Underwriting agency DUAL New Zealand is launching a new motor insurance product in August to provide further options in the market. The upcoming rollout marks the company’s expansion from what has essentially been a ‘lite’ offering into a full-blown motor proposition.
In an interview with Insurance Business, DUAL New Zealand underwriting manager Damian Browne (pictured above) noted: “Previously we did do motor, but it was a very restricted appetite. One of the new changes is we will have a lot wider appetite in both the types of industries that we would write motor for and the types of vehicles that we would write motor for.
“Our previous offering would be what you’d call a ‘motor lite’. What we intend to be is a full motor player now. The market has traditionally been dominated by three to four players that have been able to do a true full motor offering to the market. We hope to add our name up there. Customer choice and competition helps – it gives the insured the right outcome.”
In the past, DUAL New Zealand only covered light vehicles. Now, under the new product that is set to be unveiled next week, the likes of delivery trucks will be insured by the agency.
“What we’re looking to do now is really help service those key industries, like local transport, that help underpin the New Zealand economy,” Browne said.
So, what led the 12-year-old business to broaden its motor insurance product? According to Browne, it’s all about providing greater choice.
“It’s a motor offering for two distinct segments of the New Zealand motor industry, being commercial motor and niche motor,” the underwriting manager told Insurance Business. “The driver behind coming up with this offering was to provide more choice for the customer. We see great opportunities within the motor market in New Zealand, and we believe that the market needs more choice.
“DUAL is well positioned to provide this product to the market. What differentiates us is our service proposition. We aim to provide a market-comparable offering but driven by the fantastic service of the well-driven team that we have here at DUAL. For an agency that is really starting to become quite big in New Zealand, this really just helps underpin that offering to the market.
“Our focus is driven by the education, as well, that we provide to the market. So, being able to then get out and start giving education around motor – I see DUAL well positioned to help drive some of those conversations, as we have done on all of our other products: property and liability. I’m excited that the largest premium pool within New Zealand will soon have that benefit in DUAL.”
Browne’s goal is for DUAL to be a sustainable player in the Kiwi motor insurance market to make sure that customers have the options on which they can base their informed decisions. As part of the expansion, the agency will be hiring additional people.
“We’ve got two very experienced underwriters already in the team in Damian Browne and Richard Robinson,” general manager Paula Sheppard-Jones said. “Damian will be heading up the implementation of the product, and then we will be recruiting two more underwriters within this calendar year and then grow from there.
“We actually haven’t found it as hard as perhaps we’ve been reading some others have in the media… We’re very clear about who we are and what our culture is. We’re very focussed on making sure that we understand the people we do business with and they understand us, and I think that really helps when it comes to recruitment.
“So far we haven’t had any issues in finding some really great talent to come on board, so I’m confident that we would be finding the right people.”
DUAL New Zealand’s new motor insurance product will be unveiled on August 1.
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