AA Insurance : Everything you need to know

Headquarters address: Level 4, 46 Sale St, Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Year established: 1994
Size (employees): 930+
Premium revenue: $506 million (2021)
Underwriting expertise: Car, home, contents, landlord, small business, motorcycle, recreation, classic car, life, health, travel, and pet insurance
Key people: Chris Curtin (chief executive), Simon Hobbs (GM operations), Justine Burn (GM technology), Nikki Howell (GM people & capability), Richard Park (GM marketing), Aaron Dickinson (GM strategy), Martin Chisholm (GM finance), Mark Daniels (GM transformation programme)

 

History
AA Insurance was founded in 1994 as a joint venture between GIO Australia and the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA). A new joint venture partner, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (New Zealand), joined in 2002, acquiring a 68% shareholding in the company.

Royal & Sun Alliance changed its organisational structure in 2003 when it was listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange as Promina, and later changed its name to Vero Insurance New Zealand. Promina was bought by Suncorp Group in 2007, and AA insurance is currently an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between NZAA and insurance giant Vero. It was named New Zealand’s Best Large Workplace in the IBM Kenexa Best Workplaces Survey in 2011 and 2016.

As of 2022, AA Insurance employed over 930 staff across the country. It offers personal and business insurance to New Zealand customers, and has over 480,000 customers across 970,000 home and contents, vehicle and small business insurance policies.

It currently holds an AA- (very strong) financial strength rating given by S&P.

“We aim to eliminate stress and provide certainty for our customers,” the insurer states. “Our genuine value guides the way we act, towards each other and our customers. Our people really do believe in what we do and why we do it. We celebrate and acknowledge people who are dedicated to making a difference to our customers.”

 

Insurance products
AA Insurance primarily deals with personal insurance lines, covering home and contents and vehicle insurance.

Its vehicle products include options for classic car, caravan, motorcycle and motor home insurance, and its home and contents policies encompass landlord and renter-specific options. The company experienced ‘considerable motor insurance-related issues’ in 2017 which led to a spike in claim numbers and increased costs, thus also putting pressure on premiums. The auto refinishing and panel repair sector also faced challenges in attracting and retaining skilled technicians.

AA Insurance launched full home replacement cover for damage caused by non-natural disasters that same year, the next step in its ‘continual focus on the future and long-term solutions to provide the best possible outcome for customers.’

AA went on to introduce its first small business insurance product in 2018 which currently includes cover for statutory liability, commercial vehicles and public and product liability, among other risks. The model is designed for businesses to pick the cover options most necessary for their business, without needing to pay for the full package.

The AA brand also boasts several other partner products:

  • AA Life specialises in life insurance, accident recovery and funeral plan policies, and, as of 2022, had a policy base that exceeded 85,000. It was also then named New Zealand’s Most Trusted Life Insurance Brand by the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands Awards for the 12th successive year.
  • AA Health offers health insurance to New Zealand residents with options for everyday, private hospital and specialist plans.
  • AA Travel offers three travel insurance policies – essential, comprehensive and frequent traveller, which cover all trips taken within a 12-month period and are available to travellers of up to 70 years old.
  • AA Pet Insurance provides plans covering cats and dogs, with starter cover for puppies and kittens.

 

Sponsorship activity
AA Insurance sponsors Variety, a nationwide children’s charity, and also partners with Eden Park Trust.

Variety has helped more than 7,000 Kiwi kids by providing them essentials – including clothing, bedding, and uniforms – things that they need to enjoy school, and take part in their community. In 2021, the charitable group has given a total of $5 million in assistance to young New Zealanders.

“Every day, one in five young New Zealanders go without the basics,” the insurer states. “This has a profound effect on their health, education, and self-esteem. Variety NZ helps these children by enabling them to access the same opportunities as other kids, laying the foundations for a better future. Over the course of our partnership, we will be working with Variety NZ to help deliver their purpose of enabling all children and young people to thrive in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Eden Park Trust supports sporting pastimes and welcomes over half a million sports and entertainment fans from across the globe each year, with crowds of around 50,000 flocking to the park on match days.

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