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Kiwi-owned insurance underwriting agency launches

Kiwi-owned insurance underwriting agency launches to provide choice in a contracting market

Auckland, 23 June 2014: A new insurance brand, Delta Insurance, has launched in New Zealand as the only locally owned and operated specialist niche liability underwriting agency, arriving at a time when the insurance market is going through significant consolidation and change.

Offering businesses a fresh and innovative insurance alternative to the increasingly generalist and ever-contracting insurance market, Delta Insurance will provide specialist niche liability alternatives for brokers and businesses.

With the recent market consolidation reducing competition and choice, potentially reducing supply and driving up insurance costs in the longer term, Delta Insurance’s co-founders Ian Pollard and Craig Kirk, believe the time is right for an innovative newcomer in the New Zealand market.

Prior to founding Delta, managing director Ian Pollard worked for AIG for nearly 15 years holding a range of executive positions in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Auckland.

“The recent consolidation among the large insurance companies here in New Zealand has been largely driven by off-shore forces. There’s a need for a nimble alternative that is focused on New Zealand businesses and can offer the flexibility and protection they need in a fast-changing world,” says Pollard.

“We have a fairly healthy $400 million premium liability insurance market here which I believe has potential to grow. However, we now have essentially an oligopoly of generalist insurers which cannot meet the needs of many businesses and leaves them exposed over the longer term,” says Pollard.

Delta Insurance general manager, Craig Kirk, has previously worked with Lumley General, AIG and Zurich Financial Services where he held a variety of senior professional indemnity and liability managerial roles in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

“Experience of insurance markets abroad has given me and Ian a solid understanding of what’s needed to shake up the New Zealand insurance market, which is quite traditional in the way it operates,” says Kirk.

“This global perspective means we understand the risks that businesses face and has enabled us to develop better ways of doing things that will benefit local brokers and businesses. From our policy structure to service delivery, we’re going about it all very differently and we believe our approach will become the future standard in the industry,” he says.

Delta Insurance offers a broad range of niche, commercial liability insurance products addressing financial, professional, casualty and cyber risks. In order to simplify the process for small and medium businesses arranging comprehensive coverage options, Delta Insurance offers policies in a variety of packages to suit individual business needs.

Delta Insurance will offer capacity ranging from $100,000 to $25m per risk. Initially the focus is on financial lines and casualty, with other specialist commercial lines products to be added as the business grows and buyer needs dictate. Delta Insurance is an approved Coverholder of Lloyd’s of London which is A+ (Strong) rated by Standard & Poor’s and AA- (Very Strong) Outlook Stable by Fitch.

The intention is to grow over the next three to five years, establishing a strong footprint in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands through 2014 and 2015 with further geographical expansion in Asia from 2016.

Delta Insurance has been in the making for a significant time and Pollard and Kirk have thought deeply about how they can add value to the New Zealand insurance market, over and above offering competitive specialist products, to providing thought leadership on sustainable risk solutions.

“Not only is the market contracting and becoming more generalist, we feel that insurers are not doing enough to educate and raise awareness about business risks, and provide the type of information that would empower companies to make informed decisions on insurance,” says Pollard.

“We aim to be a voice for the future among insurers, helping companies improve their risk posture, risk management and ensure they are ready to embrace change.

“Our refreshing approach and independence from the larger global and national insurance carriers is our strength. Delta Insurance will thrive and enjoy profitable growth from a strong tripartite alliance – from which the name Delta originates – between its founders, investors and a strategic partnerships,” concludes Pollard.


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