Homes badly damaged by Gabrielle can expect write-offs, Tower boss says
The New Zealand insurer has 170,000 home policies on its books
Corporate headquarters: Level 13, Tower Two, Darling Park, 201 Sussex Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Year established: 1920 (National Roads and Motorists' Association - NRMA)
Service areas: Underwriting, general insurance, reinsurance
Gross written premiums (2021): $12.6 billion
Insurance profit (2021): $1 billion
Key people: Nick Hawkins (managing director and CEO), Julie Batch (group executive, Direct Insurance Australia), Jarrod Hill (group executive, Intermediated Insurance Australia), Peter Horton (group general counsel and company secretary), Michelle McPherson (chief financial officer), Neil Morgan (chief operating officer), Tim Plant (chief insurance and strategy officer; acting group chief risk officer), Christine Stasi (group executive, People Performance & Reputation), Amanda Whiting (CEO, IAG New Zealand)
Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is the largest general insurance group in Australia. It is an umbrella organisation that contains many well-known insurance brands, including NRMA Insurance, SGIO, SGIC, CGU, and WFI. Combined, these businesses underwrite around $12.6 billion in premiums each year.
Outside of Australia, IAG is also active in New Zealand, as well as in Asia, where it holds significant stakes in several insurers.
In 1920, the National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA) began providing insurance to motorists in NSW and ACT. It began expanding throughout Australia and became one of the largest general insurers in the market. NRMA was demutualised in 2000, with its shares returned to members. Two years later, it changed its name to Insurance Australia Group.
At present, IAG has over 8.5 million customers and holds a wealth of information on motor vehicles and residential dwellings in its markets.
IAG’s NRMA Insurance brand offers a wide range of insurance products, including motor, travel, home, pet, and recreational vehicles insurance. Meanwhile, CGU offers various commercial, rural and personal lines insurance, as well as workers’ compensation insurance. Through its acquisition of CGU in 2003, Insurance Australia Group inherited its over 160 years of experience providing insurance in Australia.
1920: National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA) begins offering motor insurance
1994: NRMA begins nationwide expansion
1998: NRMA acquires Western Australia-based SGIO and Southern Australia-based SGIC
1999: Joint venture between NRMA and Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) formed
2000: NRMA is demutualised, splitting its insurance operations from the motorists’ association
2001: NRMA acquires New Zealand’s State Insurance and HIH workers’ comp in Australia
2002: Name changed to Insurance Australia Group (IAG)
2003: IAG acquires CGU in Australia and NZI in New Zealand
2005: IAG conducts Asian expansion in Thailand and Malaysia
2007: IAG acquires UK-based Equity Insurance Group
2009: IAG enters joint venture with State Bank of India
2012: IAG acquires New Zealand-based AMI Insurance
2014: IAG acquires Wesfarmers’ insurance underwriting businesses in Australia and New Zealand
2015: Berkshire Hathaway invests in Insurance Australia Group, with a 3.7% share
2016: IAG launches Firemark Ventures, a start-up investment fund worth $75 million
2017: Insurance Australia Group unifies Australian businesses
2017: IAG consolidates its nine Australian insurance licences into two entities: Insurance Australia Limited and Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Limited
2017: IAG among 50 companies on Fortune’s Change the World list
2017: Insurance Australia Group CEO Peter Harmer criticised over “spirit” bonus
2018: IAG announces sale of operations in Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam
2018: IAG changes head office registered address
2018: IAG, QBE, and 14 other insurers join global climate initiative
2019: Insurance Australia Group takes out first catastrophe bond
2019: IAG appoints George Savvides as non-executive director
2019: IAG and SAP Ariba launch diversity marketplace
2020: New IAG managing director and chief executive revealed
2020: IAG welcomes ex-Qantas Loyalty CIO to the team
2020: IAG announces major split
2021: IAG announces new executive general managers
2021: IAG reaffirms support measures amid new COVID-19 outbreak
2021: IAG rules out mandatory COVID-19 vaccine for staff – report
2021: Insurance giant IAG exits from IAL brand
2021: IAG offers assurances to earthquake-hit customers
2021: IAG accepts Federal Court's judgment in second COVID-19 BI test case
2021: IAG CEO Nick Hawkins appointed as president of the ICA
2022: IAG right to reject $6 million bedding factory fire claim
2022: IAG invests big in car subscription company Carbar
2022: IAG's Firemark Ventures invests in insurtech Pinar
2022: IAG, Suncorp offer assurances to flood-impacted customers
2022: IAG to appeal second business interruption test case ruling
Hawkins was appointed as managing director and CEO of IAG in November 2020. He previously held the role of deputy CEO, accountable for the management and performance of the company’s day-to-day operations. Hawkins spent 12 years as IAG’s chief financial officer. Prior to this, he served as the chief executive of IAG New Zealand. He has also held several roles within finance and asset management since joining the group in 2001.
Before joining IAG, Hawkins was a partner with the international accounting firm KPMG. He is a Fellow of Chartered Accounts of Australia & New Zealand and a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program. In January 2022, Hawkins commenced the role of President of the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).
Julie Batch, group executive, Direct Insurance Australia
Batch was appointed as group executive of Direct Insurance Australia in March 2021. Before this, she served as chief strategy and innovation officer and acting group executive of Intermediated Insurance Australia. She was also IAG’s chief customer officer.
Batch joined the company in 2005. Her previous roles in the business include chief analytics officer – responsible for group reinsurance and analytics – and chief risk officer in IAG’s then Direct Insurance business. Earlier in her career, she held senior roles at Gen Re Australia, part of the Berkshire Hathaway Group, as well as with other reinsurance organisations.
Hill assumed the role of group executive, Intermediated Insurance Australia in September 2021. He was previously country president of Australia & New Zealand with Chubb Insurance. Hill is a seasoned insurance executive with 30 years’ industry experience, including a strong background in technical underwriting, combined with distribution and regional management roles. His previous roles include head of international property business with Chubb based in the UK, as well as senior roles with ACE Group and CIGNA Insurance, both acquired by Chubb. In recent years, Hill led Chubb Australia and New Zealand post-integration.
According to Insurance Australia Group, its social and environmental policy institutes a framework to understand and manage the company’s social and environmental impacts, both direct and indirect. It also guides it as it tackles risks and opportunities, and supports and informs its role in the community. Its stated goal is to help create safer, stronger, and more confident communities.
IAG has pledged its support to the State Emergency Services in Queensland and New South Wales as a principal partner. It works together with the two states’ SES to help communities prepare for and respond to disasters. According to IAG, each storm season, it helps residents prepare as well as provide a ‘hero discount’ to SES volunteers on selected insurance policies.
In May 2019, IAG and 13 other organisations announced their support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for the recognition of Indigenous Australians in the nation’s constitution. The organisations came up with a response to the Uluru Statement. IAG chief executive Peter Harmer stressed the importance of giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the opportunity to have a stake in decisions that affect their communities.
As a result, Insurance Australia Group adopted an Elevate reconciliation action plan (RAP) to guide its actions in support of the national reconciliation program. The Elevate level is the highest tier of RAPs.
With the insurance industry being at the forefront of dealing with natural disasters, Insurance Australia Group has put in place a climate action plan. It has led various initiatives that seek to tackle risks linked to climate change, and the insurance group is actively taking steps to minimise its carbon footprint. According to IAG, it has been carbon neutral since 2012, and it has been able to reduce its carbon emissions by around 25% since 2015.
In 2021, the insurance giant introduced “The IAG Way” designed to give the company a clear focus on “who we are, what we stand for, and how we need to behave to deliver positive outcomes for our customers, our communities, and our people.” In its most recent quarterly pulse survey, the company’s rolling 12-month average employee net promoter score was +46, indicating that employees felt confident to recommend IAG as a place to work. Flexible work practices, supportive team culture, and the quality of leadership were the key drivers supporting employees’ advocacy. Employee wellbeing and the impact of organisational change also remained key focus areas to manage in the future.
In addition, IAG’s Australian and New Zealand workplaces have also been certified as supportive, productive, and inclusive workplaces for LGBTQ people, receiving an Australian
Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) Bronze Status for the third year in a row and the New Zealand Rainbow Tick certification for the fourth consecutive year.
To bring together people who want to create a more inclusive environment for everyone, IAG also established several Employee Network Groups. These are: First Nations, Pride, Matou Tagata Pasifika, Accessibility, Families, Haven, Mind Health, and Celebrating Women. In New Zealand, the company established te Komiti Whakahaere Māori to oversee its Māori strategy.
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