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Non-profit agency switches to Berkley

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Community Underwriting, which insures nearly 900 non-profit organisations, has dropped Calliden as its principal insurer, with Berkley Insurance Australia now providing security.

The underwriting agency’s GM Paula Cruden told insuranceNEWS.com.au the new partnership will take effect from Saturday.

Community Underwriting’s gross written premium has risen 18.5% in the past year to $3 million.

Calliden has been its principal insurer since February last year, when the underwriting agency was launched by major shareholder Meals on Wheels.

Ms Cruden says claims handling is one reason for the switch to Berkley, which has an in-house team managing claims. She says Calliden outsourced 50% of its claims service, especially motor claims.

“It will also allow us to write more business for larger non-profits in Australia and return more to our non-profit shareholders in donations,” she said.

Major clients, which are also shareholders, include Variety Australia, Sunnyhaven Disability Services in Sydney, Parents and Citizens in the ACT and NSW, and Pathfinders in Armidale, NSW.

The number of shareholders has risen from six in February last year to 13.

Each year 70% of Community Underwriting’s surplus is returned to non-profit shareholders as donations, with a further 5% set aside to fund a grants program for non-shareholder clients.

“Our insurer partners now add to this grants pool, to enable us to expand even further the number of clients we are able to assist,” the agency says.

Community Underwriting says other benefits of the new deal include policy wordings designed for the non-profit sector and the backing of an A+ rated insurer with local expertise and global strength.

Calliden was split last December after Steadfast bought it for its underwriting agencies and sold the general insurance operation to Munich Re, which renamed the asset Calibre Commercial Insurance.

Munich Re subsidiary Great Lakes Australia provides security to Calibre. Ms Cruden says Community Underwriting originally planned to move to Great Lakes for security, but instead decided to switch to Berkley.