NZI celebrates 165 years in business insurance

Insurer is one of the oldest brands in New Zealand

NZI celebrates 165 years in business insurance

Insurance News

By Abigail Adriatico

Insurer NZI is celebrating 165 years as a business insurer in New Zealand, reaching several milestones along the way.

The firm first began as a team that granted insurance policies from a local office in Shortland Street in Auckland when the city had a population of less than 10,000.

NZI executive general manager Garry Taylor pointed out the  growth that the firm had seen since it was established in 1859.

“Today, we have a team of 500 and a network of 3,500 broker partners who all play an important role in providing 300,000 New Zealand business customers with expert advice,” said Taylor.

He said that NZI had been supporting businesses long before certain milestones in the country’s history, such as the arrival of the first car, the first public supply of electricity, and the time before telephones were making waves in the local market.

“Over this time, the commercial landscape has evolved progressively, shaped by risks that have grown from advancing technologies, a changing climate, pandemics and geopolitical activity,” said Taylor. “It’s really important, now more than ever, to have a mix of both insurance and protection services to keep ahead of risk.”

NZI later introduced a comprehensive Fleet Fit programme as more cars entered the road and the firm tried to enhance safety and risk management for fleets all over the country.

“Our market-leading Fleet Fit initiatives comprise of a broad range of tools such as onboard GPS data analytics, driver safety seminars, culture and leadership programs, real-time fatigue detection systems and more, to help drivers stay safer on the road,” said Taylor.

The team behind Fleet Fit started initiatives that supported more than a thousand truckies that looked to take breaks at the various NZI Truckie Rest Zone events held all over the country. Such events, which were often staged in collaboration with community organisations, raised awareness about driver fatigue that leads to road accidents.

Following this offering, NZI began to provide its own EV Fleet Guide, which aimed to help businesses with the challenges they face as early adopters. As the firm transitioned to the online space in recent years, it partnered with international cybersecurity and risk identification firm UpGuard.

“Cyber incidents can be incredibly time sensitive and require expert engagement which is where our panel of breach coaches, legal and IT professionals stand ready to help” said Taylor.

NZI also provided free electrical inspections to its commercial property customers as electrical fires began to be one of the biggest threats faced by commercial properties.

“Since then, we’ve identified and rectified 1,500 electrical defects that could have potentially caused considerable fire damage. Our team of electrical inspectors plan to visit at least 1,000 customers annually,” said Taylor.

He said that NZI was keen on supporting customers with unexpected life events.

“We’ll always be there when the unexpected happens, but prevention is equally important – because if we can help guard against cybercrime, prevent road accidents and help save businesses from being destroyed by fire, then everyone wins,” said Taylor.

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