Insurer QBE seeks feedback on branch transfer

by Maryvonne Gray 21 Oct 2015

Insurer QBE seeks feedback on branch transfer

Just one more day remains in which QBE employees and policyholders can give their feedback on a proposed transfer of its New Zealand branch from its international entity to its Australian one.

The insurer has proposed that the NZ branch will transfer from QBE Insurance (International) Ltd (QBE II) to its main Australia and New Zealand underwriting entity, QBE (Australia) Ltd (QBE IA) next year.
It said it is part of a broader realignment to simplify the company’s corporate structure.

“Each of QBE II and QBE IA are ultimately owned by QBE Insurance Group Limited and the New Zealand branch of QBE IA will continue trading as QBE Insurance from 1 January 2016,” the company said.

“Under this proposal, all customers of QBE II will become customers of QBE IA and so QBE IA will become the insurer under their insurance policies with effect from 1 January 2016.”

QBE was keen to stress that policyholders would not need to take any action, and that contractual obligations would remain the same, as well as terms and conditions and policy wordings.

“The only difference will be that the obligations under the contracts and policies will be performed by QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd rather than QBE Insurance (International) Ltd.

“When clients come to renew their policies, they will be renewed automatically with the new entity.”

QBE said it was part of the company’s move towards operating as a global insurance group and would reflect a better alignment of QBE country business units to their reporting decisions.

It said it would have the same management team and staff and would carry on business in New Zealand as it had before.

The company was in the process of obtaining all the necessary approvals and licenses from regulators including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Financial Markets Authority and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

It has also begun running a series of advertisements in various national and regional newspapers.

QBE New Zealand spokesperson Val Graham said there had only been one submission to date which was from a staff member on an internal point.

She said: “I thought there would have been more from policyholders but I guess that means people are either okay with what’s on the website and it answers all the questions they  might have or they have rung their broker and the broker has said there’s no change to any terms and the contracts just roll forward as normal.”

She said all feedback was to be sent to RBNZ by 2 November 2015 with a decision expected quite soon after in order to allow time for all the necessary systems changes that would need to be put in place for the 1 January 2016 date.

The deadline for feedback submissions is tomorrow,Thursday, 22 October 2015.