contract reviews. We do all sorts of things with our clients. And then we also start to educate our clients, both in the areas of insurance. But we also then partner with our other business advisors to then share other information with our clients as well. Whatever add on value we can provide so that we're seen as a quality partner and a quality resource. Sets us apart from from what the rest of our competitors are doing.

Speaker1: [00:06:03] Technologically speaking, how will you set up and and what sort of innovations have you made recently in that space?

Speaker2: [00:06:11] Yeah, this is where insurance advisor named Danny provides such a brilliant resource for us. They are market leading in their use of data, the way that we mined data, the way that we can gain information on our clients. Throughout all aspects, and that could be everything from the soil type they're building sits on to the crime rates to financial information. Having all the veteran hands early in the piece. So whilst we look at a prospect and then also throughout the lifetime of a client is amazing. Then you add to that the information that they have as far as us pulling apart and putting back together and reporting on our client base at time of of loss, for example, when we had recent hailstorms here two years ago and the storms that just came through again over Christmas. My office is able to bring up a map of Canberra or a map of Australia, and it will plot every single insured risk we have on that map. So I can then overlay on top of that the path of the storm and reach out to every one of those clients that sat in that path and say, Hey, are you OK? Do you need some help? Do you need me to send out the SES? Do we need to send out our emergency 24 hour hotline for MagSafe? Do you need a roof climber? Do you need someone to come and tarp up your roof or your windows? So to be able to be really proactive throughout that period is just sets us apart from the market. There's no sitting on the hailstorms that we had here in Canberra. There were stories of people sitting online to the likes of the direct insurers for three, four or five hours or jumping onto the web and then getting told that they'd have a response in 48 hours. We were able to actively contact the clients that we thought might be affected before they were even reaching out to us, and it really sets us apart from that client relationship part.

Speaker1: [00:08:09] Hmm. How important is that sort of I guess you're making a kind of preemptive strike in a way rather than reacting to disasters, is that becoming more common across the industry, do you think?

Speaker2: [00:08:20] I think we've got different brokerages in particular that are starting to do it, and we've got different insurers who are starting to react through things like weather alerts and providing their clients with storm warnings and advice to move their cars inside or into the garage. And and items like that, we're becoming a lot more proactive. That's one place where technology can really help our industry and really enhance the client relationship part. I think that's still an area of fantastic growth opportunity for our industry and fantastic use of continuing technology being able to do that in an autonomous basis, but also by making sure that we're feeding the information back to the broker. And it's the broker physically reaching out and maintaining that level of one on one service. The amount of positive feedback we get from putting a phone call into a client and saying, Hey, are you okay? Did the storm affect you? How are you going? Do you need anything? Is it out of this world, the positive feedback that comes back to our office and to our team?

Speaker1: [00:09:27] You're also very big on helping out in the community and doing sort of charity work. What have you done in there recently and what motivates you in that area?

Speaker2: [00:09:37] It also has community work ingrained within our DNA. And I was always taught from a very young age to help those who don't have. So those who do have should help those that don't and and to be a good member or citizen and good member of the local community. Twenty twenty one was really tough with COVID 19 as far as getting out and physically being involved in events and and helping. But in saying that all of our community partners and charity partners also found it very difficult from a financial sense. So it was very important that we provide as much financial assistance as we could during that period. And the positive now is that we're now starting to see in 2022 the ability to get back out and assist in a hands on way. So we've got multiple different events coming up. The Chamberlain Foundation has an event that's launching just prior to Anzac Day, and we've got some brilliant insurer partners on with that already. We're going to be walking up and down a hill for twenty four hours, which will ultimately result in ninety six kilometers, of which matches off against the Kokoda Trail and approximately the same number of metres gained up and ascent, ascent and descent.

Speaker2: [00:10:50] So that'll be a great little initiative. It looks like we're going to have approximately 10 to 15 corporate teams joining us for that event and and money will be going through to deal with PTSD for returned veterans, which will be a fantastic force. On top of that, we also managed to run with the great team at odds help who deliver health checks on site to trainees, and we've also extended that now through to the transport industry, farming, etc. and have a real strong focus on mental health. We managed to to book out one of our local drive thru coffee shops for the morning and all ensure shouted every single person that came through their morning coffee. And as part of that, the individuals who got their coffee bought for them made a donation through to us help, which helped them financially. And also help was also able to conduct some health checks on the on the spot and and raise some recognition and some brand awareness, which was a fantastic morning. It was a little chilly at six a.m., I must say, in Canberra. But apart from that, it was a it was a brilliant morning out meeting the people and providing something back to the community.

Speaker1: [00:12:00] You sound like you have a very fun approach to a lot of your charity work. I mean, I imagine most brokerages probably think about charity work and and it probably doesn't make them smile or laugh. But I mean, is that your experience is actually ends up being good fun for everybody.

Speaker2: [00:12:16] It's something my my older brother, Ray Chamberlain, who's an AFL umpire he instilled in us was a unique participant experience. So to really get that that went out of the charity work and really have the person who's taken the time to put the effort in, gain maximum value themselves out of what they're doing and out of the positive change that they're making. It needs to be fun, it needs to be unique and you need to get that participant experience. So we've done all sorts of things. We rode from Parliament House to the MCG with a bunch of guys who had hadn't written on a bike, let alone in a Peloton for 15 years. So that was interesting. I'm glad no one died on that ride, to be honest. That was an interesting one. We walked from our feet in the water at Bermagui on the New South Wales south coast to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, which was 250 kilometres over five days. I don't recommend that. I don't recommend that one at all. That was too far too far to walk in too many days. And then we also did a 12 hour obstacle course on Ninja Course event, where a group of us continuously went around an obstacle course for 12 hours, starting at midnight and going through to midday the following day. And that resulted about 42 kilometres covered and about 780 obstacles that we completed, which was everything from going through water to over walls to under cargo nets to you name it. So it's good to do something unique and do something fun and do something challenging and really help to build resilience within the participant, but also something unique and something they can be proud of outside of just the fact that they're giving, which is something to be so very proud of anyway.

Speaker1: [00:14:05] It sounds like a very big time commitment. Is it something that you I mean, you build it into your routines, I suppose. But that time commitment might be something that puts other brokerages off. Is that is that is that an issue ever or not?

Speaker2: [00:14:20] Yeah, look at ease, it's a challenge to challenge us at of multiple community boards, I've do these multiple events and then we've got business and then you've got a family as well, and it's really, really important to keep that balance. And it's probably something that covered, really, really rammed home to me was the importance to spend quality time and quality time as the key, not just time with family, with friends, with loved ones and doing all these other items as brilliant as they are, can really impact on that from a negative sense. So it's about being really well organised, really well planned. It's about having a quality team around you. The biggest issue that I faced on that first event, where we will from Bermagui to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, apart from the fact that it was five days out of our life, was that I tried to organise the whole event almost on my own. And it's just very difficult. It's a huge time impact on time impulse. So having a quality team is really important and that's where I'm so lucky with the team at all inshore and also the team in my foundations is that they all have so much buy in and take so much enjoyment out of being involved and assisting with these community organisations.

Speaker1: [00:15:33] Looking at other challenges now, what do you see as some of the big challenges facing the insurance industry in 2022?

Speaker2: [00:15:41] I think the biggest challenge is absolutely and utterly people. Our resourcing is a struggle across all parts of the industry. We've seen throughout the catastrophes that our loss loss adjusters, our claims preparers, even all the way through to the builders and the different stakeholders involved in those claims are lacking in numbers and quality. We see the same in our insurer partners with almost all insurers. I know currently out looking for employees and we see the same in broking and especially in the more regional areas I know in Canberra. The market is very difficult. And I'd suggest that any one time there'd be three to four job ads for quality brokers in Canberra, up at one time. So we've got a real issue with making sure that we sell our industry to people, quality people coming out of schooling and quality people within related industries. I think we need to really, as an industry as a whole, start to create some, some high level traineeships and some some some roles where we can transition people from being an engineer across to a loss adjuster, from being a builder into a building consultant, from being someone who's a high level customer service provider into a broker and transitioning them through 12 months, 18 months, two years of technical knowledge to take those high end customer service skills and implement them within our industry. I think that's going to be a real focus of our industry. We can't just hope that people coming out of school are going to fall into insurance like most of us did. We need to start to get really proactive and look at ways to bring quality people back to our industry.

Speaker1: [00:17:22] Peter Chamberlain, thanks very much for your time and congratulations again.

Speaker2: [00:17:27] Thank you, Denny. Appreciate it.

Speaker1: [00:17:29] And Peter Chamberlain is director of Canberra based all insurer who won our Australian Brokerage of the Year award for Twenty Twenty One. Thanks for watching insurance business. Tbie bye for now.